Category Archives: Alaska Air Group

Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air employees receive $148 million in bonuses

Alaska Airlines' "More to Love" merger livery

Alaska Air Group issued this statement on January 26, 2018:

Employees of Alaska Air Group companies Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are receiving $118 million in incentive bonuses today. For most employees, this equates to an average of more than 7 percent of their annual pay in 2017. In addition, 23,000 Air Group employees will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus on Jan. 29 from additional tax savings the company expects to receive this year.

The company’s annual bonus, called Performance Based Pay (PBP), is determined by meeting or exceeding specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control, customer loyalty and profit. For the ninth year in a row, employees will enjoy a payout of about an additional month’s pay.

The PBP bonus is in addition to the approximately $7 million in monthly operational bonuses that employees earned over 2017 for achieving monthly on-time and customer satisfaction goals. The combined monthly, annual and one-time bonuses paid to employees total $148 million.

Geographic breakdown:

  • About $62 million in annual bonuses — more than 52 percent of the total — is being paid to Alaska, Virgin America, and Horizon Air employees in the Puget Sound area
  • $27 million — or 23 percent of the total — is going to employees throughout California
  • $12 million is being paid to employees in the Oregon
  • $8.1 million is going to employees throughout the state of Alaska

The bonuses come 13 months after the acquisition of Virgin America. Since then, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America employees have been hard at work creating an airline people love. Some of the most significant integration milestones employees have accomplished since December 2016 include:

  • Obtaining a single operating certificate from the FAA on Jan. 11, combining thousands of procedures, manuals and training for all Airbus and Boeing operations
  • Launching a wear-test for new employee uniforms
  • Transitioning to one loyalty and credit card program
  • Co-locating Alaska and Virgin American operations in 22 of 31 airports
  • Building Alaska’s expansive network with 44 new routes, in addition to the 38 routes added with the acquisition of Virgin America
  • Moving to the same human resources, finance and payroll systems

By late April, Minicucci expects the airlines will have accomplished 75 percent of the integration milestones with the shift to a single reservation system, website, check-in kiosk, app and call center.

Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): Alaska Airlines (Alaska + Virgin America) Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N493AS (msn 41727) (More to Love) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936924.

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Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter and 2017 results

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.

Alaska Airlines Group issued this financial report for the 4Q and 2017:

Dividend Increase:

  • Announced today a 7% increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.30 per share to $0.32 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 8, to all shareholders of record as of Feb. 20, 2018. This is the fifth time the company has raised the dividend since initiating the quarterly dividend in July 2013, with a cumulative increase of 220% since that time.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the fourth quarter and full-year under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, and $1.0 billion, or $8.30 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2016 net income of $114 million, or $0.92per diluted share, and full-year 2016 net income of $814 million, or $6.54 per diluted share. As the acquisition of Virgin America Inc. (Virgin America) closed on Dec. 14, 2016, 2017 information reflects the results of Virgin America. 2016 information reflects the results of Virgin America from Dec. 14-31, 2016.
  • Reported fourth quarter 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.83 compared to $1.56reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, special income tax benefits related to tax law changes, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, was $103 million compared to $193 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.82 per share.
  • Reported full year 2017 adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, of $823 million, compared to $911 million in 2016. Reported 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $6.64, compared to $7.32in 2016.
  • Paid a $0.30 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the fourth quarter, bringing total dividend payments in 2017 to $148 million.
  • Repurchased a total of 981,277 shares of common stock for approximately $75 million in 2017.
  • Generated approximately $1.6 billion of operating cash flow and used approximately $1.0 billionfor capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $547 million of free cash flow in 2017.
  • Grew passenger revenues by 32% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, and by 36% compared to full-year 2016, largely enabled by our acquisition of Virgin America in December of 2016.
  • Generated full-year adjusted pretax margin of 17% in 2017.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Reduced debt-to-capitalization ratio to 51% as of Dec. 31, 2017, compared to 59% as of Dec. 31, 2016.

2017 Accomplishments and Highlights:

Recognition and Awards – Alaska

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2017 by J.D. Power for the tenth year in a row.
  • Ranked first in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Travel Rewards Programs for the third consecutive year.
  • Won the “Best Rewards Program” for Alaska Mileage Plan for carriers in the “Americas” region in the sixth annual FlyerTalk Award.
  • Mileage Plan ranked Best Airline Elite Status Program in the U.S. by The Points Guy.
  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2017 “America’s Best Employers” for the third year in a row.
  • Received 16th Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing both Alaska and Horizon’s aircraft technicians for their commitment to training.
  • Ranked by AirlineRatings.com as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world.
  • Rated “Best Airline Staff in North America” and “Best Regional Airline in North America” by Skytrax World Airline Awards.
  • Awarded TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice Award for second-best midsize and low-cost airlines in North America and one of the top 10 best airlines in the world.
  • Recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as the 2017 Board Diversity Champion, as well as by the Women Corporate Directors Global Institute for diversity among our Directors.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), receiving perfect scores for “efficiency” and “reliability.”
  • Recognized as No. 1 in fuel efficiency for U.S. airlines by the International Council on Clean Transportation for the 7th consecutive year.
  • Named one of the overall five-star major regional airlines at the Passenger Choice Awards during the APEX EXPO.
  • Ranked fifth of most engaged companies in the U.S. by Forbes Insights, which measured social media engagement, net promoter scores, and year-over-year sales growth.

Recognition and Awards – Virgin America

  • Rated Best U.S. Airline by Conde Nast Traveler in their “Annual Readers’ Choice Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Rated Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Received a five-star rating for low-cost carrier, and received a top honor with a Passenger Choice Award for “Best Seat Comfort” during the APEX EXPO.

Our People

  • Awarded $135 million in incentive pay to employees for 2017.
  • Awarded employees a $1,000 bonus in January 2018 in connection with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, amounting to approximately $25 million to be paid on Jan. 29, 2018.
  • Granted “Single Carrier Determination” by the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, paving the way for labor integration and union representation. The NMB officially certified the Association of Flight Attendants as the union representative for Virgin America inflight teammates and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as the union representative for Virgin America clerical, office and passenger service employees.
  • Entered into an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to amend the eight-year contract with Horizon’s pilots, providing Horizon the ability to attract and retain the best pilots in the regional industry.
  • Alaska received a perfect score of 100% for workplace equality on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (“CEI”). Virgin America received a score of 95%.

Our Guests and Product

  • Launched various new in-flight amenities, including Free Chat, upgraded food and beverage options and Premium Class service.
  • Selected Gogo to provide next-generation satellite-based Wi-Fi across the entire Boeing and Airbus fleets, providing guests a faster and more-reliable internet connection.
  • Dropped fees for bikes, golf clubs, skis, surfboards, and other sporting equipment that exceed Alaska’s normal checked baggage weight and dimensions to $25.
  • Added Condor Airlines, Finnair, and Singapore Airlines as global Mileage Plan partners.
  • Announced plans to fly 13 daily departures from Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington to eight West Coast markets starting in fall 2018.
  • Announced a seven-year partnership to be the official airline of the San Francisco Giants which includes, among other things, exclusive naming rights to the AT&T Park Club Level which will now be called the “Alaska Airlines Club Level.”

  • Signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant naming him “Advisor to the CEO,” and extended our partnership with Russell Wilson and Ciara.
  • Converted the world’s first Boeing 737-700 from a passenger plane to a freighter and placed it into revenue service.
  • Added 14 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and 4 Airbus A321neo aircraft to the operating fleet in 2017, bringing the total Mainline fleet to 221 aircraft.
  • Added 10 Embraer 175 (E175) regional jets to Horizon Air’s fleet in 2017.
  • Added 44 new markets in 2017 across the Alaska Air Group and Virgin America networks.

Our Communities

  • Donated over $14 million and contributed more than 32,000 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in our local communities, focusing on youth and education, medical (research/transportation) and community outreach.

Alaska Air Group Inc. reported fourth quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, compared to $114 million, or $0.92 per diluted share in 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $103 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company reported full-year 2017 GAAP net income of $1,028 million, compared to $814 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $823 million, or $6.64 per diluted share for 2017, compared to adjusted net income of $911 million, or $7.32 per diluted share in 2016.

“2017 was a great year – we invested in our route network, our fleet, our product, and laid the foundation for our future,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska’s CEO. “We added 44 new routes to our network (in addition to the 38 added through Virgin America), grew membership in our loyalty program, and made great progress on our integration of Virgin America. By early spring, we’ll have the bulk of the integration behind us, and working with our people to do more of what Alaska does best – running a highly reliable operation and offering our guests outstanding customer service.”

Copyright Photo: The first ex-Virgin America Airbus A320 has been repainted at Victorville. After this photo was taken, it was flown to San Francisco to enter revenue service from SFO. Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.

 

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Alaska Air Group reports Third Quarter 2017 results

"Chace Plane"

Alaska Air Group, Inc., on October 25, 2017 reported third quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $266 million, or $2.14 per diluted share, compared to $256 million, or $2.07 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $278 million, or $2.24 per diluted share, compared to $272 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in 2016.

“Our people delivered very strong results again this quarter,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “At roughly the halfway point in our integration with Virgin America, and despite some unrelated challenges in our regional operation, our business is performing well, and we are very happy with the response we’ve seen in California and throughout the West to our expanding network, our focus on hospitality, and to our industry-leading mileage plan. I want to thank our talented people for their commitment and dedication.”

Copyright Photo: Virgin America aircraft will shortly be taking on the Alaska brand. Virgin America Airbus A320-214 WL N283VA (msn 6787) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 935544.

Virgin America:

Alaska Air Group announces the closing of the acquisition of Virgin America, no decision on the Virgin America brand

different-works

Alaska Air Group Inc. on December 14, 2016 announced it has closed its acquisition of Virgin America. The definitive merger agreement, which was signed in April and approved by Virgin America shareholders in July, brings together two of the country’s favorite airlines into a unified force that will provide an attractive alternative to the “Big 4” airlines that currently control 84 percent of the domestic market.

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will spend the next year working to secure Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification to allow the two airlines to operate as a single carrier (with regional sister carrier Horizon Air remaining on its own separate operating certificate).

Today, Alaska Air Group boasts nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations, the most seats on flights from the West Coast and more than $7 billion annual revenues. Alaska Air Group will continue to provide customers the low fares, unmatched reliability and award-winning service they’ve come to enjoy, while offering a convenient schedule of flights to even more of the places they want to fly. Soon Virgin America customers will have access to a route network that offers six times more daily flights than before.

The combination expands service and provides more frequent connections to international airline partners in thriving technology markets in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma.

Together, the airlines offer 289 daily flights to 52 destinations from California, including 113 daily nonstop flights to 32 destinations from three Bay Area airports and 105 daily nonstop flights to 37 destinations from four Los Angeles area airports.

In addition, the combination opens up growth opportunities in important East Coast business markets by increasing Alaska Air Group’s access to high-demand airports like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the three primary New York City-area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

The company also announced new flights from its San Francisco hub to Orlando (daily), Minneapolis/St. Paul (twice daily) and Orange County, California (four times daily) beginning in the summer of 2017.

The combination expands service and provides more frequent connections to international airline partners in thriving technology markets in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle. Together, the airlines offer 289 daily flights to 52 destinations from California, including 113 daily nonstop flights to 32 destinations from three Bay Area airports and 105 daily nonstop flights to 37 destinations from four Los Angeles area airports.

In addition, the combination opens up growth opportunities in important East Coast business markets by increasing Alaska Air Group’s access to high-demand airports like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the three primary New York City-area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

The company also announced new flights from its San Francisco hub to Orlando (daily), Minneapolis (twice daily) and Orange County, California (four times daily) beginning in the summer of 2017.

To celebrate the merger of two beloved West Coast airlines, Alaska leaders will join employees from Virgin America, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air on December 14, 2016 at San Francisco International Airport for the unveiling of a co-branded Boeing 737 featuring a special, one-time livery painted in shimmering red, purple and blue. The aircraft features the slogan “More to love” and will fly throughout Alaska Airlines’ route network starting the same day, in celebration of the increased customer benefits of the combination.

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Alaska launches four new routes today

Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N171SY (msn 17000485) SEA (Tony Storck). Image: 928989.

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today began flying four new routes that enhance its West Coast network. The new routes are between: Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas; Eugene, Oregon, and San Jose, California; Los Angeles and Monterey, California; and Boise, Idaho and Reno, Nevada.

All flights, except the Portland-Austin route, will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air, using a 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

The Portland-Austin flights will be operated for Alaska by SkyWest Airlines, using new 76-seat Embraer 175 jets. The E175 jet features 12 seats in first class and 64 in coach, and with cabin dimensions on par with a 737.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N171SY (msn 17000485)

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Alaska SkyWest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Alaska Air Group reports 3Q GAAP net income of $274 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported third quarter 2015 GAAP net income of $274 million, or $2.14 per diluted share, compared to $198 million, or $1.45 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2014. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $5 million ($3 million after tax, or $0.02 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $277 million, or $2.16 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $200 million, or $1.47 per diluted share in 2014.

“This was the busiest summer in our 83 year history and represents our highest quarterly profit ever,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our employees who are building a fundamentally strong business and our customers for their incredible loyalty and support.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines is gradually phasing out its aging Boeing 737-400s. The type is expected to be gone by the end of 2017. Boeing 737-4Q8 N755AS (msn 25096) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

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Alaska Air Group reports a record second quarter

Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported a record second quarter GAAP net profit of $234 million.

The group issued this report:

Alaska (2014) logo

Alaska Air Group, Inc., today reported second quarter 2015 GAAP net income of $234 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, compared to $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2014. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $6 million ($4 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $230 million, or $1.76 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, in 2014.

“We’re pleased to report our 25th consecutive quarterly profit and our best quarterly result ever,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our employees for their hard work and for always putting our customers first. We are focused on running a strong and balanced company that will produce the right outcomes for all of the stakeholders who depend on us, not just this quarter but over the long-term.”

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported record second quarter net income, excluding special items, of $230 million, a 46% increase over the second quarter of 2014.
  • Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.76 per diluted share, a 56% increase over the second quarter of 2014 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.73 per share.
  • Earned net income for the second quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $234 million or $1.79 per diluted share, compared to net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share in 2014.
  • Recorded $58 million of employee incentive pay in recognition of Air Group employees’ progress on meeting customer service, safety, operational and financial goals.
  • Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the second quarter of 25.7% compared to 18.3% in 2014.
  • Generated 20.9% adjusted pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended June 30, 2015, compared to 14.9% for the same period in the prior year.
  • Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 22.0% compared to 16.1% in the 12-month period ended June 30, 2014.
  • Repurchased 2.5 million shares of common stock for $160 million in the second quarter of 2015, and 4.1 million shares of common stock for $262 million during the first six months of 2015, representing 3.1% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
  • Paid a $0.20 per-share quarterly cash dividend on June 4, 2015, a 60% increase over the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER N471AS (msn 41703) with APB Split Scimitar Winglets lands in Anchorage.

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