Myanmar National Airlines takes delivery of its first ATR 72-600

Myanmar ATR 72-600 XY-AJY (15)(Tko) TLS (ATR)(LRW)

Myanmar National Airlines (formerly Myanma Airways) (Yangon) took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 (ATR 72-212A XY-AJY, msn 1267) on August 3.

The airline, which currently operates a fleet of three ATR 72-500s, two ATR 72-200s and one ATR 42-300, had booked an order for six ATR 72-600s in 2014, along with options for six additional aircraft, in a deal valued at $296 million (USD).

With these new ATR 72-600s, the last of which is scheduled for delivery in 2017, the airline is upgrading its regional aircraft fleet with the most modern and technologically-advanced aircraft. The arrival of these new aircraft will provide the additional seat capacity and further enhanced service required to meet the booming demand for tourism and business travel across the country.

Myanmar National Airlines is currently consolidating an ambitious strategy to expand its global presence in the country. In addition to the introduction of the newest ATR-600s, the airline is also setting up a modern MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) center in Yangon, with support from ATR. Today, there are 30 ATRs in operation across the country, flying with eight different airline liveries.

Myanmar National logo

Myanmar National Airways is the national flag carrier of Myanmar. Founded in 1949 as Union of Burma Airways, the company was then renamed Myanma Airways and will now be operating under the name of Myanmar National Airlines. Today, Myanmar National Airlines operates scheduled services to all major domestic destinations and is in the midst of a major restructuring plan aimed at establishing Myanmar National Airlines as a major carrier in the ASEAN region and beyond. The airline network will rapidly expand outside Myanmar with the introduction of ten Boeing 737-800 and 737-Max 8 aircraft in the near term, and with the renewal of its regional fleet with the brand-new ATR 72-600.

Photo: ATR.

 

 

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Wizz Air posts a fiscal first quarter net profit of $36.1 million, up 12.5%

Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) has reported a first quarter net profit of €32.9 million ($36.1 million), up 12.5% compared to €29.2 million ($32.0 million) in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue was up 12.7% at €332.5 million ($365.0 million), compared to €295.2 million ($324.1 million) for the same quarter a year ago.

The airline also gave guidance on its full-year outlook:

With the continued expansion of our network, Wizz Air expects to grow capacity by around 17% in the 2016 financial year, spread evenly across the year. We continue to believe that there will be no earnings benefit from the decline in fuel prices over the last 12 months as the US dollar has strengthened against the euro over the same period and, as expected, lower fuel prices are feeding through to lower unit revenues. We expect the downward trend in unit revenues to continue for the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless, our forward bookings indicate robust demand for the peak summer period. Increased visibility over this important trading period means we now expect to deliver an improved outcome for the full year. Our current expectation is for Group post tax profit (excluding unusual and exceptional items) to be in the range of €175 million and €185 million. While we have limited visibility on the second half of the year, our current expectations for full year performance are summarized below:

For the second quarter (July to September 2015) of the 2016 financial year, we expect to grow capacity, in terms of ASKs, by around 16% and anticipate a modest rise in load factor compared to the same period in the prior year. Despite continued downward pressure on unit revenues, both operating margins and underlying net profit margins are expected be modestly ahead of the prior year.

József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive said:

“The first quarter has been an exciting period for Wizz Air. We have continued to grow our network and increase our passenger numbers throughout the period while maintaining an industry leading, ultra-low cost base. Today we are pleased to announce a record set of results for the first quarter with a strong performance against all key operating and financial performance measures. We are particularly pleased to have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding relating to an order, subject to shareholder consent, for 110 Airbus A321 neo aircraft, worth in excess of $12.5 billion at current list prices. This order will provide us with aircraft to continue delivering strong growth for the next decade.

We continue to deliver against our ambition to make safe, reliable, affordable air travel available to everyone in Central and Eastern Europe. Our ultra-low cost model gives us a clear cost advantage versus most of our rivals, including many other low cost airlines, and as a result we are able to offer our passengers low fares and sustain a relatively high growth rate compared to other carriers. We have a strong balance sheet, proven management team, best-in-class fleet and leading market position in CEE. This winning formula leaves Wizz Air well placed to continue to deliver significant growth and returns for our shareholders”.

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The company also gave additional details on its latest planned order with Airbus:

Wizz Air (2015) logo (LRW)

On June 18, 2015 the Company announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus S.A.S. to purchase 110 A321neo aircraft (below), with the first deliveries in 2019. The memorandum of understanding includes an option to purchase up to 90 A321neo additional aircraft and provides for the cancellation of 10 A320ceo due for delivery in 2018 under existing agreements. Wizz Air also has the right to substitute A320neo aircraft for A321neo aircraft depending on its needs. Completion of the order will be subject to the successful negotiation of a final purchase agreement and, thereafter, to Wizz Air shareholder approval.

Wizz-wizzair.com (Hungary) A321-200 (15)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

This order will enable Wizz Air to deliver its fleet expansion plan and replace over 50 aircraft scheduled to leave the fleet between 2019 and 2024. By the end of this period Wizz Air expects to have a fleet totalling 154 aircraft, with significant flexibility to adjust up or down subject to market conditions. Apart from providing the capacity necessary to serve the long term growth potential of the CEE market, the order will provide for significantly lower operating costs through cabin innovations, the latest engine technology and other efficiency improvements. As with the 230-seat A321ceo, the first of which will be delivered later this year, the 239-seat A321neo will be deployed primarily on higher volume routes.

In other news, Wizz Air has announced an upgrade to its first-to-board Priority Boarding service to include the option of bringing on board a small personal item. This continues Wizz Air’s tradition of adding services designed to enhance passenger convenience and satisfaction.

With the upgrade, passengers with Priority Boarding, purchased as a stand-alone option or as part of a Plus Fare or WIZZ Privilege Pass, will have the choice to bring a small personal item on board in addition to either a small or large cabin bag.

Priority Boarding, which allows passengers to board their flight ahead of general boarding, can be added to Basic Fares for just €3 per seat and flight if purchased online, €4 if purchased at the airport.

The Plus Fare, which includes Priority Boarding, was launched in May 2015 to address the needs of comfort conscious travellers and comprises the flight fare, seat selection including premium seats, airport check-in, WIZZ Flex for flexibility on flight changes, a large cabin bag, and one checked bag.

The WIZZ Privilege Pass was launched in January 2014 as a yearly membership program for frequent travellers. For an annual fee of €99, pass holders enjoy seat selection including premium seats and unlimited priority boarding and a large cabin bag on every flight.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com.  Airbus A320-232 WL F-WWDL (msn 6662) at Toulouse became HA-LYS on delivery. It is painted in the new 2015 livery.

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easyJet to add the London Gatwick – Friedrichshafen route

easyJet (UK) (London-Luton) on December 12 will start the twice-weekly London (Gatwick)  – Friedrichshafen route. This new service will be operated with Airbus A319s according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZDK (msn 3555) in the new 2015 livery arrives at EuroAirport.
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Azul to start the Sao Paulo Guarulhos – Orlando route

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras (Campinas-Viracopos) is adding another route to Orlando. The carrier will launch a new daily route connecting Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) and Orlando starting on December 15.

This is in addition to the Belo Horizonte – Orlando route due to start on November 16.

Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 PR-AIW (msn 462) lands at Campinas-Viracopos (VCP).

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Atlantic Star Airlines announces a delay in the sale of tickets after Titan Airways pulls out

St Helena Island

Atlantic Star Airlines (London), the would-be airline that wants to advertise and operate charter flights between the United Kingdom and St. Helena Island in the Atlantic Ocean has announced a delay. The island is expected to have a new airport that is due to open next year. However the proposed airline has now announced a delay in the sale of tickets for the proposed new service. The paper airline issued this statement:

Atlantic Star logo

Atlantic Star Airlines must regretfully announce that there will be a delay to the sale of tickets on their first charter flights between the UK and St Helena planned for Easter 2016.

We realise that this will come as a considerable disappointment to the many Saints, potential visitors and tourism businesses on St. Helena who have been waiting for seats on these flights to become available to purchase.

Atlantic Star had entered in to partnership with Titan Airways of Stansted to operate the flights. Detailed negotiations had been been concluded and a draft agreement reached. However we received notification this week that Titan have unilaterally declared all agreements void and are no longer willing to operate the services. It goes without saying that we feel extremely let down.

Clearly this is a major setback and we now find ourselves in the position of needing to identify a new charter provider in a shorter timeframe. As a consequence we find ourselves unavoidably forced to “stop the clock” on the countdown to ticket sales. We know how disappointed many people reading this release will be and we are hard at work engaging a replacement airline for the charter programme. This will take time, and we will keep our future customers and trade partners informed as and when it is appropriate to do so.

Our passion for St.Helena as a destination remains undimmed, and we maintain our belief that direct flights to and from the UK are desirable as well as operationally and financially feasible.

Richard Brown, Andy Radford and Aiden Walsh
The Atlantic Star Leadership Team.

Photo: St. Helena Island. Atlantic Star Airlines.

 

LAN Airlines to introduce the Boeing 787 to Milan

LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) will introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Santiago – Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) – Milan (Malpensa) route on March 2, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner CC-BBI (msn 38480) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

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Frontier Airlines to introduce the Airbus A321 on November 1

Frontier (2nd) A321-200 N227FR (14)(Tko)(Airbus)(LRW)

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is planning to introduce the new Airbus A321-200 on November 1 on the Orlando – Philadelphia route with two daily roundtrips per Airline Route.

The Orlando – Cleveland route will be added on November 4.

Frontier has 19 A321s on order.

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