IAG orders 31 Airbus wide body and narrow body airliners

International Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London) has signed a firm order for 31 Airbus aircraft, which includes 11 wide-body aircraft (eight A350-900s, three A330-200s) and 20 A320neos.

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The A350s and A330s are slated for Iberia’s fleet modernization and to open new long-haul routes, and the A320neos will be allocated to the group’s airlines for fleet replacement.

Iberia (2013) logo

With this latest order for 31 aircraft IAG and its airlines have ordered a total of nearly 450 aircraft from Airbus. IAG’s airlines British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, between them operate nearly every aircraft in Airbus’ product range from the smallest single aisle A318 to the world’s largest wide-body A380.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. The new Airbus A330-200s for Iberia will replace the aging Airbus A340-300s and compliment the pictured Airbus A330-300s. Iberia is due to take delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in December 2015. Iberia’s Airbus A330-302 EC-MAA (msn 1515) approaches the runway at Miami International Airport.

Iberia aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Republic Airways Holdings’ second quarter net income drops to $4.3 million due to “operational reliability”

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Republic Airlines and Shuttle America) (Indianapolis) reported its financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2015.

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Republic’s pre-tax income for the second quarter of 2015 was $9.1 million, compared to $33.3 million for the prior year’s second quarter. Republic’s net income for the second quarter of 2015 was $4.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted share compared to prior year net income of $20.1 million or $0.38 per diluted share. The effective tax rate of 52.7% for the quarter was higher than the normalized tax rate, primarily due to the impact of miscellaneous non-deductible expenses.

The second quarter 2015 financial results were negatively impacted by a significant reduction in operational reliability. The Company’s controllable completion factor and operating revenues were significantly lower than expected due to a high number of pilot related cancellations as a result of the growing national pilot labor shortage and our on-going labor dispute with International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

The second quarter results were also negatively impacted by fleet transition costs and idled aircraft costs totaling $10.8 million associated with our removal of E190 and Q400 aircraft and surplus E145 aircraft.

Recent Business Developments

On July 9, 2015, the IBT, representing Republic’s pilots, filed suit against the Company alleging that the Company unilaterally increased compensation for pilots and new hires in violation of the Railway Labor Act. We believe the suit is without merit, and the Company has filed a motion to dismiss. The motion is currently pending.

On July 24, 2015, the Company announced the engagement of Seabury Group as its advisor to restructure the Company’s operational and financial commitments and explore all options to maintain the Company’s enterprise value. The Company has initiated discussions with its CPA partners to further reduce flying schedules during the second half of 2015 and 2016. In light of the anticipated fleet reductions, the Company rescinded all previously issued financial and operational guidance on July 24, 2015.

On August 6, 2015, the Company received notice from the National Mediation Board scheduling the next mediated session on August 20, 2015, with the IBT National Airline Division, IBT Local 357, and the Company.

Concerning fleet news, Republic reported:

Operating aircraft at period end:

44-50 seats  *1                        41 in service on June 30, 2015 versus 45  a year ago (8.9% drop)
69-99 seats  *2                     201 in service on June 30, 2015 versus 192 a year ago  (4.7% increase)

*1 Excludes 11 owned E140 aircraft that were abandoned and four leased E140 aircraft that were permanently parked, seven owned and nine leased E145 aircraft that were temporarily parked, and one owned E135 aircraft and eight owned E145 aircraft that are leased to other operators, as of June 30, 2015. Excludes 11 owned E140 aircraft that were abandoned, 11 leased E145 aircraft and two owned E145 aircraft that were temporarily parked as of June 30, 2014.

*2 Excludes five leased Q400 aircraft, of which; three were temporarily parked and two that were transitioned to Flybe and three owned E170 aircraft that are leased to other operators, as of June 30, 2015. Excludes two temporarily parked E190 aircraft as of June 30, 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) operated by Republic Airlines (2nd) as an United Express carrier are gradually being phased out. The last of the type is expected to be removed from the United CPA contract in September 2016. However this come sooner with the on-going pilot dispute and the shortage of pilots. The company is discussing ways it can mitigate the shortage. DHC-8-402 (Q400) N336NG (msn 4336) arrives at Raleigh-Durham.

United Express-Republic aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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LAN and TAM to operate as LATAM with a new livery

LAN-TAM Tails

LAN Airlines (Santiago) and TAM Linhas Aereas (Sao Paulo) (LATAM Airlines Group) have just announced it will move towards one brand – LATAM. The makeover will involve a new livery for both airlines.

LATAM logo (LRW)

The airline announced this new look with the video above and these short statements:

TAM and LAN built a story in common and left behind a legacy. Both succeeded in their markets and opened themselves to the world, bringing developments to the whole region. For years, they were recognised for their punctuality, services, and network. This allowed us to gain our customers’ preference and to take part in their stories.

Now, we begin together a whole new chapter, which starts off with a brand that will take our best to the entire world. Our new identity represents the strength of a region that never stops moving, a pioneer and contemporary spirit, which inspires us to take Latin America to the world and to bring the world to Latin America.

The group describes the new logo above:

Our symbol adopts an ascendant form, which represents our strength, dynamics, and will to always go further. It takes shape through the harmony between different elements, since we were born exactly from the beauty of diversity.

On the colors:

Our colours, Indigo and Coral, represent our complementary and unique way of being: elegant on the outside, warm on the inside. Our secondary colours contribute to making our expression more diverse, without falling into stereotypes, and symbolising a region that is born from and that stands out for its rich diversity.

More news from our South American partner ModoCharlie:

“LATAM Airlines Group presents today LATAM, the new brand under which the main airline group in South America will progressively move on to become a single airline in the near future. Its website will be, properly named Latam.com

The announcement and its implementation plan are presented after being postponed several times since the last quarter of 2014. Such postponings fed industry expectations and helped spread rumors on what the new airline name and corporate image would be. Months ago, a semi-official statement was made public to reveal that the unified name would be a new one, thus discarding both LAN and TAM. Rumors on what the final choice would be snowballed ever since.

The announcement, which was not expected until the end of 2015 or the first quarter of 2016, does not produce many immediate effects aside of the public availability of an informational website hosted under the new airline name’s domain name, which should become in the future the transactional website for the unified airline. The first unified experiences for passengers are expected on April 2016, with the presentation of the first aircraft with the new paint schemes, names and logos.”

Read more on ModoCharlie: CLICK HERE

Later the group issued this statement:

  • The new brand represents the creation of the largest airline group in Latin America and one of the largest in the world.
  • “Connecting LATAM to the world, and bringing the world to LATAM. The airline group has grown up alongside each country in the region and has consolidated to offer clients the best network of connections and most modern fleet in Latin America. The passenger experience will improve with access to a single product and service within one network, more powerful online presence and integrated channels of communication, in addition to faster development of innovation and technology in the countries where the Group operates. LATAM will be a brand that builds a culture that is dedicated to taking care of its clients,” said Enrique Cueto , CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
  • The choice of the name LATAM, part of the consolidation of LAN and TAM, is the result of an extensive study conducted in 10 countries following the association of both airlines and their affiliates.
  • LATAM Airlines Group is currently working on the gradual roll-out of the new corporate brand image over the next three years for airports, aircraft, commercial offices, web pages, and uniforms. The first changes will be visible starting in the first half of 2016 with specific dates to be announced in a timely manner.

After an extensive integration process following the association of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines – during which the Group made great advances in achieving synergies for internal processes, network optimization, and fleet restructuring and modernization – LATAM Airlines Group has decided to adopt a single name and identity and announces that the new brand for the largest airline group in Latin America and its affiliates will be LATAM. The new LATAM branded airline group will unite all the passenger and cargo airlines for LATAM Airlines Group: LAN Airlines and its affiliates in Peru , Argentina , Colombia and Ecuador ; in addition to TAM Linhas Aereas S.A., and its subsidiary TAM Air Transport Mercosur S.A. (TAM Airlines ( Paraguay ), and the cargo carriers comprised of LAN CARGO , LAN CARGO Colombia, ABSA (TAM Cargo) and Mas Air.

The decision to create a new brand is a historic milestone in the airline industry not only because this is the first time an airline group has chosen to consolidate under a single brand, but because this is the first time a Latin America based airline group aspires to become one of the best in the world.

For that reason, the new brand will incorporate the most valued strengths and characteristics of both LAN and TAM, in addition to the important histories of both carriers, 86 and 39 years respectively, during which they became part of the history of the region by contributing to its growth, development and increased connectivity.

“Out of all of the options that we were considering, the name LATAM always seemed to us to be the most natural evolution of both the LAN and TAM brands, but a period of mutual understanding and maturation was necessary to make the decision. We knew that having a single brand was essential to consolidate the connection between LAN and TAM, and the name LATAM creates a strong identity for the airlines that form the largest airline group in Latin America. The new brand is born from the desire to capture the best of both identities and legacies and consolidate them to create an even stronger one that preserves the essence of each brand – an essence that is truly Latin American,” said Mauricio Amaro , President of the Board of Directors, LATAM Airlines Group.

“With LATAM we will continue on the path of leadership that LAN and TAM started in parallel, working closely together over the past three years to implement an ambitious agenda of innovative projects for our passengers to have a better experience with us before, during and after their flight. The passenger experience will improve with access to a single product and service within one network, more powerful online presence and integrated channels of communication, in addition to faster development of innovation and technology in the countries where the Group operates. LATAM will increase optimization of our fleet, provide easier access for passengers and clients to the best network of destinations in the region while offering a new in-flight experience, updates in service and in-flight entertainment, and innovative technology that gives passengers more control over their travel experience. Our passengers have high expectations and we want to offer them service that meets those expectations. LATAM will be a brand that builds a culture that is dedicated to taking care of its clients,” said Enrique Cueto , CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.

Cueto went on to explain in his own words the choice of the name LATAM: “LATAM Airlines Group was created by two large Latin American companies that started from zero and prospered thanks to their shared passion for flying, vision, dedication and innovation. Both companies and their respective affiliates conquered their markets and connected them with the world, promoting prosperity in the region and becoming known for their on-time performance, service and networks that won them the preference of their clients and become a part of their history. LATAM Airlines Group created a unique partnership in the industry that resulted in the largest airline group in the region. That is why we chose the name LATAM, because it honors who we were and who we want to continue to be, working together with our affiliates to be the ambassadors of a Latin America that grows and prospers, loyal to its natural and human roots – a region that never stops moving.”

The new LATAM logo

When describing the new logo, Jerome Cadier , VP of Marketing for LATAM Airlines Group said, “The logo was inspired by the identity and heritage of the region, incorporating the best of LAN and TAM. For this reason, we selected indigo and coral as the main colors for LATAM. The first represents the best of both worlds as it falls between red and blue which are the main brand colors for TAM and LAN. And the second, symbolizes energy and passion, essential attributes of the new brand. These two colors are supported by secondary colors that bring to life the diversity that is found in Latin America .”

“The implementation of rebranding in our industry is a gradual process and requires a long period of development. It will require a lot of time and effort, but as we work on the implementation of the new brand, we will continue to work in parallel to unify the in-flight experience offered by the LATAM Airlines Group airlines,” explained Cadier.

LATAM Airlines Group is currently working on the new corporate brand, a process that will take approximately three years to complete and will begin to be visible in the first half of 2016 with a gradual roll-out for airports, aircraft, commercial offices, web pages, and uniforms. Some of these change are already visible and can be observed principally in the in flight experience with new redesigned aircraft cabins, the new VIP lounges in Sao Paulo and Santiago – the largest in the region – that are open to the public and form part of the best network of lounges for frequent flyers in the region as well as digital platforms like the option to access onboard entertainment via mobile devices.

The LATAM Airlines Group carriers will be consolidated with the objective of offering unified service in alignment with the new brand. These changes will be announced to passengers and clients in a timely manner.

The Frequent Flyer Programs for LAN, TAM and its affiliates will continue making improvements to the existing programs with any changes also communicated in a timely manner.

LATAM: Consolidating Leadership in Latin America

After the association of LAN and TAM, the Group consolidated its operations in seven domestic markets in the region as well as regional networks within South America , international flights and cargo operations.

Together, both airlines have continued to operate as pioneers in the aviation industry with important achievements such as the unification of their network of passenger and cargo destinations and the renewal of their fleets, incorporating some of the most modern and efficient aircraft in the industry. LAN was the first airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 in the Americas and TAM will be the delivery client for the Americas for the Airbus A350-900 XWB.

In addition, both companies have unified the interior design of aircraft cabins and onboard service. For the past seven consecutive years, LAN and TAM have alternated between first and second place in the Skytrax World Airlines Survey “Best Airlines in South America ” award category, considered to be one of the leading authorities for levels of satisfaction for the global airline industry.

Both airlines have made investing in a sustainable operation a priority which resulted in LATAM Airlines Group becoming the first airline group in the Americas to join the Dow Jones Sustainability index in 2014.

Choosing the name LATAM

Throughout the integration process the importance of a single brand for the Group was clear. The process through which the brand was defined consisted of several stages where all possible brand scenarios were reviewed. For this process, LATAM Airlines Group hired the brand consultant Interbrand to conduct a study in 10 countries, five of them where LATAM Airlines Group has domestic passenger operations in addition to important long-haul destinations including Brazil , Chile , Peru , Argentina , Colombia, the United States , Spain , England , France and Italy. The study also incorporated input from partners and the needs of clients across the markets where the Group operates, all collected in a thorough study that resulted in the creation of the new value proposition.

Among the various options, the name LATAM always stood out as the best choice for a variety of reasons:

  • The best option to, from and within Latin America : LAN, TAM and their respective affiliates have a complimentary network and fleet which presents one of the largest advantages for consolidating under a single brand.
  • LATAM is the group of airlines with the largest presence in the region with more than 1,500 flights per day, domestic passenger operations in seven countries, more than 140 passenger destinations in 24 countries with daily flights to Europe , the United States , Australia , the Caribbean and 144 cargo destinations in 26 countries.
  • No other airline group has as powerful a presence in the region as LATAM. The LATAM brand will maintain and strengthen the leadership in connectivity to and from the region for passengers as well as cargo.
  • A single travel experience with world class standards: One of the objectives of the Group is to provide a single in-flight travel experience with a world class standard of service for passengers that reflects the best that Latin America has to offer and is identified with a single brand name.
  • Greater Efficiencies: LATAM Airlines Group is currently one of the 12 largest passenger and cargo airlines in the world. In the three years since the association of LAN and TAM important synergies have been achieved across different areas of the business and the transition to a single brand like LATAM will further facilitate the consolidation of advantages and benefits for customers, employees and shareholders and move the group towards the goal of being among the top three airlines in the world.
  • A new culture with the best of both worlds: Before the association, LAN and TAM shared a long history and several similarities in their corporate vision in addition to a great workforce. LATAM Airlines Group has a robust team of 53,000 people around the world dedicated and passionate about achieving the goal of being one of the top three airlines in the world.

LAN-TAM History: CLICK HERE

LAN Airlines (Chile) aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

TAM Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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British Airways to launch the London Gatwick – San Jose route

British Airways (London) will launch a new route connecting London (Gatwick) with San Jose, Costa Rica starting on May 4, 2016. The new route will be operated two days a week via Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-236 ER G-VIIJ (msn 27492) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Malaysia Airlines issued this statement concerning the flaperon found on Reunion Island

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) today issued this statement:

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Malaysia Airlines would like to sincerely convey our deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers onboard Flight MH370 on the news that the flaperon found on Reunion Island on July 29 was indeed from Flight MH370. This has been confirmed jointly today by the French Authorities, Bureau d’ Enquetes et d‘ Analyses pour la Securites de I’AviationCivile (BEA), the Malaysian Investigation Team, Technical Representative from PRC and Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) in Toulouse, France and subsequently announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Family members of passengers and crew have already been informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected.

This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery.

Moving forward, Malaysia Airlines’ priority will continue to provide latest updates and information to the families and will fully cooperate with the relevant authorities on the investigation and recovery of this tragic accident.

Malaysia MH 370 and MH 17 ribbon

Delta issues this statement regarding the Skymark Airlines’ creditors choice of ANA for the recovery

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued this statement about the choice of ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) to lead the recovery of bankrupt Skymark Airlines (Tokyo):

Delta logo

Creditors have chosen ANA, Japan’s largest airline, to sponsor financially troubled Skymark Airlines’ rehabilitation. Skymark is Japan’s third-largest airline.

Delta had offered to back an alternative plan, an indication of its commitment to serving the region.

Masaru Morimoto, Delta’s managing director of Japan, thanked Skymark’s creditors and business partners for their support of the Creditors’ Rehabilitation Plan. The company said while Delta will not be able to support Skymark as a sponsor airline, Delta’s desire remains for Skymark to recover as one of the three largest Japanese airlines.

“Delta’s strategy in Japan remains strong and the company will continue its ongoing focus on improving the customer experience and network offerings,” he said.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N196DN (msn 28453) approaches the runway at Narita International Airport (NRT) near Tokyo.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

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Finnair continues negotiations to sell 60% of Nordic Regional Airlines

Finnair (Helsinki) has issued this update on the on-going negotiations with Staffpoint and G.W. Sohlberg to sell a 60 percent share in its subsidiary Nordic Regional Airlines (Norra) (previously Flybe Nordic) (Helsinki). Norra operates 12 ATR 72-500s, two Embraer ERJ 170s and 12 Embraer ERJ 190s for Finnair on domestic and European routes. Here is the update:

Finnair logo

Finnair, Staffpoint Holding Ltd (Staffpoint) and G.W. Sohlberg Ltd (GWS) have previously indicated an intention to conclude a transaction whereby 60 percent of the shares in Nordic Regional Airlines AB would be transferred to the ownership of Staffpoint and GWS.

As of March 31, 2015, Finnair has owned 100 percent of the company during an interim permission by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA). Due to the negotiations being protracted and the interim permission expiring, Finnair has now filed an application with the FCCA to approve the current ownership structure.

However, negotiations on the ownership arrangements of Nordic Regional Airlines AB continue, and Finnair expects the transaction to proceed within the next few months. The delay is due to the need of the parties to assess even more thoroughly the alternative traffic models of regional flying in a constantly developing operating environment.

Nordic Regional Airlines AB owns the entire share stock in its Finnish subsidiary Nordic Regional Airlines Oy (Norra).

Nordic Regional-Norra logo (blue)(LRW)

 

Norra operates a fleet of 26 ATR and Embraer planes on Finnair’s domestic and European routes. The company previously operated under the name Flybe Finland Oy.

Norra - At your service (crew)

Above Photo: Norra.

On January 7, 2015, Finnair signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Staffpoint and GWS on a transaction whereby Staffpoint and GWS would jointly acquire from Flybe Ltd its 60 percent majority stake in Finnair’s and Flybe Ltd’s joint venture company, Nordic Regional Airlines AB.

While the negotiations continued, Finnair acquired Flybe Ltd’s stake, and Flybe Nordic was thus transferred entirely to Finnair’s ownership on March 31, 2015.

Finnair has issued stock exchange releases on the Norra transactions on November 12, 2014, January 7, 2015, January 29, 2015 and March 31, 2015.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair (Nordic Regional Airlines-Norra) Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKH (msn 19000086) prepares to land in Zurich.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Finnair-Norra aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Video: A typical turnaround flight in rural Finland.

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