Bahamasair to become a new ATR operator

Bahamasair ATR 42 and ATR 72 (ATR)(LR)

Bahamasair (Nassau), the national flag carrier of Bahamas, has placed a firm order for two ATR 72-600s and three ATR 42-600s, thus becoming a new ATR customer.

Bahamasair logo

Bahamasair’s first ATRs will be delivered before the end of 2015.

The new generation ATRs will allow Bahamasair to upgrade its fleet allowing the airline to solidify excellent passenger experience on both domestic and regional routes from the airline’s main base at Nassau. The 70-seat ATR 72-600s are the perfect solution to bolster and complement the airline’s current Boeing 737 fleet, while the 50-seat ATR 42-600s are very well adapted to connect Bahamas Islands.

Image: ATR.

Bahamasair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Synergy Aerospace Corporation signs MOU for 62 Airbus A320neo aircraft

Synergy Aerospace Corporation, Avianca’s largest shareholder and owner of Avianca Brasil (Sao Paulo), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 62 A320neo Family aircraft. The agreement paves the way for Avianca Brasil to base its fleet renewal and network growth strategy on the A320neo Family.

Synergy Aerospace logo

“These 62 A320neo aircraft will make it possible for Avianca Brasil (OceanAir Linhas Aereas) to take an important leap toward growing and modernizing its fleet, while improving passenger experience,” said German Efromovich, Chairman of Synergy.

Avianca Brasil logo

Synergy has ordered 10 A350 XWBs, six A330-200 passenger, one A330-200 Freighter and 20 A320 Family aircraft. Avianca Brasil currently operates 38 A320 Family aircraft and one A330 Freighter aircraft.

Once the order is firm, Airbus will have sold 407 A320neo aircraft to seven customers in Latin America — Avianca, Azul, Interjet, LATAM, Synergy, VivaAerobus and Volaris. With more than 950 aircraft sold and a backlog of almost 500, nearly 600 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past 10 years, Airbus has tripled its in-service fleet while delivering more than 60 percent of all aircraft operating in the region. In May, Airbus celebrated its 500th aircraft delivery in Latin America.

Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Avianca in Brazil operates the current version of the Airbus A319 and A320. Avianca (Brazil) (OceanAir Linhas Aereas) Airbus A320-214 WL PR-OCD (msn 6173) with Sharklets arrives at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) in the new 2013 Avianca delivery.

Avianca Brasil aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Atlantic Star Airlines announces prospective charter flights to the island of St. Helena

St. Helena

Atlantic Star Airlines (London), a prospective paper airline, is proposing charter flights to the island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean from London starting in March 2016. The company has issued this statement:

Atlantic Star logo

Atlantic Star, in conjunction with industry partners, will deliver direct flights from London to St. Helena shortly after airport opening.

The initial flights will be conducted as a pair, with the first round trip operating around the middle of March 2016, and the second a fortnight later in early April 2016, to coincide with the Easter holidays. By choosing this pattern of flights resident Saints will be able to enjoy a two-week stay in England, similarly visitors to St. Helena will be able to enjoy a fortnight on the island.

Total journey time, including a short refuelling stop, will be under 12 hours. UK originating travellers will be able to depart late evening and arrive in St. Helena the following morning. Return flights will leave St. Helena early morning to arrive into the UK in the evening of the same day.

Commenting on the announcement Aiden Walsh, Commercial Director of Atlantic Star, said: “We are pleased to announce that we are going ahead with our first package of charter flights allowing tourists and Saints both in the UK and on St. Helena to plan a two week vacation either on island or in the UK and Europe. We expect demand to be high for these services and we will be incentivising early bookers by offering them the best prices on each flight. We are finalising our plans at present and as soon as we have contracts in place we will announce more details. As the sole airline focusing on the needs of Saints, we are very keen to hear your views. Anyone wishing to help us provide the best service possible can complete our short survey via this link. Please fill in the survey and leave us your email details so that we can keep in touch once the flight dates and fares are announced.

Richard Brown, founder of Atlantic Star commented: “This project has been ten years in the making for us at Atlantic Star and we are looking forward to our historic first flight arrival and departure from the amazing island of St. Helena. Thank you to all those Saints and travellers interested in visiting this unique and wonderful island for the messages of interest and support that you have sent to us via email, website, Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to sharing more detail on our flights and details on how to book a seat over the coming weeks. By registering on the website you’ll be the first to know and be sure to get the best deals.”

Top Photo: Atlantic Star Airlines. The island of St. Helena, the final home of Napoleon Bonaparte. St. Helena is a tropical island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4000 km east of Rio de Janeiro. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha.

Photo: Atlantic Star Airlines.

Air France-KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair call for a new EU Aviation Strategy

European Union flag

The CEOs of Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair – met collectively for the first time today (June 17) and agreed to work together to lobby for the development of a new EU Aviation Strategy that will support growth and jobs across Europe, strengthen the sector and give Europe’s passengers lower fares and more choice.

Air France-KLM logo

The meeting took place (in Brussels) in response to the new EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc’s consultation on a new EU Aviation Strategy. The five agreed a vision for this strategy that would match the revolution in aviation that the liberalization of Europe’s airline sector created a generation ago, through the creation of the internal aviation market.

easyJet (UK) 2015 logo

The five airlines identified four measures that would support the Commission‘s objectives of enhancing the competitiveness of the European air transport industry both at European and international level, supporting growth and jobs across Europe and which would help consumers through the provision of more flights and lower fares.
These measures are:

The development of an EU Aviation strategy with a plan for a simple efficient regulatory structure, which would strengthen the competitiveness of European airlines, ensure jobs and growth through innovation (e.g. Horizon 2020), protect consumer interests and promote more efficiency to reduce costs.

Lowering the cost of the EU’s airports by ensuring that monopoly airports are effectively regulated; ensuring that passengers receive the full benefit of the commercial revenues which they create at airports; and that security charges are efficient. This could be achieved by reforming the Airport Charges Directive.

Delivering reliable and efficient airspace by reducing the cost of ATC provision; ensuring that ATC strikes do not cause disruption to passengers across Europe; resetting the Single European Sky strategy by focusing on using new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework.
Stimulating more economic activity and jobs by creating the right regulatory environment, removing passenger taxes and unreasonable environmental taxes.

IAG logo

The five CEOs – Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, Willie Walsh, Carsten Spohr and Michael O’Leary – outlined their vision:

“Europe’s airlines form the most competitive sector in aviation with a diverse mix of carriers offering competition and choice to consumers.This is the first time we have set aside our competitive battles to highlight the importance of a new European Aviation Strategy.

The liberalization of aviation in Europe in the 1990’s, creating a fully liberalized single market with a comprehensive common regulatory framework 18 years ago, strongly enhanced competition across Europe.As a result, consumers have benefited with substantially lower fares and more routes across Europe and to the rest of the world. At the same time, EU airlines have maintained leading safety standards. The range and quality of services have increased and airline costs have fallen by 1 – 2% per year for the last two decades.

Lufthansa Group logo

We believe that this decline should now be matched by a reduction in those costs which airlines do not control themselves. “As the new Transport Commissioner prepares a new Aviation Strategy for Europe she must drive more competition, encourage more efficiency and help reduce costs in other parts of our industry (such as monopoly airports and Air Traffic Control providers) and reduce the tax burden on passengers.”

Aviation is a proven driver of economic growth and jobs. The proposed measures will create many hundreds of thousands of jobs – particularly for young people, at a time of high youth unemployment in countries such as Italy or Spain – and increase Europe’s GDP. The group will write to the EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc asking for these measures to be put in place.

Ryanair logo-3

Alongside the proposed policy positions the five CEO’s confirmed their support for several key principles and action items which should underpin EU aviation policy. The most important of these is the commitment to safety and ensuring that safety standards are developed based on a risk based scientific assessment.

The CEOs confirmed their support for the liberalization of the whole aviation value chain and for pro-competition policy and regulation within the EU. They also confirmed their opposition to the provision of State-aid, as a general principle, to airlines and airports. They agreed that EU and national regulation and policies should support the efficient delivery of services, and that this includes the need for efficient operations to minimise the environmental impact of aviation. The importance of balanced consumer rights was also underlined; EU and national policies need to ensure that consumer rights are respected.

The CEOs agreed to work together to encourage the Commission and EU member states to take up the proposed measures. The five airlines agreed that airline representation in Brussels today is not as effective as it could be – with six airline representative organisations – and agreed to explore possible forms of future representation.

The five airlines between them carried a total of 420 million passengers in 2014, accounting for half of the passenger journeys in Europe.

FedEx Corporation fourth quarter earnings miss Wall Street estimates

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) today (June 17) reported reported a fiscal fourth quarter net profit of $753 million or $2.66 per share, unchanged from $753 million or $2.54 per share for the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts on Wall Street had expected the company to report quarterly adjusted earnings per share of $2.68 per share with revenue of $12.31 billion, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters and CNBC.

Without adjustments, FedEx reported a loss of $3.16 per diluted share ($895 million) for the fourth quarter compared to a profit of $2.62 per diluted share a year ago, and earnings of $3.65 per diluted share for the full fiscal year, compared to $7.48 per diluted share last year.

For the year, the company reported a net profit of $1.05 billion, or $3.65 per share. Revenue was reported as $47.45 billion.

Here is the report by the company:

FedEx Corporation logo

FedEx Corporation reported adjusted earnings of $2.66 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31, compared to adjusted earnings of $2.54 per diluted share a year ago. For fiscal 2015, adjusted earnings were $8.95 per diluted share, compared to $7.05 per diluted share a year ago. Without adjustments, FedEx reported a loss of $3.16 per diluted share for the fourth quarter compared to a profit of $2.62 per diluted share a year ago, and earnings of $3.65 per diluted share for the full fiscal year, compared to $7.48 per diluted share last year.

FedEx 4Q and F2015 Results

Quarterly consolidated earnings have been adjusted for previously announced changes in pension accounting ($4.88 per diluted share), aircraft impairments ($0.62 per diluted share), a legal reserve increase ($0.47 per diluted share) and changes in segment reporting (favorable $0.15 per diluted share).

“Fiscal 2015 was a transformative year for FedEx with outstanding financial results driving expanded long-term value for shareowners,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Significant acquisitions announced in the year promise to strengthen our portfolio of services and change what’s possible for customers. I am very proud of the FedEx team for its accomplishments and look forward to a successful fiscal 2016.”

Adjusted operating income improved 5% during the quarter, due to base yield growth in all three transportation segments, higher ground and U.S. domestic express volume, and benefits from profit improvement program initiatives. These improvements offset increased employee variable incentive compensation and unfavorable net impacts from fuel and weather.

Outlook

For fiscal 2016, FedEx projects adjusted earnings to be $10.60 to $11.10 per diluted share before year-end mark-to-market pension accounting adjustments, driven by continued improvement in base pricing and benefits from our profit improvement program. The outlook assumes continued moderate economic growth and does not include any operating results or costs related to TNT Express.

Capital spending for fiscal 2016 is expected to be approximately $4.6 billion, which includes expansion of the FedEx Ground network and planned aircraft deliveries to support the FedEx Express fleet modernization program.

“Our operating performance significantly improved in fiscal 2015 as we focused on revenue quality and executed on our profit improvement program initiatives,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We expect strong earnings growth in fiscal 2016 as we continue to focus on improving performance and successfully executing our profit improvement initiatives.”

FedEx Express Segment

During the fourth quarter, FedEx Express permanently retired 15 aircraft and 21 related engines, and adjusted the retirement schedule of an additional 23 aircraft and 57 engines. These actions resulted in $276 million of impairment and related charges, of which $246 million was noncash. These charges are excluded from this year’s adjusted operating income and margin.

Revenue decreased 4% as lower fuel surcharges and unfavorable currency exchange rates more than offset base yield and volume growth. U.S. domestic package volume grew 2%, driven by a 3% increase in overnight box. U.S. domestic revenue per package declined 4%, with lower fuel surcharges offsetting improved base rates. International export volume was down 1%, as FedEx International Economy grew 3% while FedEx International Priority® declined 2%. International export revenue per package decreased 8%, as lower fuel surcharges and unfavorable currency exchange rates more than offset higher base rates.

Adjusted segment operating results improved due to higher base yield and U.S. domestic volume growth, the benefit from profit improvement program initiatives and lower international expenses due to currency exchange rates. These benefits were partially offset by an unfavorable net fuel impact, higher incentive compensation and a negative impact from weather.

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. As previously reported, FedEx is permanently retiring early 15 aircraft, including three Airbus A300s, four Airbus A310-300s, one McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10 and seven McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs. Updated McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10F (DC-10-10F) N385FE (msn 46619) is pictured in action at JFK International Airport in New York.

FedEx Express aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Each photo carefully selected

 

EFW, ST Aerospace and Airbus to launch A320/A321P2F freighter conversion program

EFW A320P2F and EFW A321P2F (Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has signed an agreement with ST Aerospace (Singapore) to offer passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion solutions for its A320 / A321 aircraft.

Airbus logo (large)

The agreement was signed today (June 17) at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport by Harald Wilhelm, Chief Financial Officer of Airbus Group and Airbus, Serh Ghee Lim, President of ST Aerospace, Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW and Tom Williams, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

Airbus foresees a significant market demand of more than 600 aircraft over the next 20 years for P2F aircraft conversions in the small freighter segment. The A320P2F, with eleven main-deck container positions, will be capable of carrying 21 metric tons of payload over 2,100 nm, while the A321P2F with 14 main-deck positions will be able to carry up to 27 tons over 1,900 nm.

The first converted A321P2F will be delivered in 2018.

EADS-EFW logo

The A320/A321 P2F converted aircraft will be marketed and managed by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) (Dresden). Airbus currently holds a majority stake at the freighter conversion specialist together with its partner and co-owner, ST Aerospace.

EFW logo

In order to implement the new business line for A320 / A321 P2F aircraft, ST Aerospace will provide its specially developed conversion technology and will obtain another 20 percent of EFW’s shares, thus increasing its stake in EFW to 55 percent. Subsequently, Airbus Group will become a minority partner in EFW, reducing its shareholding to 45 percent.

The management team in Dresden will continue to be headed by President and CEO Andreas Sperl and will ensure sustainable growth of the Airbus P2F freighter family while strengthening EFW´s position as a global Airbus conversions supplier. In addition, the operation will secure value-adding jobs in the Dresden region.

Together with the larger A330F and A330P2F, the A320P2F and A321P2F will further complement the Airbus Freighter Family concept. Airlines will thus benefit from the flight-crew and operational commonality through Cross-Crew-Qualification and Mixed-Fleet-Flying across their Airbus freighter and passenger operations, leveraging on same cockpit and systems philosophies.

Image: Airbus.