Why is David Neeleman buying a controlling share of problem-plagued TAP Portugal?

David Neeleman, the airline entrepreneur who was involved with running Morris Air (Salt Lake City) with June Morris before he founded NewAir (later JetBlue Airways) (New York) and later Azul Brazilian Airlines (Sao Paulo), has struck out again with a new airline venture. This time he is not creating something new but buying into something old.

TAP Portugal logo-1

 

Neeleman lead an investment group which has been selected by the state of Portugal to acquire their controlling share in troubled flag carrier TAP Portugal (Lisbon) for €348 million ($391 million), outbidding investor German Efromovich. Besides running Azul, he will now be running trouble-plagued TAP Portugal. His group will control 61 percent of the stock of TAP Portugal. Neeleman’s group will upgrade the carrier with new aircraft (probably new Embraers for the European routes).

TAP Portugal is also likely to receive a new makeover with the new ownership group, possibly with a new blue theme.

Read the full report from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Portugal is the mother country of Brazil. The ties are strong. Both countries speak the same language and the traffic patterns are strong between Brazil and Portugal. The Azul-TAP alliance will now compete against TAM and the LATAM Airlines Group which wants to increase the number of flights between Brazil and Europe. The battle lines are being drawn in Brazil.

For Neeleman, his Brazilian roots are deep. According to Wikipedia, Neeleman was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but raised in Miami. He lived in Brazil until he was five. He later attended Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and attended the University of Utah for three years before dropping out. He served on a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) in the Northeast Region of Brazil.

JetBlue logo-2

 

After starting JetBlue Airways, CEO David Neeleman on May 10, 2007 was forced out and replaced by David Barger.

Neeleman headed south, back to his original roots. On March 27, 2008 Neeleman officially announced plans to launch a new airline, Azul (Portuguese for “blue”). Azul is now Brazil’s third largest airline and it is expanding internationally.

Azul logo

Also according to Wikipedia, Neeleman lives with his family in New Canaan, Connecticut, United States. He is the father of nine children. In 2000, he disclosed to CNBC that he has adult attention-deficit disorder (see the video above).

When Azul expanded to the United States it picked two cities that are big on the JetBlue Airways route map – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando, Florida. The ties between Azul and Neeleman’s old JetBlue Airways remain strong.

JetBlue has considered larger aircraft and longer-range routes to Latin America in the past. In essence, Azul is now filling this void (at least to Brazil) with its newly-acquired Airbus A330s.

It is very likely that Neeleman has much bigger plans in mind. The synergy between Brazil (and Latin America), North America and Europe are strong. For Neeleman, he now has the European piece in place once he solves the problems plaguing the flag carrier of Portugal. He also has remaining ties to the North American airline he founded – JetBlue Airways. Are the three the future base of a much larger airline alliance?

For JetBlue, their strategy is to make airline friends with any international carrier that has the potential of code sharing at their point of entry into the United States. They have successfully carved out a niche feeding international airlines especially at New York (JFK), Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. This strategy has recently put them at odds with the “Big Three” (American, Delta and United) over the on-going Open Skies dispute with the “Gulf Big Three” (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar). Due to their stance, their ties with the Gulf Big Three are likely to expand. Will Qatar Airways leave the oneworld alliance for JetBlue?

There is a lot of potential for a future Azul-TAP Portugal-JetBlue alliance although JetBlue is unlikely to do anything that would upset any relationship it has.

For David Neeleman, this is only the beginning.

Video: GE Capital. David Neeleman on Leadership and Innovation.

 

 

LAN Peru and TAM Airlines add new routes from Orlando

The LATAM Airlines Group (Santiago) issued this statement:

LATAM Airlines Group logo

Committed to strengthening connectivity internationally and connecting the U.S. to South America, LATAM Airlines Group affiliate LAN Peru and TAM Airlines are inaugurating brand new routes from Orlando International Airport (MCO) this month to Brazil and Peru, respectively.

TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo) is kicking off a new service to Brasilia International Airport from Orlando International Airport today ( June 12, 2015). TAM also currently serves Sao Paulo from Orlando with 14 weekly flights.

Additionally, LAN Peru will offer the first-ever daily nonstop flights between Orlando International Airport and Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru, starting on June 20, 2015.

 

TAM Airlines: Orlando to Brasilia

Brasilia serves as a hub for TAM’s domestic operations. This increase in international flights to Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, directly benefits passengers departing from the U.S., providing convenient access to over 40 Brazilian destinations, specifically connecting the U.S. to Northern Brazil.

The new route will fly daily from Orlando (flight JJ8049) at 10:30 p.m. (local time) and arrive in Brasília at 7:19 a.m. the following day (local time). The return flight will depart daily from Brasília (flight JJ8048) at 11:22 a.m. (local time) and arrive in Orlando at 6:30 p.m. (local time).

TAM Airlines will operate the route from MCO using Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft (above). The aircraft is configured with 191 seats in Economy class and 30 in Premium Business class, featuring seats that recline up to 180 degrees full flat.

 

LAN Airlines (LAN Peru): Orlando to Lima Route

Orlando is LAN Airlines’ fourth gateway in the U.S., joining New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Earlier this year, LAN Peru added two additional flights per week from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Lima. The airline expects to transport more than 80,000 passengers each year from South America to Orlando via Lima.

LAN Peru will operate the route on an Airbus A319 aircraft, which seats 126 passengers in Economy class.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. TAM Linhas Aereas (TAM Airlines) Boeing 767-316 ER PT-MOA (msn 41995)  (the former LAN Airlines CC-BDN) arrives at Miami International Airport.

TAM aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

ANA inaugurates the Houston – Tokyo Narita route

ANA – All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) today launched its new Houston (Bush Intercontinental) route to Tokyo (Narita). The airport issued this statement:

ANA Inspiration of Japan logo

Following a ribbon cutting and sake ceremony, the inaugural flight of All Nippon Airway’s (ANA) newest route bound for Tokyo Narita Airport, departed Houston George Bush International Airport this morning (June 12) – underscoring the global importance of the city of Houston.

A member of the Star Alliance and joint venture partner with United Airlines, ANA expanded its nonstop service to Houston, providing passengers with additional daily flights between Houston and Tokyo. Star Alliance members can now choose a morning or afternoon departure in each direction, providing greater flexibility for travelers, especially those taking advantage of ANA’s expanded service to other Asian and American destinations beyond Houston or Tokyo.

The Boeing 777-300 ER used for today’s flight was welcomed to the gate with an official water turret salute. The 250-seat passenger plane includes eight first class and 52 business class seats to accommodate travelers.

Today’s ceremony began with a Taiko Japanese drum performance by local group, Kaminari Taiko. Diaz and Shinobe each addressed the attendees, and they were joined by additional remarks from Jim Compton, United Airlines Vice Chairman and Chief Revenue Officer, and the Honorable Nozomu Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan in Houston and Bob Pertierra, SVP and Chief Economic Development Officer, Greater Houston Partnership. Also in attendance from the office of the Governor of Texas was Oliver Yang, there to present Shinobe with a proclamation. In a gift exchange honoring Texas and Japanese culture, Diaz presented Shinobe with a Stetson cowboy hat and Shinobe reciprocated with an ANA Boeing 777 model plane.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA778A (msn 32651) arrives at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).

ANA aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Cathay Pacific adds three additional weekly nonstop flights to and from San Francisco

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) this week added three weekly nonstop flight from San Francisco International Airport to Hong Kong, bringing the total number of nonstop weekly flights from San Francisco to 17. San Francisco was the airline’s first destination for nonstop service to the USA which launched on July 1, 1986 (below) (Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways).

Cathay Pacific SFO Inaugural 7.1.86

Cathay Pacific 2014 logo

 

The added frequencies from San Francisco arrive on the heels of Cathay Pacific’s new four-times-weekly service from Boston to Hong Kong, which launched on May 3, 2015.

Flight CX893 from San Francisco to Hong Kong departs every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1:30 am, arriving in Hong Kong the following day at 6:40 am. This early morning arrival was strategically coordinated to allow passengers to connect with every Cathay Pacific flight across Asia – including Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and over 22 gateways in mainland China – without a lengthy layover in Hong Kong. The return flight, CX892, will depart Hong Kong at 6:45 pm (local time) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in San Francisco at 4:30 pm (same day).

 

All of Cathay Pacific’s 17 flights from San Francisco are operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. Flight CX893 offers a three-class cabin configuration on Wednesdays and Fridays: the award-winning Business Class, the newest cabin, Premium Economy, and the new long-haul Economy Class; Sunday departures also include First Class for a four-cabin configuration.

Details of the new flights are included in the schedule below (all times local):

Cathay Pacific HKG-SFO Schedule

Copyright Photo above: AirlinersGallery.com. Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPY (msn 37899) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Cathay Pacific aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

 

Myanmar National Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-800, painted in a new livery

Myanmar National Airlines (formerly Myanma Airways) (Yangon) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) yesterday (June 11) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Next-Generation 737-800 leased from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing arm of GE. The celebration also marked the first all-new Boeing airplane to be delivered to any Myanmar-based airline.

The airplane is the first to feature Myanmar National Airlines’ new livery and interior, and the airline plans to expand its network outside Myanmar with the introduction of its 737.

“Our new 737 will allow us to expand our network to international markets and offer an even better experience for our passengers,” said Myanmar National Airlines CEO Than Tun. “Investing in new technology aircraft such as the 737 will ensure Myanmar National Airlines continues to be the pride of the country and positions us for future success.”

Myanmar National logo

Myanmar National Airlines, previously Myanma Airways (below), has the most extensive route network within Myanmar, serving more than 25 domestic locations, and is headquartered in Yangon.

Copyright Photo above: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Myanma Airways Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW XY-AGP (msn 19000154) taxies at Yangon.

 

Founded in 1948 as Union of Burma Airways (below), the flag carrier is also one of Asia’s pioneering airlines.

Copyright Photo above: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Union of Burma Airways Boeing 727-193 XY-ADR (msn 19620) is pictured at Hong Kong.

Top Photo: Boeing. The formal ceremonies of the handover of Myanmar National Airlines new Boeing 737-86N XY-ALB (msn 43405) at Seattle’s Boeing Field via GECAS.

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Boeing predicts demand of 38,050 new airplanes over the next 20 years

Boeing CMO 2015 Infographic

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) projects a demand for 38,050 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year’s forecast. Boeing released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO) today, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at $5.6 trillion.

The manufacturer continues in its report:

Boeing logo (medium)

By the end of the forecast period, the commercial airplane fleet will double, from 21,600 airplanes in 2014 to 43,560 airplanes in 2034. Fifty-eight percent of the 38,050 airplanes delivered over that time will be to accommodate growth.

Passenger traffic will continue to grow at about a 4.9 percent annual pace, near the historic trend line of 5 percent. More than 7 billion passengers will fly by the end of the forecast period. Cargo traffic will grow at about 4.7 percent per year.

The single-aisle market continues to be the fastest-growing, largest overall segment, requiring 26,730 airplanes over the coming two decades. These aircraft are the foundation of the world’s airline fleet, carrying up to 75 percent of passengers on more than 70 percent of the world’s commercial aviation routes. This sector is fueled by growth in low-cost carriers and airlines in developing and emerging markets.

About 35 percent of the single-aisle market will go to low-cost carriers, Tinseth noted. “Low-cost carriers will require airplanes that combine the best economics with the most revenue potential. With 20 percent lower fuel use, the 737 MAX 200 will be the ideal machine for them.”

Boeing forecasts that the widebody segment will require 8,830 new airplanes, led by small widebody airplanes in the 200- to 300-seat range such as the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner. This year’s forecast reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787 and new 777X.

While airline growth still accounts for the majority of new demand, a large and growing number of aging aircraft will require replacement. About 2 to 3 percent of the installed fleet will require replacement each year.

The air cargo market continues to strengthen, and will drive demand of some 920 new airplanes over the 20-year forecast.

Boeing Forecast 1 Graph

The Asia market, including China, will continue to lead the way in total airplane deliveries over the next two decades.

Boeing Forecast 2 Graph

Top Graphic: Boeing.

JetBlue adds Grenada to its growing Caribbean network

JetBlue Airways (New York) today (June 11) launched twice-weekly service to its newest destination, Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The airline now offers up to 152 daily flights from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean, of which up to 61 daily flights are nonstop from New York JFK and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). With 28 routes from the two airports to the region, there are additional routes from a number of other cities, including Boston, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.

Grenada marks JetBlue’s 90th destination. The twice-weekly service from JFK to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) operates on Thursdays and Sundays with its Airbus A320 aircraft.

JetBlue continues to grow its footprint in Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline recently announced plans to serve Antigua, Mexico City and Quito, and to offer its successful Mint experience from New York to Aruba and Barbados on Saturdays between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, and daily between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016.

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N613JB (msn 2449), now with the new Tartan tail, is pictured at the New York (JFK) hub.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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