First Look: Rolled out today at Dublin – a BOAC Boeing 747-400

"British Airways 100 1919 - 2019", rolled out at Dublin on February 18, 2019

Copyright Photo: BOAC (British Airways) Boeing 747-436 G-BYGC (msn 25823) (British Airways 100 1919-2019) DUB (Greenwing). Image: 945722.

As previously reported, as part of its 100-year birthday, British Airways previously announced it will be painting a Boeing 747-400 in the much-admired design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

The livery from the 1964 – 1974 BOAC era now adorns this Boeing 747-400, registration G-BYGC.

The aircraft will leave the paint shop in Dublin and arrive in to Heathrow on February 18, before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier.

The BOAC 747 will be the first aircraft to receive a popular design from British Airways’ past with more details of further designs to be revealed in due course. Aircraft which receive the retro liveries will fly British Airways’ routes, proudly showcasing some of the popular designs as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations.

All new aircraft entering the fleet, including the Airbus A350, will continue to receive today’s popular Chatham Dockyard design.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “So many British Airways customers and colleagues have fond memories of our previous liveries, regularly sharing their photos from across the globe, so it’s incredibly exciting to be re-introducing this classic BOAC design.

“Our history has shaped who we are today, so our centenary is the perfect moment to revisit our heritage and the UK’s aviation landscape through this iconic livery.”

The 747 has been deliberately chosen for the BOAC livery as it is a later variant of the same aircraft type that adorned the design when it was initially in operation.

The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747-400 until it retires in 2023. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers.

A potted history of BA:

  • On August 25, 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.
  • In 1924, Britain’s four main fledgling airlines, which had by then evolved into Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways (a successor to AT&T), and British Air Marine Navigation Company Limited, merged to form Imperial Airways Limited.
  • By 1925, Imperial Airways was providing services to Paris, Brussels, Basle, Cologne and Zurich.  Meanwhile, a number of smaller UK air transport companies had started flights and in 1935, they merged to form the original privately-owned British Airways Limited, which became Imperial Airways’ principal UK competitor on European routes.
  • Following a Government review, Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalised in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways (BEA) from 1946. BOAC introduced services to New York in 1946, Japan in 1948, Chicago in 1954 and the west coast of the United States in 1957. BEA developed a domestic network to various points in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
  • From 1946 until 1960, BOAC and BEA were the principal British operators of scheduled international passenger and cargo services – and they preserved Britain’s pioneering role in the industry. The 1950s saw the world enter the passenger jet era – led by BOAC, with the Comet flying to Johannesburg in 1952, halving the previous flight time.
  • Additional airlines began to pass into BEA’s ownership and in 1967, the Government recommended a holding board be responsible for BOAC and BEA, with the establishment of a second force airline, resulting in British Caledonian being born in 1970.
  • Two years later, the businesses of BOAC and BEA were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.
  • In July 1979, the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Airways and in February 1987 British Airways was privatised.

 

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flybmi ceases operations and files for administration

 

British Midland Regional Limited, the East Midlands-based airline which operates as flybmi, has announced on February 16, 2019 that it has ceased operations and is filing for administration.

Flybmi operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities.

All flights have been cancelled with effect from today. Customers who booked directly with flybmi should contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place. Customers who have booked flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of flybmi’s codeshare partner airlines are recommended to contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

A spokesperson for flybmi said:

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today. The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit. Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe. Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years. We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.

“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years.”

Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

Notes:

  1. Flights operated by flybmi served Aberdeen, Bristol, Brno, City of Derry, Dusseldorf, East Midlands, Esbjerg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Jonkoping, Karlstad, London Stansted, Lublin, Milan Bergamo, Munich, Newcastle, Norrkoping, Nuremburg, Oslo, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rostock/Laage, Saarbrucken and Stavanger.
  2. The airline carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018.
  3. Customers with bookings should contact their bank or payment card issuer to initiate the process of obtaining a refund. If Customers have booked through Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines or another airline or code partner or a booking agent Customers should contact them directly. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to understand if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.
  4. Flybmi flights operated under codeshare agreements with code partners Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.

Below Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): BMI Regional Embraer ERJ 145EP G-RJXA (msn 145136) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 945714.

Flybmi aircraft slide show:

BMI Regional Embraer ERJ 145EP G-RJXA (msn 145136) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 945714.

Boeing celebrates 50 years of flight for the 747 with photos

Boeing published this story to celebrate 50 years of Boeing 747 flying:

Every day millions of people fly, it is an accepted way of life – but that has not always been the case. From the early days of commercial aviation, flying was limited to business travelers and those with the means to purchase the very expensive tickets.

Destinations were also limited requiring a number of connections to fly between major cities. In 1969, that all changed as an incredible invention was revealed to the world. On Feb. 9, 1969, the Boeing 747, called the “Super Jet,” and dubbed the “Jumbo Jet” by the press took to the skies for the first time. To those whom have loved the plane through the years she is the “Queen of the Skies.”

Innovation

The 747 quickly became the icon of commercial aviation. The 747 was postage stamp famous, an icon of pop culture, the backdrop of movies and television, and it even carried the Space Shuttle. The airplane introduced a number of technological and aviation firsts, the greatest being the invention of the twin aisle wide body design. It also marked the first commercial use of the high bypass turbofan engine.

Under the command of chief designer Joe Sutter, the 747’s design was based in safety. Boeing introduced quadruple hydraulic systems, redundant structures and four main landing gear (the plane is able to operate on two), Boeing also reinvented pilot training, moving away from strictly procedural training to behavioral training.

It did not take long for the 747 to have a giant impact on air travel. It was the must-have flagship for the world’s airlines and attracted passengers with its luxury and passenger appeal.

Boeing video (click):

http://players.brightcove.net/800000612001/a7975ab0-d4c3-4514-a6c3-d7bfff0667c5_default/index.html?videoId=5999714761001

Customers

What has made the 747 extraordinary aside from its distinguishing hump and its Hollywood status,has been the customers who have helped the 747 fleet log more than 57 billion nautical miles (121.5 billion kilometers) which are equal to more than 137,000 trips from the Earth to the moon and back! It is through partnerships with our customers that air travel became a possibility for much of the world. 747s, have flown more than 5.9 billion people – the equivalent of 78 percent of the world’s population.

And as the 747’s role continues, it provides a service that the original designers foresaw and optimized the 747 to perform as the world’s finest freighter – a testament to an airplane that was built to last.

Boeing 747-100 customers

Boeing 747-200 customers

Boeing 747-300 customers

Boeing 747-400 customers

Boeing 747-800 customers

Boeing 747SP customers

Moments

“Over the last 50 years, the 747 has become legendary, today it is a bridge to a romantic era of flight, an era that we should continue to aspire to resurrect.

But more than that the 747 is a reminder of the power of the human spirit and what we can accomplish with our hearts, minds and hard work. It reminds us that even though we may lose hope in a world that seems filled with strife, we can turn our eyes to the skies and see those great contrails of the Queen of the Skies crossing the heavens and know that we can still overcome great adversity and accomplish incredible things.” – Mike Lombardi, Boeing Historian

Historical Snapshot

747 Commercial Transport/YAL-1

The 747 was the result of the work of some 50,000 Boeing people. Called “the Incredibles,” these were the construction workers, mechanics, engineers, secretaries and administrators who made aviation history by building the 747 — the largest civilian airplane in the world — in less than 16 months during the late 1960s.

The incentive for creating the giant 747 came from reductions in airfares, a surge in air-passenger traffic and increasingly crowded skies. Following the loss of the competition for a gigantic military transport, the C-5A, Boeing set out to develop a large advanced commercial airplane to take advantage of the high-bypass engine technology developed for the C-5A. The design philosophy behind the 747 was to develop a completely new plane, and other than the engines, the designers purposefully avoided using any hardware developed for the C-5.

The 747’s final design was offered in three configurations: all passenger, all cargo and a convertible passenger/freighter model. The freighter and convertible models loaded 8- by 8-foot (2.4- by 2.4-meter) cargo containers through the huge hinged nose.

The 747 was truly monumental in size. The massive airplane required construction of the 200 million-cubic-foot (5.6 million-cubic-meter) 747 assembly plant in Everett, Wash., the world’s largest building (by volume). The fuselage of the original 747 was 225 feet (68.5 meters) long; the tail as tall as a six-story building. Pressurized, it carried a ton of air. The cargo hold had room for 3,400 pieces of baggage and could be unloaded in seven minutes. The total wing area was larger than a basketball court. Yet, the entire global navigation system weighed less than a modern laptop computer.

Pilots prepared for the 747 at Boeing training school. The experience of taxiing such a large plane was acquired in a contraption called “Waddell’s Wagon,” named after Jack Waddell, the company’s chief test pilot. The pilot sat in a mockup of the 747 flight deck built atop three-story-high stilts on a moving truck. The pilot learned how to maneuver from such a height by directing the truck driver below him by radio.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration later modified two 747-100s into Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The next version, the 747-200, holds approximately 440 passengers and has a range of about 5,600 nautical miles (10,371 kilometers). In 1990, two 747-200Bs were modified to serve as Air Force One and replaced the VC-137s (707s) that served as the presidential airplane for nearly 30 years. The 747-300 has an extended upper deck and carries even more passengers than the -200.

The 747-400 rolled out in 1988. Its wingspan is 212 feet (64 meters), and it has 6-foot-high (1.8-meter-high) “winglets” on the wingtips. The 747-400 also is produced as a freighter, as a combination freighter and passenger model, and as a special domestic version, without the winglets, for shorter range flights.

In August 1999, major assembly began on a militarized 747-400 Freighter to be used as a platform for the U.S. Air Force’s Airborne Laser (ABL) program. It rolled out on Oct. 27, 2006, and was eventually designated YAL-1. Boeing was the prime contractor for ABL, which was designed to provide a speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight. Boeing provided the modified aircraft and the battle management system and is the overall systems integrator. ABL partners were Northrop Grumman, which supplied the chemical oxygen iodine, or COIL, high-energy laser associated lasers, and Lockheed Martin, which provided the nose-mounted turret in addition to the beam control/fire control system. On Feb. 11, 2010, the flying test bed destroyed a ballistic missile off the coast of Southern California. The program was canceled in 2011, and in 2012, YAL-1 was flown to the U.S. Air Force “bone yard” near Pima, Ariz., to be scrapped.

Another variant is the Dreamlifter — a specially modified 747-400 — that transports the large composite structures, including huge fuselage sections of the 787 Dreamliner, from partners around the world to Everett, Wash., and Charleston, S.C., for final assembly. The massive cargo is loaded and unloaded from a hinged rear fuselage. The last of the series four was delivered Feb. 16, 2010.

The longer range 747-400 airplanes (also known as 747-400ERs) were launched in late 2000. The 747-400ER (Extended Range) family is available in both passenger and freighter versions. The airplanes are the same size as current 747-400s and have a range of 7,670 nautical miles (14,205 kilometers) as opposed to the 747-400 range of 7,260 nautical miles (13,450 kilometers). It incorporates the strengthened -400 Freighter wing, strengthened body and landing gear, and an auxiliary fuel tank in the forward cargo hold, with an option for a second tank. When the 747-400ER’s full-range capability is not needed, operators can remove the tank (or tanks), freeing up additional space for cargo.

In November 2005, Boeing launched the 747-8 family — the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane and the 747-8 Freighter. These airplanes incorporate innovative technologies from the 787 Dreamliner. In fact, the designation 747-8 was chosen to show the technology connection between the 787 Dreamliner and the new 747-8, including the General Electric GEnx-2B engines, raked wingtips and other improvements that allow for a 30 percent smaller noise footprint, 15 percent reduction in-service carbon emissions, better performance retention, lower weight, less fuel consumption, fewer parts and less maintenance.

The 747-8 Freighter first flew on Feb. 8, 2010. The airplane is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 meters) long, which is 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 meters) longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared with its predecessor. That translates to an additional four main-deck pallets and three lower hold pallets.

The passenger version, the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, serves the 400- to 500-seat market and took its first flight on March 20, 2011. The cabin’s sculpted ceilings, bigger overhead and side stowbins, a redesigned staircase and dynamic LED lighting all add to an overall more comfortable passenger experience. With 51 additional seats and 26 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400, Boeing delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental to an undisclosed Boeing Business Jet customer on Feb. 28, 2012. Launch customer Lufthansa took delivery of the first airline Intercontinental April 25, 2012.

On June 28, 2014, Boeing delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Frankfurt, Germany-based Lufthansa. The 747 is the first wide-body airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone.

All photos by Boeing.

Videos:

 

Delta pays its employees $1.3 billion in profit sharing

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

  • Delta is paying employees $1.3 billion, the airline’s second largest profit sharing pool in history.
  • To fuel Delta’s commitment to communities and celebrate five years of paying out over $1 billion, the airline is introducing a paid day of service for all 80,000 employees to volunteer.
  • Delta is named one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For in recognition of its incomparable culture and programs like one of the world’s best profit sharing plans.

Delta Air Lines is celebrating the achievements of its more than 80,000 employees across the globe by paying out over $1 bi​llion in profit sharing, the fifth consecutive payout at this level for a combined total of more than $6 billion. This means that each eligible employee will receive a bonus equal to 14 percent of their annual pay, creating the second largest profit sharing pool in Delta history.

“The Delta team continues to deliver outstanding results in 2018, with unmatched reliability and customer service,” said Delta’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian. “Giving back has always been a part of our culture so, to celebrate, we are investing both in the Delta people who continue to carry our airline to new heights and in the communities where they live, work and serve.”

As part of the profit sharing celebration, Delta is redoubling its commitment to communities worldwide by investing further in Delta people and the charitable organizations they care about. Staring April 1, Delta employees will be paid when they volunteer with a 501(c)(3) or international nonprofit organization of their choice. The program is expected to put up to 640,000 additional hours of service into communities on top of the thousands of hours of time Delta employees already give.

“When customers choose Delta, they are making a difference in communities around the world,” said Bastian. “Our employees are already giving their time and talents to serve their neighbors. We know that in moments of service, they are truly at their best. That’s why we’re going to pay them to spend more time giving back.”

This announcement furthers Delta’s community ‘profit sharing’ program, introduced in 2016, in which the airline committed to give one percent of its net profits to key charitable organizations. In 2018, this commitment resulted in over $50 million in community giving.

The world can follow along with Delta employees’ global “give back” footprint as they share their days of service on TheGreatDeltaGiveBack.com.

Delta Air Lines’ commitment to social responsibility

Delta Air Lines is working to connect the world and that starts by making a difference in the communities where Delta people live, work and serve. When customers choose Delta, they make a difference in communities around the world. Last year, Delta and The Delta Air Lines Foundation contributed over $50 million through the airline’s commitment to give one percent of its income to key charitable organizations. Delta people actively volunteer their time and talents, an effort that will only be amplified by Delta’s February 2019 commitment to pay employees to spend a day giving back to a host of causes across the globe, with key focus areas including health and wellness, education, military and veterans, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion.

Delta Profit Sharing by Market

Situation in Haiti: Transat repatriates its travelers

Transat has announced that it repatriated its 113 travelers from the Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort and Spa in Haiti.

Air Transat flight TS667, an Airbus A310 of 250 seats, departed from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince at 4:30 p.m. and landed at the Montréal-Trudeau Airport at 8:50 p.m.

Air Transat Airbus A310-308 C-GLAT (msn 588) PRG (Ton Jochems). Image: 945712.

Above Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Air Transat Airbus A310-308 C-GLAT (msn 588) PRG (Ton Jochems). Image: 945712.

Late afternoon on February 15, travellers were informed that they would be leaving the Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort & Spa, located on the Côte des Arcadins, by helicopter the following day. And, at around 9 a.m. on February 16, the first passengers were transported to the airport, and rotations continued for a few hours. The evacuation was orchestrated by Transat, in collaboration with the local authorities, the Canadian Embassy in Haiti and the Canadian government, to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Until further notice, Air Transat will continue to operate two flights a week to and from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, on Wednesdays and Sundays.

About Transat

Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel. It offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to some 60 destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees.

Air Transit aircraft slide show:

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Air Canada to strategically increase capacity on trans border routes, will deploy more Q400s on western routes

Air Canada Express-Jazz Aviation Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GKUK (msn 4369) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 943463.

Air Canada has announced it is upgrading service and boosting capacity on key trans border routes from its Toronto and Montreal hubs.

These enhancements are in addition to Air Canada’s recent announcement it will launch new daily flights from Montreal to Raleigh and increase capacity by deploying larger aircraft with Business Class and wi-fi options on its Toronto to Raleigh and Charlotte flights.

Upgraded services this summer peak include:

 

Route

Frequencies

Capacity

Aircraft

Toronto-Nashville

2 daily flights effective June 1

152 daily seats

76 seat CR9 operated by Jazz Aviation LP effective June 1

Toronto-Washington (Dulles)

3 daily flights effective May 1

228 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional effective May 1

Toronto-Memphis

1 daily flight effective May 1

76 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional effective May 1

Toronto-Raleigh

3 daily flights effective May 1

228 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional

Toronto-Charlotte

2 daily flights effective May 1

152 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional

Toronto-Minneapolis

Adding 1 flight for 4 daily flights effective June 3

304 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional

Toronto-Philadelphia

Adding 1 flight for 5 daily flights effective June 3

380 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional

Toronto-Austin

Adding 1 flight for 2 daily flights effective April 29

152 daily seats

76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional

Montreal-Baltimore

Adding 1 flight for 2 daily flights effective June 4

100 daily seats

50 seat CRJ operated by Jazz Aviation LP

Montreal-Raleigh

New daily flights launching June 3

50 daily seats

50 seat CRJ operated by Jazz Aviation LP

In other news, Air Canada also announced strategic changes to Eastern Canada including upgrading Air Canada Express regional aircraft to larger Air Canada Rouge aircraft with inflight amenities on its flights from Toronto to Fredericton, Moncton and Thunder Bay, and from Montreal to St. John’s.

Route

Frequencies

Montreal-St. John’s

2 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective June 5

Toronto-Fredericton

2 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective June 1

Toronto-Moncton

3 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective May 1

Toronto-Thunder Bay

3 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective May 1

Calgary-Halifax

1 daily Air Canada A
-320 flight effective
May 14

Following the recently finalized Capacity Purchase Agreement between Air Canada and Chorus Aviation, Air Canada is optimizing its fleet within its network strategy and deploying the aircraft best-suited to the communities it serves as it modernizes and simplifies its regional fleet.

Air Canada also announced it will boost capacity on regional routes across Western Canada this spring as it deploys more state-of-the-art Bombardier Q400 Next Gen aircraft (top).  The changes are part of an ongoing transformation of Air Canada Express that will result in enhanced services for customers.

Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP are scheduled to provide convenient, point-to-point travel, as well as easy connections to Air Canada’s extensive domestic, US and international network at Vancouver and Calgary.  Customers also collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges at main airports, priority boarding and other benefits.

Increased services this summer peak compared to last year include:

 

Route

Frequencies

Capacity

Vancouver-Nanaimo

7 daily Q-400 flights

546 daily seats, 14% increase

Vancouver-Comox

4 daily Q-400 flights

312 daily seats, 23% increase

Vancouver-Sandspit

2 daily Q-400 flights

156 daily seats, 52% increase

Vancouver-Prince Rupert

2 daily Q-400 flights

156 daily seats, 5% increase

Vancouver-Smithers

2 daily Q-400 flights

156 daily seats, 14% increase

Vancouver-Kamloops

4 daily Q-400 flights

312 daily seats, 25% increase

Vancouver-Penticton

3 daily Q-400 flights

234 daily seats, 17% increase

Calgary-Kelowna

3 daily Q-400 flights

234 daily seats, 13% increase

Calgary-Saskatoon

4 daily Q-400 flights

312 daily seats, 7% increase

Calgary-Winnipeg

2 daily A320 + 1 daily CR-900 flights

368 daily seats, 19% increase

Vancouver-Anchorage

1 daily 320 and 1 daily 319 flight

266 daily seats, 80% increase

On the financial side, Air Canada reported full year 2018 EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) of $2.851 billion compared to full year 2017 record EBITDAR of $2.928 billion.  Air Canada reported an EBITDAR margin of 15.8 per cent, in line with its projections.  Air Canada reported 2018 operating income of $1.174 billion compared to 2017 operating income of $1.371 billion.  Adjusted pre-tax income(1)amounted to $952 million in 2018 compared to adjusted pre-tax income of $1.165 billion in 2017.  On a GAAP basis, the airline reported net income of $167 million in 2018 compared to net income of $2.029 billion in 2017.  The decrease of $1.862 billionin net income year-over-year is mainly due to an increase in net tax expense of $981 million, unfavourable foreign exchange results of $437 million and Air Canada having a recorded a loss on disposal of assets of $188 million in 2018.

“I am very pleased with Air Canada’s solid fourth quarter results with record EBITDAR of $543 million, and operating income of $122 million.  These quarterly results showed an improvement over last year’s fourth quarter on many fronts – including passenger revenues, traffic and yield – and complete a strong fiscal year.  Moreover, they demonstrate the resiliency of our business model and affirm that Air Canada has positioned itself for long-term, sustainable profitability. During the year, we successfully managed many challenges, including intensifying competition and a volatile fuel price environment which resulted in approximately $1 billion in additional costs or 30 per cent more than 2017,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

“Our strategy generated record operating revenues of more than $18 billion in 2018.  Combined with a strong adjusted CASM performance, we ended the year with record unrestricted liquidity of more than $5.7 billion and a leverage ratio of 2.1, positioning us well on our path towards investment grade.  The added financial flexibility these results give our company further bolsters our already confident outlook, based on current positive business trends.

“We carried a record 50.9 million customers in 2018, which is evidence of the success of our commercial strategy and the strength of the Air Canada brand. To further heighten our customer appeal, we are investing strategically in product and service enhancements, including a new enhanced reservation platform system planned to start operating later this year, a new loyalty program launching in 2020 to strengthen our recently completed Aimia Canada acquisition and our ongoing fleet renewal.

“Another outward sign of Air Canada’s success in 2018 was the number of significant awards won by our airline, notably Eco-Airline of the Year, a global recognition, and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline in North America from Skytrax. These and a variety of other talent and sustainability awards are proof of the professionalism and commitment of Air Canada’s 30,000 employees, whom I thank for their hard work and dedication. I also thank our customers for their continued loyalty and for continuing to choose to fly Air Canada in record numbers,” said Mr. Rovinescu.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Air Canada): Air Canada Express-Jazz Aviation Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GKUK (msn 4369) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 943463.

Air Canada Express-Jazz Aviation aircraft slide show:

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