WestJet on May 2, 2017 announced a definitive purchase agreement with The Boeing Company for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This agreement includes commitments for 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021, with options for an additional 10 aircraft to be delivered between 2020 and 2024. The airline also announced it has selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engine for the 787.
As part of this purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.
On the financial side, WestJet also announced its 48th consecutive profitable quarter, with first quarter 2017 net earnings of $48.3 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.41 per diluted share. This compares with quarterly net earnings of $87.6 million, or $0.71 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2016. These first quarter 2017 results include a pre-tax non-cash adjustment to its maintenance provision of $18.5 million and irregular operations related costs of $7.0 million due to severe winter weather experienced in the quarter. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 10.0 per cent, compared with the 11.3 per cent reported in the previous quarter.
“We are pleased to report strong topline revenue growth and our first positive unit revenue (RASM) performance in eight quarters. We are seeing good results from Plus, our premium economy product, growth in our WestJet Rewards program and penetration into the business traveller segment all of which gives us confidence that RASM will continue to improve for the remainder of the year,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “I want to thank our over 12,000 WestJetters for their continued dedication to safely providing our growing number of guests with WestJet’s award-winning brand of friendly caring service, especially given the challenging winter weather conditions we endured in the quarter.”
Boeing and Korean Air on February 22, 2017 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner. The Seoul-based carrier will be the first Korean carrier to operate the 787-9 Dreamliner in the country. The airline is scheduled to launch domestic flights to Jeju from Seoul (Gimpo) for a month as part of the required certification period, before launching long-haul international routes to Toronto, Madrid, and Zurich later this year.
Korean Air is scheduled to introduce five 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet this year with another five joining the fleet by 2019.
Photo: Boeing. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner HL8081 (msn 34810) is pictured at Charleston, SC.
American Airlines on September 13, 2016 took delivery of the pictured Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from North Charleston, SC. The The first 787-9 is registered as N820AL (msn 40639).
The new type will be introduced domestically on October 14 between Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles.
According to American, the 787-9 will make its debut international flight between Dallas/Fort Worth and Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) on November 4. The aircraft will also operate between DFW and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) beginning on November 4.
AeroMéxico presents the special livery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (XA-AML, msn 43859). The aircraft will be named “Quetzalcoatl” (meaning “Feathered Serpent”) after one of the principal deities of pre-Hispanic Mexico.
This is the first time in aviation history in which a design of this type is painted on an aircraft’s livery, offering a unique fusion of tradition and modernity. AeroMéxico’s Quetzalcoatl plane left the Boeing Aircraft Paint Hangar after a nine-day process—six days longer than expected—as the engineers found that they needed extra time to add all of the original hues and colors featured in the winning design.
In November 2014, AeroMéxico announced the “Design is in the Air” contest via social media and at several universities, inviting participants to submit a creative image to be painted on an aircraft’s fuselage. More than 1,000 participants presented their designs during the four-week contest period, 400 of which were chosen for meeting the requirements established in the rules. The winning design was created by graphic designer José Manuel Escudero of the Mexican state of Veracruz.
AeroMéxico is the second carrier in Latin America to operate the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and plans to continue investing until its fleet has ten 787-9 aircraft, with the purpose of providing a better flight experience to customers. If an airline places an order for a 787 today, it could take between 10 to 15 years for it to be delivered. With a fuselage measuring 20 feet wider than the 787-8, the 787-9 will have the capacity for 48 additional passengers on longer routes (up to 300 more nautical miles) with 20% greater fuel efficiency, and up to 20% fewer emissions than the aircraft this model is replacing.
The airline has said that it will wait until the plane lands in Mexico to unveil the interior of this new aircraft that will change its customers’ travel experience.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) yesterday (November 26) issued this statement and video:
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today launched a light-hearted unboxing movie featuring the latest addition to its fleet: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The short film shows the Boeing 787 Dreamliner being “unwrapped”, as it were. KLM is the world’s first airline to present a new aircraft in this way.
Unboxing is an internet phenomenon, whereby people film the moment they unbox their latest acquisition or unwrap a gift, posting the moment on social media. This novel approach to opening packages is highly popular at the moment, particularly when it comes to new technological gadgets, such as phones and robots. KLM decided to play along with this trend, unboxing its brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In the movie, the hangar serves as the box, which is opened to reveal the entire aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner joined the KLM fleet earlier this month. The new addition operated its first commercial flight on Monday, November 23, to Abu Dhabi/Bahrain. This is the first of a total of 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners that will eventually join the KLM fleet.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that it has reached an Agreement in Principle with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for a contract extension covering the airline’s more than 12,000 pilots more than a year ahead of the amendable date of the current contract. The agreement is subject to a ratification process which includes final documentation, review, and consideration by the ALPA Master Executive Council.
United has joint collective bargaining agreements covering the majority of its represented employees and recently announced that it will open contract negotiations early for the airline’s ramp service and passenger service agents, storekeepers, load planners, maintenance and fleet technical instructors, and other groups represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The airline is also engaged in mediated negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants and recently announced an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to put a proposed joint collective bargaining agreement out for ratification by the company’s technicians and related employees.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38955 (msn 37814) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):
Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it is boosting international flights at its Vancouver (YVR) hub next summer with double daily flights from YVR to London Heathrow. In addition, the airline’s new nonstop flights from Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia will now launch two weeks earlier on June 1, 2016 to meet demand.
AC will use Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners on the YVR-LHR route.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-FNOE (msn 35265) departs from Toronto (Pearson).