Tag Archives: Airbus A320-214

Austrian Airlines to cut costs in order to compete against budget airlines

Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBJ (msn 1553) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946840.

Austrian Airlines has announced a new austerity plan in the wake of losses due to stiff low-cost competition:

Threat of losses in 2019 and 2020: Airline counteracts developments with a package of measures
EUR 90 million should be saved annually, 700-800 budgeted positions in the company are affected
Management Board: “We will fight relentlessly and vigorously against the price and wage dumping practiced by low-cost airlines”

Austrian Airlines is repositioning itself in response to the glut of low-cost airlines at Vienna Airport. From a market standpoint, the airline is bundling its fleet strength in the Austrian capital city, whereas it is initiating tough cost-reduction measures on the corporate side of its business operations. Following six profitable years, the airline could once again find itself in a loss-making situation again due to the cheap flight offerings in Vienna. The company aims to reduce in-house costs by EUR 90 million annually starting in 2021 via efficiency and productivity improvements. Some 700-800 jobs will likely be impacted by the “PE20” program. A large number of these job cutbacks will be absorbed via staff fluctuation. The long-term objective of the airline is to modernize its fleet and then once again return to a strong growth path.

“We have to reposition ourselves in order to survive the brutal competition of the low-cost airlines”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “In part, the measures will be painful because they drain resources which we tediously built up over the past years. However, at the same time they are necessary in order to safeguard the future of Austrian Airlines as the leading airline in Austria.”

“We will not retreat a single millimeter on the Viennese market”
With respect to the aviation market, Austrian Airlines wants to resolutely stand up to the low-cost airlines. Austria’s national carrier plans to bundle its fleet strength in Vienna within the context of its #DriveTo25 strategy program by stationing all its aircraft available in Austria in the country’s capital city where the price war is raging. In this regard the airline is getting support from the Lufthansa Group. Flights to Germany from Austria’s regional airports will be gradually taken over and operated by Lufthansa. In December the Salzburg-Frankfurt route will already be converted from an “OS” to a “LH” flight number, thus freeing up aircraft. The decentralized crew bases in the federal provinces will be shut down, and the affected employees will be given an offer to transfer to Vienna.


In order to defend its hub in Vienna, Austrian Airlines is upgrading its fleet at the same time. 18 small turboprop aircraft are already being replaced by ten larger medium-haul, Airbus A320 jets, thus leading to considerable productivity improvements. The first of the additional A320 aircraft will already take off on behalf of Austrian Airlines in November.

“The replacement of the aircraft and the closer cooperation with our sister company Eurowings enables us to bundle our fleet strength in Vienna”, states CCO Andreas Otto. “We will not retreat a single millimeter and will maintain our premium strategy.”

Enhancing the effectiveness of Austrian Airlines

At the same time, Austrian Airlines wants to reorganize operations to be more effective and hard-hitting as a company. In this case, “more effective” means more productive and efficient. Larger aircraft result in lower unit costs, or, simply put, more passengers can be transported with fewer crews. Ultimately, fleet harmonization leads to a reduction of complexity. Eliminating one type of aircraft correspondingly eliminates costs for the separate training of pilots, flight attendants and technicians as well as the storage of spare parts.

“The harmonization of our fleet alone will enable us to make a significant contribution towards improving earnings”, says CFO Wolfgang Jani.

Moreover, Austrian Airlines plans improvements in corporate processes based on automation, digitalization, centralization and cutbacks in material and non-staff expenses. Productivity and process efficiency measures should save EUR 90 million each year over the upcoming two years. “We want to calmly discuss this all with our Works Council”, according to plans announced by the Austrian Airlines CFO.

In this connection, he hopes he will receive support from the country’s social partners and political decision makers. “´Highly-qualified jobs will be eliminated because the low-cost carriers offer considerably lower salary and social standards. Fair competition is fine, but please, it should not involve committing social fouls”, Jani adds.

Cooperation with Eurowings, adjustments to long-haul offering

Starting in January 2020, the sister company Eurowings will operate four aircraft in wet lease on behalf of Austrian Airlines from its base in Vienna. In this way, the two airlines will be able to more closely coordinate their route offerings, enabling new direct flights to Barcelona, Birmingham, Nuremberg, Rome and Zadar to be added to the Austrian Airlines portfolio of destinations in its flight schedule.

Austrian Airlines will eliminate the vacation destination of Miami from its flight offering in the upcoming 2020 summer flight schedule. The route, which was only served on a seasonal basis in the summer months up until now, was no longer profitable despite all efforts made by the airline. The last Austrian Airlines aircraft from Miami will land in Vienna tomorrow, November 8, 2019. Flights on the Vienna-Los Angeles route, also only operated in the summer season, will be offered five times per week in the 2020 summer flight schedule instead of seven weekly flights up until now. The airline has not yet decided what will be done with its freed-up long-haul capacities.

Strategy remains valid: achieve capability to invest and modernize the fleet

The #DriveTo25 strategy program announced in January remains in effect despite the onslaught of low-cost airlines. In short, the underlying aim is to achieve the capability to make investments and modernize the long-haul fleet which is of crucial importance to Vienna as a flight hub.

“Our long-term strategy remains in full force. We want to modernize Austrian Airlines and make it profitable and investment-ready”, concludes CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “Investment-ready means that the company will able to finance the necessary investments on its own”.

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBJ (msn 1553) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946840.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

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Alaska Air Group reports its second quarter 2019 results

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N842VA (msn 4805) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 947163.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the second quarter of 2019 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $262 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Reported net income for the second quarter of 2019, excluding merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments of $270 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, compared to $206 million or $1.66 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2018. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $2.13 per share.
  • Paid a $0.35 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the second quarter, a 9% increase over the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Repurchased a total of 408,665 shares of common stock for approximately $25 million in the first six months of 2019.
  • Generated $1 billion of operating cash flow in the first six months of 2019, including merger-related costs.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of June 30, 2019.
  • Reduced debt-to-capitalization ratio to 45% as of June 30, 2019, compared to 47% as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Operational Highlights:

  • Alaska technicians, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ratified an integrated seniority list and a transition agreement, including a two-year contract extension, in July 2019.
  • Reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists on a new five-year contract for Alaska’s clerical, office, passenger service, ramp and stores employees.
  • Added EL AL Israel Airlines as a new global Mileage Plan partner.
  • Announced a new route connecting Paine Field in Everett, Washington, to Palm Springs, California.
  • Finished painting the Alaska Airlines livery on all Airbus aircraft.
  • Completed cabin interior renovations of 14 Airbus aircraft and 11 737-700 aircraft.
  • Installed high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on the 44th mainline aircraft.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2019 by J.D. Power for the 12th year in a row.
  • Earned top spot for customer satisfaction on the American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report for 2018 – 2019.
  • Ranked as the best U.S. airline by Wallethub.
  • Named as No. 2 Domestic Airline by Travel & Leisure “World’s Best Awards.”

Alaska Air Group Inc. has reported second quarter 2019 GAAP net income of $262 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, compared to $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2018. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments and other special items, the company reported adjusted net income of $270 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, compared to $206 million, or $1.66 per diluted share in 2018.

“The three-percentage point improvement in our adjusted pretax margin shows that our revenue initiatives and cost management efforts are paying off. We set an ambitious plan and are executing it,” said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden. “But what our people really do best is provide genuine, caring service for our guests, and that’s why they earned our 12th-straight J.D. Power award this year. From all of us on the leadership team, thank you to our employees for your fantastic performance. We’re all looking forward to building on this momentum in the months and years ahead.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, and 2018 to adjusted amounts.

 

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

Read more

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N842VA (msn 4805) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 947163.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Brussels Airlines is flying more than 25,000 People of Tomorrow to Belgium

"Amare" - Brussels Airlines' 2017 Tomorrowland logo jet

Brussels Airlines made this announcement:

Brussels Airlines organizes – for the eighth consecutive year – party flights to bring festivalgoers from every corner of the globe to Tomorrowland in Boom. 293 flights leave from 77 different airports bringing partygoers with over 100 nationalities to Belgium for 2 weekends of madness.

For the 15th edition of the world’s best music festival, 400,000 partygoers from over 200 different countries will unite in Boom for two weekends of Tomorrowland, this year in theme of ‘The book of wisdom – the return’. In no time, Brussels Airlines sold 13,083 flight packages to partygoers flying to Belgium, adding up to 25,290 Tomorrowland passengers on 293 Tomorrowland flights. 56 flights are transformed into #TMLpartyflight (s) with music on board. On eleven other flights, a DJ plays a live set at 30,000 feet. For the first time, the airline also organizes transatlantic party flights, leaving in Washington, where Tomorrowland goers from all over America get together to travel to the festival.

To get the party people in the right atmosphere right from the start of their journey, 16 airports organize a gate party with a live DJ before the flight. Departing from 77 different airports, Brussels Airlines welcomes Tomorrowland guests with 107 different nationalities with as a top five Spanish, Swiss, British, Swedish and German.

For the third time, Amare will bring guests from all over the world to Tomorrowland. Amare is one of Brussels Airlines’ six Belgian Icons, an Airbus A320 dedicated to Tomorrowland. The aircraft has an impressive special painting featuring a giant eagle as well as mood lighting and a Bose music installation on the inside.

To offer its guests a carefree trip home after an fantastic Tomorrowland experience, Brussels Airlines has set up a mobile bag drop-off desk at the DreamVille camping.

“In recent years, we’ve seen that many festivalgoers still leave their tents and camping chairs behind as they don’t want to carry the heavy load with them. Especially if they still have a long journey in front of them. With the bag drop-off at DreamVille, Tomorrowland guests who fly home check in their bags for their flight right at the campsite and don’t have to carry their luggage and tents to the airport. This way they can enjoy a nice day of sightseeing in Belgium. It should at the same time help reduce the amount of tents and camping gear left behind.”

  • Christian Dumortier, Head of strategic partnerships at Brussels Airlines

Next to the bag drop off, Brussels Airlines also hosts a service desk at the festival site for its guests to be able to change their flight or have any information about their journey right on the spot. Like every year, Brussels Airlines invites everyone to take a free ride on her giant Ferris wheel at the festival site, this year baptized Amare, offering a stunning view over the Tomorrowland landscape and beyond.

Brussels Airlines and Tomorrowland started their collaboration in 2012. Together they created Global Journey, offering international music fans packages that combine the festival with both transport and hotel or camping stay. That year, the airline organized 25 party flights.

In 2017, Brussels Airlines revealed Amare, an aircraft dedicated to the festival with a Tomorrowland themed livery on the outside and special light and sound effects creating a Tomorrowland experience on the inside.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline and the festival): Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNF (msn 2810) (We fly you to the home of Tomorrowland) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 937385.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Iberia Express salutes the city of Madrid

"Madrid te abraza" (Madrid embraces you)

Iberia has transferred another Airbus A320 to its low cost subsidiary Iberia Express. EC-MUF msn 3278 is wearing special decals promoting the city of Madrid: “Madrid te abraza” (Madrid embraces you). 

There’s one unmistakable attribute that defines Madrid: its welcoming nature and hospitality. This intangible quality has now been given expression in the form of an embrace, the new graphic icon representing the city. How does it do that?

Through its culture, gastronomy, places, people and traditions. That’s why the iconography doesn’t end with a simple depiction of Madrid inside this icon that’s embracing it. Rather, it continues on with infinite variations in which all those things that make our city unique are depicted within an embrace.

 

The pictured EC-MUF is seen on finals for runway 24L at Palma de Mallorca Airport. 

In other news, on July 3 Iberia Express landed for the first time in Zadar.

Javier Rodriguez reporting from Spain.

Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Express Airbus A320-214 EC-MUF (msn 3278) (Madrid te abraza) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 946895.

Iberia Express aircraft slide show:

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Jazeera Airways to fly to London

Jazeera Airways Airbus A320-214 9K-CAI (msn 3919) IST (TMK Photography). Image: 944519.

Jazeera Airways is expanding in 2019. The airline will take delivery of three additional new Airbus A320neo aircraft which will allow for further expansion.

According to Airline Route, the airline expects to start new service to London (Gatwick) in 2019. The carrier will add new routes to Bodrum and Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen) in Turkey, Kathmandu in Nepal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Karachi in Pakistan.

More from Bloomberg.

Route Map:

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Jazeera Airways Airbus A320-214 9K-CAI (msn 3919) IST (TMK Photography). Image: 944519.

Jazeera Airways aircraft slide show:

Allegiant Air files application with DOT to fly to Mexico

Ex Saudia HZ-AS14, delivered March 29, 2018

Allegiant Air today signaled its next phase of growth by filing an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to offer scheduled service between the United States and Mexico.

This will be the company’s initial venture into scheduled international service.

The DOT application is the first step in the process for Allegiant to begin scheduled service to Mexico. Projected dates and locations for commencement of service will be announced at later dates as the process moves forward.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 N261NV (msn 4115) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 943560.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:

Eurowings with new summer destinations from Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Munich

Eurowings Airbus A320-214 D-ABFR (msn 4631) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946212.

Eurowings has just launched new routes in its summer timetable to further expand its services for travellers from southern Germany. The new destination from Stuttgart is Ohrid in northern Macedonia. The route will be offered on Mondays and Fridays from 21 June to September. The city of Ohrid captivates with its picturesque old town, many churches, monasteries and mosques and is situated on Lake Ohrid: the million-year-old water is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

New from Stuttgart to Tirana on Thursdays. From 25 July to the end of September, Eurowings flies to the capital of Albania, which is highly appreciated by tourists because of its colourful old town. Tirana is not far from the Adriatic Sea on the river Tirana and is the cultural centre of the young democracy of Albania. Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy – and can now be reached directly from Stuttgart from 27 July on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with Eurowings. The city in Tuscany is known above all for its numerous masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.

New in the Stuttgart flight schedule for the first time is Timișoara in Romania. The city, located in the west of the country, is flown to on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Timișoara is particularly known for its secession architecture. On the central square, Piața Victoriei, there are numerous baroque buildings as well as the Cathedral of the Three Hierarchs (Catedrala Mitropolitană) with its mosaic bricks and the icon gallery.

With its extensive Croatia program, Eurowings is one of the most important airlines on the Adriatic, and now Nuremberg is also moving closer to the Dalmatian coast: Eurowings is launching a new route to Split from Nuremberg – it is on Thursdays and Sundays in its flight schedule.

From Munich, Eurowings is once again adding a classic to its flight schedule: This year, the port city Bastia in the northeast of Corsica will be served again every Saturday. The French island is characterised by its mountainous landscape and the mixture of elegant coastal towns, dense forests and jagged peaks. Although Corsica has been part of France since 1768, it still retains a characteristic Italian culture.

Top Copyright Photo: Eurowings Airbus A320-214 D-ABFR (msn 4631) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946212.

Eurowings aircraft slide show:

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