Tag Archives: Airbus A320-214

Austrian Airlines records rising booking figures

"Marchfield"

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

• CCO Michael Trestl: “Eased travel regulations and rising vaccination rates have quadrupled our bookings”
• Greece, Spain and Italy among the most popular destinations
• Austrian Airlines continues to offer full flexibility in rebooking and security

With a rising vaccination rate and easings of entry regulations in many European countries, Austrians are feeling the urge to travel again. The desire of finally putting their feet in the sand again is big. This was also made clear during the Corpus Christi weekend, which many passengers used for a short holiday in the south. Greece, Spain and Italy were the top three destinations. Because of the increased demand in flights, Austrian Airlines deployed larger aircraft than planned on short notice and added extra flights.

A glance at the months from June to August also gives the red-white-red home carrier cause for optimism. “Demand is increasing daily, and new bookings on many routes have quadrupled since mid-May. It is also noticeable that bookings are increasingly being made on a longer-term basis,” reports Austrian Airlines Sales Director Michael Trestl. For summer holidays, Mediterranean destinations such as Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain including Mallorca are among the most popular destinations. “The booking dynamics show that we are meeting the travel needs of Austrians very well with our summer flight schedule, which mainly serves inner-European destinations in the Mediterranean. With a total of more than 100 destinations, we are offering a variety of destinations at pre-crisis levels in midsummer,” says CCO Michael Trestl. Of course, not all destinations are yet served with the usual frequency again, but the production level in the tourist sector is back at the pre-crisis level. “With the recently announced travel easings for the return from Cyprus, Croatia, the Netherlands and Sweden, as well as with the Green Pass coming into effect, we are expecting further growth in bookings,” says Trestl.
Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBI (msn 1937) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 953896.
Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Austrian Airlines insists on a global digital travel certificate

"Marchfield"

Austrian Airlines made this announcement:

• End of “Pre Travel Clearance” to reduce the bureaucracy of traveling
• EU agreement on a uniform corona certificate from 1 July onwards as an essential step
• CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech: “A globally recognized solution must follow in order to give aviation a full boost”

Just in time for the start of the summer holiday season, Austria announced further easing of the current entry regulations. From 10 June onwards, a mandatory “Pre Travel Clearance” will only be required from people entering from a high-incidence and virus variant area. Previously, the European Union had agreed on a uniform certificate for corona vaccinations, tests and recovery. The digitally readable document is intended to make traveling across the EU easier and to put an end to the differently managed regulations for entering EU countries from 1 July.

With the global vaccination rate rising and the number of infections falling, the focus lies increasingly on restoring global freedom of travel. This is also reflected in the demand for flight tickets to the North Atlantic region this summer. “It is important that the EU Covid certificate is now followed by a globally recognized solution in order to give aviation a full boost. Travel is a basic need. People long for new experiences and for reunions with family, friends and business partners”, emphasizes Alexis von Hoensbroech.

Last but not least, transatlantic air traffic is a driving economic factor. The prospect easing air travel is therefore essential. An international Covid certificate would give aviation an important uplift and enable a return to more flight connections and services at pre-crisis levels.

In other news, the Austrian federal government has once again imposed a landing ban on flights from the United Kingdom. This will initially apply from June 1-20, 2021 inclusive.

Finally, the airline has announced that Russia had not allowed its flight from Vienna to Moscow to land in Moscow without flying through Belarusian airspace.

European airlines are being urged to avoid flying over Belarus.

Austrian Airlines fleet

 

The Austrian Airlines fleet currently consists of 83 aircraft, which are divided into the long-haul fleet and the short and medium-haul fleet.

Boeing 777-200ER

The modern wide-bodied aircraft has the longest range in the world and carries you to Shanghai or nonstop to Cape Town. The spacious cabin and sophisticated equipment make long-haul flights a relaxed experience.

Boeing 767-300ER

The Boeing 767 is a little smaller than the Boeing 777, but is also used on long-haul flights. Austrian has six of these aircraft in its fleet, which fly to destinations such as Washington, Beijing or Montreal.

Airbus A321-211

The Airbus A321-211 is valued for its high fuel efficiency and low noise and emissions values. It is ideal for short and medium-haul flights, and is mainly used for European and Middle Eastern routes.

Airbus A321-111

With a length of 44.5 metres, the Airbus A321-111 is the biggest brother in the A320 family. It is mainly used on short and medium-haul flights, such as those to Finland or Germany.

Airbus A320-200

From 1987, the Airbus 320 was the first passenger aircraft to be completely controlled by the fly-by-wire system, which was revolutionary at the time. This digital control technology is now standard. The Airbus is ideal for flights with a range of up to 3,600 kilometres.

Airbus A319-111

The Airbus A319-111 has a length of 33.8 meters, making it one of the smallest aircraft in the Airbus family. It is used for destinations up to 3,000 kilometres. For example, it flies to Innsbruck and Sofia.

Embraer 195

The Embraer 195 offers a surprising amount of space on short and medium-haul flights: thanks to the generous aisle height and seat width, up to 120 passengers can travel in exceptional comfort. Austrian uses these aircraft to fly to destinations such as Amsterdam or Venice.

Bombardier Q400

In the areas of environmental sustainability, efficiency and convenience, the Q Series from Bombardier sets new standards. You can enjoy this travel experience at Austrian on European routes.

 

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBI (msn 1937) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 953896.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Austrian Airlines to fly Milan-Linate Airport starting on June 1

The 1958 retro jet is repainted

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

• Change from Milan-Malpensa to Linate Airport near the city center
• From June 1, two flights a day – morning and evening
• “Much more comfortable for our passengers”, says CCO Michael Trestl


From June 1, 2021, Austrian Airlines will be flying to Linate Airport, which is close to the city center. This will result in significantly shorter travel times for passengers to and from the airport. Milan’s city center can be reached by public transport within half an hour. Business travelers from Milan in particular prefer Linate Airport. From June, two flights a day will be available on the route to Vienna, one in the morning, one in the evening. Milan-Malpensa will no longer be served from June 1 in favor of Linate.

“Linate is much more comfortable for our passengers, especially for business travelers from Milan and the surrounding area”, says CCO Michael Trestl. A mix of Embraer 195s and A320 family aircraft will be used on the route.

Overview on flight details

Route                           Flight number             Flight days            Departure – Arrival (Local time)
Vienna – Milan-Linate     OS 491                      daily                     08:05 a.m. – 09:30 a.m.
OS 497                      daily                      5:45 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.
Milan-Linate – Vienna     OS 492                      daily                     10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
OS 498                       daily                     7:55 p.m. – 9:25 p.m.

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBP (msn 797) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 947826.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines reports a loss of 70 million euros in first quarter

We fly you to the home of Tintin"

As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Brussels Airlines reported an adjusted EBIT of EUR -70 million for the first quarter, only a 9% decrease compared to the same period last year, which included January and February 2020, two “normal” months  before the Coronavirus reached Europe. The first quarter is traditionally the lowest performing one of the year in the aviation industry. The Belgian airline’s revenue fell by 76% year-on-year to EUR 55 million, while operating costs were brought down by 59% to EUR 130 million, in part due to lower production, but also thanks to cost-saving measures in its Reboot Plus program.

Between January and March, Brussels Airlines welcomed 192,000 passengers, a drop of 88% compared to the first quarter of 2020, when two out of the three months were “normal” months without the impact of Covid-19. The airline operated 1,791 flights, also an 87% decrease. The average seat load factor fell by 15.3 percentage points to 58.2%.

The ban on non-essential travel issued by the Belgian government severely impacted both the Brussels Airlines’ medium-haul-  and  long-haul passenger numbers. The intercontinental traffic performed however better than the European operations due to the company’s focus on African routes with a stable demand in the VFR segment (Visiting Friends & Relatives) and at the level of cargo, especially in terms of medical supply transport.

Brussels Airlines’ revenue fell by 76% year-on-year to EUR 55 million in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of the Corona crisis, while operating revenue was 76% lower year-on-year at EUR 60 million.

Operating expenses decreased by 59% to EUR 130 million primarily due to the volume-related drop in material expenses. Despite a large proportion of fixed costs, cost reductions were made thanks to a near completion of the restructuring phase of the Reboot Plus program.

Brussels Airlines’ Adjusted EBIT decreased accordingly by 9% to EUR -70 million (previous year: EUR -64 million). The EBIT improved by 25% to likewise EUR -70 million (previous year: EUR -93 million), although the previous year’s figure was impacted by impairment losses on aircraft and rights-of-use of aircraft amounting to EUR 29 million.

Within its Reboot Plus transformation program Brussels Airlines has almost completed the restructuring phase which reduces the fleet size by 30% and staff numbers by 25%. Among other additional measures in this program, new collective labor agreements have been in force since January 2021 for all employee groups, generating a competitive cost structure at the level of the personnel costs. The Reboot Plus program, targeting a structural 8% EBIT margin by 2024, now enters a second phase, a phase of strategic investment in customer servicing, in efficiency, employee development  and in tools in order to create a long-term profitable future for the company.


Since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, Brussels Airlines has strictly adapted its flight capacity to respond as closely as possible to the market demand in order to safeguard its cash position. Thanks to this very proactive and restrictive capacity management, Brussels Airlines was able to maintain cash-positive flight operations every week since its restart on 15 June 2020.

Currently Brussels Airlines is gradually building up its flight capacity to be able to provide a flight offer in line with the expected demand for the summer holiday season (on average 65% of its 2019 capacity), with a focus on the leisure segment and of course its large African offer.

Top Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNB (msn 1493) (We fly you to the home of Tintin) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 943968.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Finnair to fly to over 60 destinations in summer 2021 – flights to be added as travel gradually opens

Finnair Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 930756.

Finnair is preparing to grow its flight schedule this summer with a focus on leisure destinations, as the vaccine roll-out is expected to enable the reopening of travel in many countries.

In June, Finnair will resume flights to destinations like Reykjavik, Bodø, Nice, Lisbon and Vilnius. Additional frequencies will also be added to Greek islands such as Rhodes, Chania and Santorini, as well as to Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante in Spain. Finnair’s summer destinations in Italy include Rome, Milan and Venice.

In North America, the vaccine roll-out has progressed well, and Finnair will restart flights  to Chicago and Los Angeles in mid-June and increase frequencies on the New York route to up to three flights per week. The restart of these flights is still subject to the development of US travel guidelines.

Travel guidelines are likely to change in many countries during the summer. To facilitate travel planning, Finnair will introduce a new AI-powered solution for customers to explore available destinations and keep up with the latest travel restrictions in different countries. Through the new tool on Finnair.com, customers can plan their travels and prepare for their journey easily using an interactive map. The solution is produced by Smartvel, a technology company specializing in destination content solutions for the travel industry.

Flexibility and peace of mind for summer travel plans 

To offer customers peace of mind for making travel plans, Finnair has a flexible ticket change policy for all bookings made by 31 August 2021. This means that customers can make changes to their travel dates regardless of their ticket type.

Finnair Corona Cover has been extended and will now be included in bookings made up until 30 June 2021. The cover is offered at no additional cost with all flight tickets for trips departing on or before 31 August 2021 and which do not exceed 31 days, providing they have been purchased via the Finnair website or mobile app. This cover is available for customers travelling abroad from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain or Ireland. Finnair Corona Cover is designed to supplement other travel insurance you may have and provides extra cover in case you test positive for COVID-19 while at your destination. The cover is provided by AIG Europe S.A. and by its Switzerland branch for Switzerland. Terms and conditions apply.

Finnair will continue its other safe travel measures and reviews them on a regular basis. For example, using a mask is still required for all customers and crew at the airport and onboard flights. Finnair encourages customers to arrive at the airport in good time before their flight, as travel document checks currently take more time than normal.

In line with the recommendation from the Finnish health authority, Finnair requires customers traveling to Finland to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate or proof of a previous COVID-19 infection. As of May 11, Finnair also accepts a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. There is no requirement for travelers aged between 12-15 to present a certificate.

Finnair summer 2021 destinations

Finland  Europe  Asia  North America 
Ivalo Alicante Bangkok Chicago
Kittilä Amsterdam Hong Kong Los Angeles
Kuopio Berlin Seoul New York
Kuusamo Bodø Shanghai
Oulu Bryssel Singapore
Rovaniemi Budapest Tokyo
Tampere Chania
Turku Copenhagen
Vaasa Dublin
Dubrovnik
Düsseldorf
Edinburgh
Frankfurt
Funchal
Gazipasa
Gdansk
Göteborg
Hamburg
Heraklion
Krakow
Lisbon
London
Málaga
Manchester
Milan
Moscow
Munich
Nice
Oslo
Palma de Mallorca
Paris
Prague
Reykjavik
Rhodes
Riga
Rome
Split
St. Petersburg
Stockholm
Tallinn
Tel Aviv
Venice
Vilnius
Visby
Vienna
Warsaw
Zürich

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 930756.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Inside Brussels Airlines: preparing for their gradual summer relaunch

Brussels Airlines issued this article:

With vaccination programs underway in many countries and demand for travel slowly starting to pick up for summer Brussels Airlines prepares its operations for a gradual build up of its flight offer.

At an airline, such a buildup does not happen overnight and it takes several months to prepare. We not only need to get our planes ready to hit the skies again, but we also need to get our cabin and cockpit crew and our Ground Operations colleagues back up to speed and fully trained after a period of inactivity.

Training our pilots, crew and ground staff

In aviation, nothing is left to chance and safety is at all times the highest priority. Therefore, our Training department worked out a very thorough and intensive training program to make sure we fully prepare our pilots to take off again. The first group started their training at the beginning of April. For each pilot, the program takes approximately one month to complete and includes 14 hours of theoretical training, including self-study and classroom trainings to review all flight and aircraft procedures, 12 hours of simulator and  10 to 20 flights with an instructor, depending on the experience of the pilot. Last but not least, every pilot performs a line check before they are released to fly on their own again. In total 150 pilots need to go through this complete training and we expect to finish the training program by summer. Our 400 other pilots have continuously been trained during the past months.

As for our cabin crew, as of 1 May, 130 cabin colleagues who have been in full temporary unemployment will gradually be retrained for flying duties with seven to ten days of refresher courses, depending on the type of flights they operate (short haul or long haul), and several familiarization flights to have all safety procedures and Corona-related hygiene measures fresh in mind when they welcome our passengers on board again.

Also on the ground, we prepare our airport colleagues for their duties. They get refresher courses and work in pairs with colleagues on their first day back on the job so they are ready to welcome our guests again.

Getting our aircraft ready

Today, 21 of our 38 aircraft are operational. In order to increase our flight offer, we of course also need to get more and more aircraft back in the air to prepare for summer.

As aircraft are made to fly, not to stand on the ground,  we have kept busy meticulously maintaining our birds while they were inactive, in order to keep them in great shape once we could reactivate them. To reactivate an aircraft after such a long period (some have been parked since March 2020), our Maintenance teams go through thorough procedures, checking every nook and cranny of the fuselage and moving parts, checking every valve and tube, and test-running all electronic systems. They test the engines, replace life vests and other safety equipment if they are expired, and getting the cabin ready with a thorough cleaning. Finally, they run a test flight to give the aircraft a final GO for operations. The entire de-storage process takes approximately 200 man hours per aircraft.

Hygiene measures

Welcoming more passengers means that it is important to emphasize that we continue to apply the same Corona measures as before. These include a mandatory face mask during the entire flight (as of arrival at the airport) for every passenger as of six years old, row by row boarding and de-boarding to avoid queues in the aircraft, extra disinfection of the aircraft and of course proper hand hygiene. All our aircraft are equipped with HEPA filters that continuously supply clean air on board. See the complete overview or our measures here.

As usual, we ask passengers who feel unwell not to travel, to protect the health of other passengers and our crew. As many countries still have specific restrictions, we ask our passengers to check the requirements before they travel.

Brussels Airlines' 2019 salute to artist Pieter Bruegel

 

Above Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNE (msn 4243) (Pieter Bruegel – we fly you to home of Bruegel) LHR (Tony Storck). Image: 947177.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

GlobalX takes delivery of its first aircraft, Airbus A320 N223FR

First aircraft, delivered January 17, 2021

GlobalX (Global Crossing Airlines) (Miami) is the new airline venture of Ed Wegel (below, with his wife) formerly of the second version of Eastern Air Lines.

The new airline is proposing to commence passenger charter operations with a single, leased, Airbus A320. GlobalX will offer this aircraft, and a second aircraft scheduled for delivery later in 2021, for public and private passenger charters in domestic and foreign markets.

The company is in the process of obtaining its AOC.

The new airline announced its has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-214 (ex Frontier N223FR (msn 2695), to be re-registered as N276GX):

Global Crossing Airlines Group, Inc., operating as “GlobalX”, on January 19, 2021 announced it took delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft, marking the beginning of the new passenger and cargo airline.

“WE ARE THRILLED TO TAKE DELIVERY OF OUR FIRST A320 AIRCRAFT HERE AT OUR BASE AT MIA. WE ARE BUILDING OUR AIRLINE AROUND AIRBUS WITH THE A320 AND 321 IN PASSENGER CONFIGURATION, AND LATER THIS YEAR WITH THE FIRST OF MANY A321 CARGO AIRCRAFT. WE HOPE TO OPERATE THE AIRBUS A330 AIRCRAFT AS WELL. TODAY IS A TESTAMENT TO THE OUTSTANDING WORK OF THE GLOBALX TEAM AS WE CONTINUE TO CERTIFY AS A US FLAG CARRIER,” SAID ED WEGEL, CHAIRMAN AND CEO.

The aircraft arrived at its new base, Miami International Airport, on Sunday afternoon and was welcomed with a ceremonial water cannon salute upon landing. This marks the first delivery of two aircraft scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.

GlobalX’s first A320 aircraft came freshly painted in its signature blue and green livery. The aircraft comfortably accommodates 180 passengers in an all Economy Class configuration, and features a large cargo hold capable of accommodating generous passenger baggage allowances. Upon completion of its FAA certification which is expected by late first quarter 2021, the A320 aircraft will immediately begin passenger charter operations throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.

GlobalX will provide charter airlift for major airlines, tour operators, professional and collegiate sports teams, casinos, and corporate groups. It will also operate direct to consumer charters under its own Part 380. The airline will operate from two bases at Miami International Airport (MIA) and Atlantic City International Airport (ACY).

About Global Crossing Airlines

GlobalX is a new entrant airline now in FAA certification using the Airbus A320 family aircraft. Subject to FAA and DOT approvals, GlobalX intends to initially fly as an ACMI and wet lease charter airline serving the US, Caribbean, and Latin American markets.

The new entrant describes its activities:

Global Crossing Airlines, doing business initially as Global X in the United States, will be an affiliated group of airlines operating both narrow and widebody aircraft in mature and emerging growth markets around the world, utilizing the efficiencies of an Airbus A320/330 fleet, and centralized purchasing, planning and management. The Global family will incorporate all that has been learned about charter, low cost scheduled and long haul low fare operations.

Global X is the first airline, now being certified in the US as a part 121 domestic and flag carrier airline using the Airbus A320. Global X will operate wet lease and ACMI flights for airlines and charter operations for tour operators, professional and college teams and other groups requiring a 150 seat aircraft capable of flying up to six hours. Global X plans to grow to a fleet of ten (10) to fifteen (15) A320 aircraft and will then add wide body A330 aircraft to our FAA certificate, to provide dual capability and optionality to our clients in long range charter and ACMI/wet lease operations.

Airbus A321-200 ES-MLS (msn 2480) has been painted and remains stored at Tallinn.

GlobalX has signed with Vallair for lease of ten (10) Airbus A321 freighters:

 

Global X is led by a strong and highly experienced 119 team – the five (5) mandated positions of Director of Operations, Maintenance, Quality and Safety and the Chief Pilot have over 150 years of commercial aircraft operating experience. Our Director of Maintenance was the co-founder and Director of Maintenance for the certification of Virgin America, our Director of Safety was the FAA’s subject matter expert and wrote much of the SMA (Safety Management System) policies and procedures, our Chief Pilot has operated many aircraft types including the 747 in worldwide charter operations, our Director of Operations has flown narrow body aircraft worldwide for over 20 years and our Director of Quality served in the same position for Delta Airlines and has been an FAA Principal Inspector for the past ten years.

Future Global Crossing operations are planned for Ecuador and Canada.

Top Copyright Photo: GlobalX Airbus A320-214 N223FR (N276GX) (msn 2695) MIA (Ken Petersen). Image: 952680.

PIA’s flight PK8303 crashes on approach in Karachi Pakistan

Flight PK8303 Lahore-Karachi crashed on approach to Karachi on May 22, 2020

PIA-Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-214 AP-BLD (msn 2274) (above) operating flight PK8303 from Lahore to Karachi with 99 passengers and eight crew members crashed today (May 22) on approach to Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. The aircraft crashed into a residential area.

The airliner had previously aborted the initial approach due to problems with the landing gear and was performing a go-around when the aircraft crashed.

There are reportedly survivors who were taken to local hospitals.

Video:
Top Copyright Photo: PIA-Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-214 AP-BLD (msn 2274) DXB (Paul Denton). Image: 934161.

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:

 

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.

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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):