Tag Archives: Airbus A350-941

Aeroflot takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

Aeroflot's first Airbus A350-900, first in the new livery

Aeroflot, the Russian flag carrier and member of the SkyTeam alliance, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the launch operator of the latest-generation widebody aircraft in Eastern Europe and CIS.

Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a distinctive new livery embracing its almost 100-year heritage.

Aeroflot has a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 126 aircraft (107 A320 Family and 19 A330 Family aircraft).

Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a brand new elegant cabin design, offering unrivalled passenger comfort. The aircraft has a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat seats, 24 Comfort Class with extra legroom and 264 Economy Class. In addition, the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure enhanced experience for all passengers on long-haul flights.  Aeroflot will operate its A350-900 from Moscow to a number of destinations including London, Dubai, New York, Miami, Osaka and Beijing.

At the end of January 2020, the A350 XWB Family had received 935 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Top Copyright Photo: Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A350-941 F-WZGT (VQ-BFZ) (msn 383) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948950.

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Aeroflot announces its fourth quarter and FY 2019 financial results

Aeroflot's first Airbus A350-900, first in the new livery

Aeroflot Russian Airlines has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full year (FY) ending December 31, 2019 in accordance with Russian Accounting Standards (RAS). RAS results are presented on a non-consolidated basis.

Key results in accordance with RAS, RUB million

Q4 2018

Q4 2019

Change

FY 2018

FY 2019

Change

Revenue

123,356

129,604

5.1%

504,697

551,767

9.3%

Cost of sales

136,738

130,605

(4.5)%

499,683

542,976

8.7%

Gross income/(loss)

(13,382)

(1,000)

5,013

8,791

75.4%

Net income/(loss)

(12,830)

(1,960)

2,796

5,287

89.1%

Comments on Q4 and FY 2019 RAS financial results

  • In 2019, the Company’s growth continued to be accompanied by strict cost control. Market factors including changes in FX rates significantly affected financial results year-on-year.
  • Revenue for FY 2019 was RUB 551,767, up 9.3% year-on-year. Revenue was affected by increased operational volumes and FX fluctuations (in 2019 the ruble appreciated against the euro by 2.0% year-on-year, and depreciated against US dollar by 3.2%).
    • In 2019, the number of flights operated by Aeroflot airline increased by 6.8% leading to a 3.8% increase in passenger turnover, which amounted to 101.6 billion RPKs. Passenger traffic increased by 4.1% to 37.2 million. The main growth factor was expansion of the route network and an increase in flight frequencies.
    • Active capacity management resulted in positive trend in RASK (+2.5% year-on-year in FY 2019), which increased notwithstanding the high base effect of 2018, when there was stronger demand backed by world football championship in Russia. FX rates held back growth of RASK in FY 2019.
  • Cost of sales in FY 2019 was RUB 542,976 million, up 8.7% year-on-year. In addition to factors connected to the growth of the Company, cost of sales continued to be affected by macroeconomic and industry factors.
    • In 2019, cost increases were driven mainly by rising airport charges and costs for ground handling services. Total expenses for these services rose by RUB 12,786 million (up 21.0% year-on-year) due to an increase in traffic and tariffs charged by Russian airports.
    • Total fuel expenses rose by RUB 1,910 million (up 1.5% year-on-year), following a 7.0% increase in Aeroflot airline’s flight hours. Throughout 2019, the price of kerosene significantly exceeded its average historical levels.
    • < >aintenance costs increased due to higher number of maintenance procedures including regular repairs and heavy maintenance in accordance with the existing schedules, upgrades related to improvement in product quality as well as increase in volume of operations and changes in the US dollar rate.Throughout the year management took active measures to improve the Company’s and Group’s financial results and implemented strict cost control. Optimisation measures helped to increase gross income of Aeroflot to RUB 8,791 million (+75.4% year-on-year) as well as to hold the increase in selling costs to just 9.0%, and to reduce administrative costs by 5.3%.
    • Q4 2019 significantly contributed to FY 2019 results:
      • Revenue for Q4 2019 was RUB , up 5.1% year-on-year. Revenue was affected by operational growth and FX dynamics, with the ruble appreciating against the euro by 7.1% year-on-year during the quarter. The stronger ruble held back RASK growth, which came in at 5.9% year-on-year.
      • Cost of sales in Q4 2019 decreased by 4.5%, due to ongoing optimisation measures coupled with the strengthening of the ruble against US dollar.
      • Seasonally low winter 2018-2019 period was complemented by jet fuel price and FX factors which resulted in net loss of RUB 16,850 million in Q1 2019. Thanks to measures taken by the management throughout the year the Company compensated these results not only with a strong summer season, but with a significantly better fourth quarter: in Q4 2019, the airline reduced its net loss by 6.5 times from RUB 12,830 million in Q4 2018 to RUB 1,960 million.
    • Net income of Aeroflot for FY 2019 increased by 89.1% and amounted to RUB 5,287 million.

International route map:

Top Copyright Photo: Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A350-941 F-WZGT (VQ-BFZ) (msn 383) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948950.

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Air France welcomes the 350th Airbus A350 delivered by Airbus and unveils its summer destinations

First A350-900, delivered on September 27, 2019

Air France made this announcement:

In a nod to the history of the French aviation industry, the 350th Airbus A350 will fly in the Air France colors.

The aircraft on February 4 left the aircraft manufacturer’s assembly line in Toulouse and will shortly begin flying to Bamako and Abidjan.

In returning to its tradition of naming its aircraft, Air France has called it Nice, in tribute to the iconic city on the French Riviera and gateway to the Mediterranean.

Nice joins the A350s already delivered to the company – Toulouse, Lyon and St. Denis de la Réunion.

By 2025, Air France will take delivery of 38 Airbus A350s, the new jewel in its long-haul fleet.

6 destinations to discover by Airbus A350

For the 2020 summer season*, Air France will serve 6 long-haul destinations by Airbus A350 on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle – Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Bamako (Mali), Bangkok (Thailand), Atlanta, Boston, Washington (USA).

  • Bamako – Abidjan: 1 daily flight
  • Bangkok: 3 weekly flights (outbound flight on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; return on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • Atlanta: 1 daily flight
  • Boston: 1 daily flight until 4 May and subsequently 2 daily flights
  • Washington: 1 daily flight as from 5 June 2020

*2020 summer season: from 29 March to 25 October 2020

A new definition of comfort

The Air France Airbus A350 has 324 seats, with 34 in the Business cabin, 24 in the Premium Economy cabin and 266 in the Economy cabin.

On board, customers enjoy:

  • a spacious and quiet cabin,
  • windows that are 30% larger,
  • an optimized air pressure system providing a more comfortable cabin atmosphere with regularly renewed cabin air,
  • lighting adapted to the different flight phases.

In Business, the seat turns into a real 2 metre-long lie-flat bed, guaranteeing restful sleep. In Premium Economy, the brand new “Recliner” seat is 48cm wide and reclines to 124°. In Economy, the seat has been redesigned for even more comfort, with a reinforced ergonomic seat cushion, a 118° seat recline, as well as a 79-cm seat pitch. Each cabin features large individual High Definition touch screens.

To stay connected on board the Airbus A350, customers have access to Air France CONNECT, the inflight Wi-Fi service, which offers 3 types of pass:

  • A free “Message” pass for all, to send and receive messages during the entire flight;
  • A “Surf” pass, costing between €3 and €18 (6,000 Miles), to surf the internet, consult and send emails;
  • A “Stream” pass, costing €30 (10,000 Miles), to enjoy high-speed internet access, streaming and downloading, including the “Message” and “Surf” passes.

Renewing the Air France fleet, a powerful way of reducing its environmental footprint

With the Airbus A350-900, Air France is accelerating the change towards more sustainable air transport, in line with its HORIZON 2030 commitments.

A latest-generation aircraft, the A350 consumes 25% less fuel (i.e. 2.5 litres per passenger per 100 kilometres) thanks to the use of 67% lighter materials: 53% composites and 14% titanium. Its noise footprint is also reduced by 40%.

Top Copyright Photo: Air France Airbus A350-941 F-HTYA (msn 331) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 947954.

Air France aircraft slide show:

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SAS’ “Ingegerd Viking” to take take off on first flight today

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS issued this statement:

The first of SAS eight Airbus A350s, named “Ingegerd Viking”, is to fly its inaugural flight, SK943, today from Copenhagen to Chicago. On each flight, a total of 300 travelers can look forward to a comfortable flight, including a cabin with new seat models and unique, customized SAS solutions.

Showcasing innovative technologies and design, the new Airbus A350 offers a new and more sustainable way of traveling long haul, to and from Scandinavia.

The premiere flight will be celebrated at events in Copenhagen at Kastrup International Airport and in Chicago at O’Hare International Airport.

It will be based at the SAS hub at Copenhagen Airport and will operate on seven routes during the first year, including Chicago, Beijing, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

In total, as a part the modernization of the short and long-haul fleet, SAS will take delivery of new Airbus A320neo (80), Airbus A330 Enhanced (5), Airbus A350 (8), and Airbus A321LR (3) aircraft before the end of 2023.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by SAS): Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

SAS aircraft slide show:

Aeroflot updates its livery with the first Airbus A350-900 out of the paint shop

Aeroflot revises its livery with the first Airbus A350-900

Aeroflot Russian Airlines has updated its livery with the first Airbus A350-900 fresh out of the paint shop at Airbus.

The new look adds larger titles and removes the blue underside with the red trim line. The fuselage has also gone from silver to white.

The pictured A350-941 carries the temporary registration of F-WZGT and will become VQ-BFY (msn 383) on delivery. It carries the name of  “P. Tchaikovsky”.

Copyright Photos: Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A350-941 F-WZGT (VQ-BFZ) (msn 383) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948798.

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Iberia to expand Airbus A350-900 routes in 2020

Third Airbus A350-900 for Iberia

Iberia currently operates its six Airbus A350-900s from the Madrid hub to New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), Buenos Aires and Santiago.

The airline is planning to expand A350 operations with the next six deliveries. IB will open new A350 routes to San Jose (Costa Rica) and Los Angeles with the beginning of the summer 2020 schedule. Tokyo (Narita) will follow in time for the 2020 Olympics.

On June 23, 2019, Iberia’s A350-900 landed for the first time at Chicago. This is the third city, after New York and Buenos Aires.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Iberia Airbus A350-941 EC-NBE (msn 271) MAD (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 945745.

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SAS to open a nonstop route to Tokyo Haneda with the new Airbus A350-900

SAS' first Airbus A350-900, in new livery

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has announced a nonstop route to Tokyo Haneda International Airport from Copenhagen Kastrup. The route gives travelers better access to downtown Tokyo and with All Nippon Airways (ANA), a fellow Star Alliance member, the route will increase connectivity to 30 domestic destinations in Japan.

Shinjuku skyline at sunset taken from Shibuya, Tokio.

The direct Copenhagen-Haneda route will be served by SAS’ new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. As the most environmental-friendly airplane on the market, the A350 will reduce emissions by 30 percent compared to earlier generations of similar long-haul aircraft.

In connection with the route between Copenhagen and Haneda, SAS will discontinue the service between Copenhagen and Tokyo Narita Airport. More capacity between Japan and Scandinavia will be added in spring 2020 when All Nippon Airways opens a new route between Haneda and Stockholm.

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948184.

SAS aircraft slide show:

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SAS reports an “unsatisfactory full year result”

SAS' first Airbus A350-900, in new livery

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS issued this financial report:

AUGUST 2019–OCTOBER 2019

  • Revenue: MSEK 13,463 (12,678)
  • Income before tax (EBT): MSEK 1,096 (789)
  • Income before tax and items affecting comparability: MSEK 1,226 (822)
  • Net income for the period: MSEK 861 (623)
  • Earnings per common share SEK 2.19 (1.56)

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER

  • SAS issued a new hybrid bond amounting to SEK 1.5 billion
  • New organizational structure implemented

OUTLOOK

  • SAS expects to deliver an EBIT margin before items affecting comparability of 3-5% for the fiscal year 2020

NOVEMBER 2018–OCTOBER 2019

  • Revenue: MSEK 46,736 (44,718)
  • Income before tax (EBT): MSEK 794 (2,050)
  • Income before tax and items affecting comparability: MSEK 786 (2,136)
  • Net income for the period: MSEK 621 (1,595)
  • Earnings per common share: SEK 1.54 (3.71)
  • Income before tax negatively impacted by strike MSEK -615
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 2.5%

COMMENTS BY THE CEO

SAS had an unsatisfactory full year result, significantly lower than last year, due to headwinds from higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable currency movements and a strike. Despite these challenges, SAS’ attractive customer offering and operational efficiency improvements together with reduced market capacity, especially in the fourth quarter, led to a positive result for the full-year 2019.

During the fourth quarter, we noted strong momentum in the demand for our products and services. The total number of passengers grew 2.3%. In addition, sales of charter capacity and attached revenues also increased. Altogether, total revenues increased over 6% to MSEK 13,463.

Earnings before tax and items affecting comparability also developed favorably in the quarter and ended at MSEK 1,226, up MSEK 404 year-on-year. The improved earnings were mainly driven by increased revenues which were partially offset by higher operational expenditures from negative currency developments. Our ongoing work to improve operational robustness resulted in improved regularity and punctuality, as well as a significantly lower cost of claims.

During the quarter, we also strengthened our equity position by issuing a SEK 1.5 billion hybrid bond. The main objective of the issuance was to increase equity ahead of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard, which came into effect on 1 November 2019.

The full fiscal year 2019 was characterized by significant headwinds for SAS, including higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable FX-rates and a seven-day strike. However, strong demand shown in passenger and attached revenues led to a total revenue increase of SEK 2 billion. The improved unit revenue and passenger yield show that our attractive value proposition for Scandinavian travelers generates strong revenues. Despite the increase, full-year earnings regrettably declined MSEK 1,350 due to the negative headwinds stated above.

FURTHER ENHANCEMENTS TO OUR CUSTOMER OFFERING

During the quarter we unveiled SAS’ new livery. This is part of our ongoing transformation to the most modern fleet in the market. The single-type fleet will, besides the financial advantages of streamlined maintenance and lower fuel consumption, also reduce our emissions significantly – a topic important for SAS, our customers and society at large.

Furthermore, we are pleased that the Norwegian Armed Forces selected SAS as their carrier of choice for the next four years. The contract strengthens our market position and presence in the important Norwegian domestic market. The Swedish Paralympic Committee also chose SAS as their partner ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. The agreement with Sweden’s Paralympic Committee means that SAS is now the Olympic and Paralympic partner for all of Scandinavia’s athletes in Tokyo.

Looking ahead to next year, we are continuing to adapt our network to make life easier for our customers. For the coming summer program, we are launching 14 new direct routes and 5 totally new destinations from Scandinavia, including Bari (Italy), Rhodes (Greece), Tivat (Montenegro), Zadar (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain).

CONTINUED EFFORTS TO REDUCE CLIMATE IMPACT

Besides the fleet renewal, which is our most important initiative to reduce carbon emissions, we also made progress on several activities supporting our journey toward more sustainable air travel and a reduced climate impact.

We continued our efforts to increase the supply and usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (i.e. biofuel) and made it easier for travelers to voluntarily buy biofuel, in addition to the amount SAS is already using. On 31 October, we were happy to announce that the Swedish cross-country team decided to invest in biofuel to reduce its emissions. The team will buy biofuel from SAS at an amount equivalent to their fuel consumption on flights between Stockholm and Östersund.

SAS’ COO, Simon Pauck Hansen, was recently appointed Chairman of the Aviation Group in the Climate Partnership initiated by the Danish Government. The partnership is one out of 13, where all industrial segments in Denmark are engaged to fulfill the ambitious climate goals set by the Danish government. SAS looks forward to playing a vital role in the partnership and demonstrate leadership toward a more sustainable aviation future.

For the CO2 emissions that we cannot eliminate with today’s technology, we continue to carbon offset through Natural Capital Partners, which invests in global emission reduction projects, such as wind power in India. At the end of the quarter, we had compensated for over 3.9 million journeys with SAS, representing 40% of the total passenger-related CO2 emissions in the fourth quarter.

IMPROVED OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Our efforts to improve operational quality continue. During the quarter, regularity increased 0.6 percentage points to 98.9% and punctuality increased 1.7 percentage points to 82.5%. In addition to supporting an improved customer experience, the improvements also resulted in lower claim costs.

We delivered on our efficiency target of SEK 0.9 billion set out for the year. The remaining SEK 0.6 billion of the total SEK 3 billion will be delivered in the next fiscal year, according to plan.

In the quarter, we implemented a new organizational structure to enhance accountability and to accelerate the next phase of transformation.

LOOKING AHEAD

SAS did not meet two of its’ three financial targets for the fiscal year 2019, despite a strong fourth quarter. Financial preparedness remains strong, but the return on invested capital came in at a disappointing 8% and our adjusted net debt to EBITDAR increased to 3.7x.

This outcome is not satisfactory and reinforces the need for additional efforts to improve our operational efficiency and competitiveness. We remain committed to our strategy which has resulted in substantial improvements since 2012. Under this framework we have started additional initiatives to further improve efficiency, flexibility and competitiveness in the coming years.

Some of these initiatives will yield results already in 2020, while others lay the foundation for increased efficiency in the years to come. As a part of our digitalization and Lean efforts, we have set aside MSEK 120 in restructuring costs to accelerate the automation of administrative tasks to reduce overhead costs.

Our investment in a single-type fleet in SAS Scandinavia will bring significant benefits to our operations, but due to the required training, productivity will be negatively impacted in the forthcoming years. However, we will see some of the benefits materialize in 2021 with reduced stand-by levels and maintenance costs, as Arlanda becomes our second all-Airbus base after Copenhagen.

We will also benefit from our initiative to improve asset and crew utilization. Here we aim to have a new system and planning processes fully up and running by 2022. Already in 2020, this will help us to further improve our strong operational robustness and drive further efficiencies, that will contribute with MSEK 75 in cost reductions as early as next year.

As a final point, we need to further enhance our operating model to increase productivity and flexibility. Approximately 20% of the destinations in SAS network are optimal to serve with an aircraft sized between an A320neo (180-seat) and a CRJ (90-seat). Our older 120-150 seat aircraft serving this segment today need to be replaced in the next few years and currently there is no order in place to bridge the gap.

Rightsizing of the fleet is crucial from a profitability perspective, but it is also an important part of our journey towards a more sustainable future.

However, to place such an order we need to certify that the benefits of single-fleet operations on all platforms remain intact, and that the available aircraft types perform to the standard for which we are known. We also need to secure competitive duty agreements appropriate for mid-size operation.

In summary, all additional initiatives come with a substantial long-term potential and the additional gross efficiency improvements are estimated at SEK 1.5-2.0 billion by FY23 and beyond. In 2020, we expect these initiatives to contribute to the full-year target of SEK 0.6 billion in efficiency improvements.

OUTLOOK

The uncertain economic outlook and emerging slowdown in key economies will negatively impact customer demand. The continued weakness of the Swedish and Norwegian krona against the US dollar and the Euro also remains a challenge. For the forthcoming year, we therefore foresee significantly lower growth, both from a demand and a supply perspective.

Given these market conditions together with higher costs for new aircraft, increased training volumes as well as the implementation of IFRS 16, we expect to deliver an EBIT margin of 3-5% for fiscal year 2020. For the same reasons we expect an increased loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to last year.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all SAS ­employees and partners for their efforts during the year. Similarly, I want to thank our customers and look forward to welcoming you aboard one of our 800 daily flights in 2020!

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948184.

SAS aircraft slide show:

Hong Kong Airlines responds to reports of financial distress

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350-941 B-LGB (msn 153) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948427.

Hong Kong Airlines made this announcement:

Hong Kong Airlines acknowledged the new requirements set out by the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) today. Our operation is still running normally and we remain committed to flying our passengers to their destinations safely.

Hong Kong Airlines updates ATLA and the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) regularly on our operation and financial improvement plan. We have addressed our financial situation by implementing cost-savings measures, while adjusting our operation from time to time to respond to changing market demand.

As weak travel demand resulting from the social unrest in Hong Kong has continued to affect our business and revenue, Hong Kong Airlines has reduced its capacity and flights in the coming months as well as further consolidated its network under the challenging business environment.

Hong Kong Airlines is actively communicating with our shareholders and other stakeholders to meet the new requirements from ATLA as requested. We will remain professional and deliver our best customer service to all passengers.

Hong Kong Airlines just turned 13.

Top Copyright Photo: Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350-941 B-LGB (msn 153) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948427.

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SAS takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient wide body aircraft.

The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft).

In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts.

SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 F-WZHJ (SE-RSA) (msn 358) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948367.

SAS aircraft slide show: