Tag Archives: ANC

FedEx Express orders 30 ATR 72-600F freighters

FedEx Feeder-Empire Airlines (3rd) ATR 72-212 (F) N805FX (msn 372) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930573.

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, has announced it has completed a purchase agreement with ATR that will begin to modernize the company’s fleet of feeder aircraft.

Under the agreement, FedEx Express is making a firm purchase of 30 ATR 72-600F aircraft with options to purchase up to 20 additional ATR 72-600Fs. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in 2020, with subsequent deliveries of about six aircraft per year over a five year period.

ATR 72-600Fs will have:

  • a forward Large Cargo Door (LCD) and a rear upper-hinged cargo door
  • digital cockpits
  • advanced avionics technology and enhanced take-off performance
  • ADS-B “out” capabilities

The ATR 72-600F is equipped with reinforced floor panels and will support both bulk cargo and Unit Load Device (ULD) configurations. The aircraft has a bulk capacity of 2,630 cubic feet (74.6 cubic meters). When in ULD mode, it can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108” pallets, or nine 88” x 62” pallets.

Current FedEx feeder aircraft do not carry containers or palletized freight, so these new features will help the company better serve customers in the air freight market where palletized shipments are the norm.

FedEx currently deploys more than 300 feeder aircraft in 45 countries. Most of these feeder aircraft are owned by FedEx, and are leased and operated by different third-party air carriers under their own operating certificates. The FedEx feeder fleet is comprised of aircraft under 60,000 pounds maximum gross take-off weight, and allows the company to provide fast, economical service to small and medium-sized markets around the world.

The FedEx feeder fleet complements the company’s jet fleet of over 360 aircraft, including Boeing 777s, 767s and 757s, MD-11s, MD-10s, Airbus A300s and Airbus A310s.

Copyright Photo: The new ATR 72-600s will replace the older ATR 42s and ATR 72s. FedEx Feeder-Empire Airlines (3rd) ATR 72-212 (F) N805FX (msn 372) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930573.

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Yangtze River Express becomes Suparna Airlines

Yangtze River Express Boeing 747-481 (BCF) B-2432 (msn 28283) ANC (Bailey). Image: 931316.

Yangtze River Express (Yangtze River Airlines) (Shanghai) on July 7, 2017 changed its name to Suparna Airlines.

The company issued this short statement:

From July 7, 2017, the name of “Yangtze River Airlines” is officially renamed as “Suparna Airlines”, the company’s full name has changed from “Yangtze River Airlines Company Limited” to “Suparna Airlines Company Limited”.

In the future, Suparna Airlines will conduct a comprehensive brand upgrade. With more advanced fleet, and more comprehensive services, we’ve always been committed to building cozier and more entertaining experience for our passengers.

Suparna is another name for Garuda, a large legendary bird, bird-like creature.

Copyright Photo: Yangtze River Express Boeing 747-481 (BCF) B-2432 (msn 28283) ANC (Bailey). Image: 931316.

Northern Air Cargo to become a new Boeing 767-300 freighter operator, adds its first Boeing 737-400

1st 737-400F, delivered June 13, 2017, new livery

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. stated its subsidiary, Cargo Aircraft Management, has reached agreement with Northern Aviation Services, Inc. for the lease of three Boeing 767-300 freighters to be operated by subsidiary Northern Air Cargo.  The aircraft will provide service to its cargo brands Aloha Air Cargo based in Hawaii, StratAir based in Florida, and Northern Air Cargo (NAC) based in Alaska.

Northern Aviation Services, Inc. operates Boeing 737 freighters and provides 767 freighter services under ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) agreements with ATSG’s airline subsidiaries.

Under the agreements, CAM will lease three 767-300 freighters to Northern Aviation Services, Inc. for seven-year terms, beginning with the first lease in October 2017. The agreements also provide for the potential lease of additional 767-300s from CAM in 2018.  These long-term lease placements will add to the already greater than 80 percent of CAM’s 767 fleet contracted under multi-year dry lease.

Some of the leased 767-300s will replace CAM-owned 767-200/300s currently operating on an ACMI basis under ATSG’s Wet-2-Dry program, which allows carriers to prove their business case for 767s under ACMI arrangements, then transition to long-term dry lease arrangements.

ATSG President and CEO Joe Hete said, “Our relationship with Northern Aviation Services and its affiliates began in 2015 and is expanding based on the solid relationship the companies have developed over that time. We are pleased that NAS has come to appreciate the advantages of our midsize Boeing 767s and the benefits they can provide to regional air cargo networks like the one that NAS is developing. We hope to provide more details about our continuing role as a provider of reliable midsize freighters to NAS in the coming months.”

NAS President and CEO David Karp said, “We’re pleased to be moving forward with our transition from wet leasing to dry leasing with CAM. Our experience over the past two years has given us the confidence to move ahead with this initiative. We look forward to continued mutually beneficial collaboration with ATSG, CAM, and their family of companies. We have already commenced hiring and training of pilots to accommodate this expansion and our operating companies are excited about providing expanded services to our valued customers.”

NAC just recently added its first Boeing 737-400 freighter and also has simplified its livery (above). N401YK arrived on June 13, 2017 and was entered into revenue service to Nome the following day from Anchorage.

Copyright Photo: NAC-Northern Air Cargo Boeing 737-436 (F) N401YK (msn 25860) ANC (Marco Finelli). Image: 938387.

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Alaska Airlines launches ‘Paint the Plane’ sweepstakes for Alaska students

alaska-paint-the-plane-logo

Alaska Airlines is inviting school age children from across the state of Alaska to help paint a new plane, as part of its “Paint the Plane” sweepstakes. The Boeing 737-700 cargo jet will feature a special paint theme created by selected art from young Alaskans.

This is the second time Alaska Airlines has called on students in Alaska to help design a plane livery. The first was the “Spirit of Alaska Statehood,” designed by Hannah Hamburg (below), then a 16-year-old Sitka high-school student. The plane with her drawing was introduced in 2009 to celebrate 50 years of statehood and was retired in June 2016.

Best Seller - "Spirit of Alaska Statehood," designed by Hannah Hamburg

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) “Spirit of Alaska Statehood” (We’re all pulling together) (State of Alaska) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 905224.

“With the recent retirement of our last Alaska-themed livery we can’t think of a better way to honor our connection to Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president for the state of Alaska. “Our goal is not just painting a plane, but to inspire Alaska students to show us, through art, why Alaska is such a special place to call home.”

Students who submit artwork by the deadline will have a chance to win one of 10 prize packages consisting of either four roundtrip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies, or a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Alaska.

Complete sweepstakes rules and entry forms are available at http://www.painttheplane.com. Entry forms will also be available at Alaska Airlines ticket counters in select terminals throughout the state of Alaska.

Paint the Plane sweepstakes schedule:

Oct. 12 – Sweepstakes begins for Alaska students
Oct. 28 – Entry forms must be postmarked and mailed
Dec. 2016 – Design is revealed and winners announced
Spring 2017 – Painted plane is unveiled
Alaska Airlines has painted other special liveries with help from the public, including the “Timbers Jet,” supporting the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer team and the “Spirit of the Islands,” designed in 2013 by a Honolulu high school student.

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PenAir continues to expand outside of Alaska, will serve three cities in Nebraska and Denver

PenAir (Peninsula Airways) SAAB 340A (F) N662PA (msn 109) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 925112.

PenAir (Anchorage) continues to expand in the “Lower 48”. The regional carrier has been selected to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) to three communities in Nebraska. The airline will launch service to Denver from Kearney, North Platte and Scottsdale replacing Great Lakes Airlines.

Previously the airline announced a major expansion from Portland, Oregon:

PenAir 5.16 PDX Route Map

The airline also serves New England from Boston:

PenAir 5.16 BOS Route Map

The airline originally started in Alaska:

PenAir 5.16 Alaska Route Map

Copyright Photo: PenAir also operates SAAB 340B freighters in Alaska. PenAir (Peninsula Airways) SAAB 340A (F) N662PA (msn 109) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 925112.

Alaska Airlines and Icelandair enter into a codeshare agreement

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Icelandair (Keflavik) have entered into a codeshare agreement and frequent flier partnership, which will give customers easier connections and more ways to earn benefits when flying between the U.S. and Europe.

Icelandair logo-1 (LRW)

With the new codeshare agreement, to take effect November 1 pending government approval, customers flying on Alaska Airlines and Icelandair will enjoy seamless reservations and ticketing, one-stop check-in, baggage checked to its final destination, coordinated flight schedules, the ability to earn miles and/or points on the reciprocal airline and consistent passenger service standards.

Elite-level members of each airline’s frequent flier program also will receive reciprocal club lounge benefits.

Icelandair operates flights from 16 cities in North America to Iceland with connections to more than 20 destinations in Europe, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London and Paris. Travelers can also enjoy an Icelandair stop-over to visit the city of Reykjavik and tour surrounding areas for up to seven nights at no additional airfare charge.

As an added benefit, starting October 1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold and Gold 75K members will receive complimentary access to Icelandair’s Saga Lounge at Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik and Icelandair Saga Gold and Silver members will enjoy complimentary access to Alaska Board Room lounges in Seattle, Portland, Anchorage and Los Angeles.

Members of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan can begin earning miles on Icelandair starting October 1, and through December 15, 2015 the airline is offering double miles.* Miles flown will count toward elite status in Alaska’s Mileage Plan. Members of Icelandair’s Saga Club can begin earning Saga Points for flights on Alaska starting October 1. Redemption for award travel will start later this year.

Icelandair has a long history of providing flights from the United States to Europe. The airline offers onboard Wi-Fi access, personal inflight entertainment, three cabins of service and two free checked bags for customers. Icelandair Saga Club, Icelandair´s frequent flier program, offers members multiple options to redeem their Saga Points, whether it is a flight with Icelandair, onboard refreshments and duty free items, hotel accommodations around the world or gift certificates at various retailers in U.S. and Canada. The most frequent fliers with Saga Gold and Silver status enjoy excellent benefits, such as upgrades, lounge access and extra baggage allowance.

Over the last few years Alaska has grown its codeshare and frequent flier partnerships with the world’s best airlines to provide customers with convenient service to most every point on the globe. In July, Alaska added China-based carrier Hainan Airlines as a Mileage Plan partner. Mileage Plan was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs, Two Years in a Row” in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-208 TF-FIP (msn 30423) of Icelandair touches down in Anchorage, Alaska.

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Atlas Air Worldwide reports second quarter adjusted net income of $29.4 million

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) today announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $29.4 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2015, compared with $15.9 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2014.

Atlas Air Worldwide logo

On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2015 totaled $28.4 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared with $29.6 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Free cash flow of $68.5 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared with $59.2 million in the second quarter of 2014.

“Earnings in the second quarter were driven by contribution and margin strength in ACMI, Charter and Dry Leasing,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“We are seeing good demand for our aircraft and services as we enter the second half of 2015, as many of our customers are outperforming the overall market. We are working closely with our customers to provide them with the most efficient aircraft and effective operating services for their needs.

“As we gather additional insight into second-half demand, yields and military requirements, we continue to look forward to a strong year and a significant increase in earnings compared with 2014.”

Responding to market demand and customer requirements, we are implementing several previously announced fleet initiatives that are incorporated in our framework outlook for the year: placing an additional 747-400 freighter in ACMI service with DHL Express at the start of the third quarter; acquiring a new 747-8 freighter scheduled to be delivered to us in November; returning an owned, unencumbered 747-400 converted freighter to active service to meet additional Charter demand; securing a short-term operating lease on a second 747-400 converted freighter in Charter with more favorable terms; and expanding our Titan Dry Leasing portfolio by acquiring and converting two 767 passenger aircraft into freighter configuration. The freighters will be leased to DHL on a long-term basis when they are delivered in the fourth quarter.

 

Second-Quarter Results

Revenue and direct contribution in ACMI in the second quarter benefited from an increase in block hour volumes, driven by the start-up of four additional 767 CMI aircraft and an improvement in 747 cargo aircraft utilization. Segment contribution also benefited from lower heavy maintenance expense. These were partially offset by a reduction in revenue per block hour, which reflected the impact of payments received from a customer in 2014 in connection with the return of an aircraft as well as an increase in CMI flying in 2015.

In Charter, significantly higher segment revenues reflected an increase in commercial cargo demand and improvements in military passenger and cargo demand. In addition, segment contribution benefited from those higher flying levels and a reduction in heavy maintenance expense. The decrease in revenue per block hour was primarily driven by the impact of lower fuel prices.

In Dry Leasing, revenue and profitability grew as we realized revenue from maintenance payments related to the scheduled return of a 757-200 cargo aircraft in April. This aircraft was subsequently leased to DHL Express on a long-term basis during the quarter.

Reported earnings for the second quarter of 2015 included an effective income tax rate of 31.0%, which reflected our continued reinvestment of the net earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries outside of the U.S.

Half-Year Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2015, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $55.2 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, compared with $27.1 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2014.

On a reported basis, first-half 2015 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $57.6 million, or $2.29 per diluted share, compared with $37.5 million, or $1.49 per diluted share, in the first half of 2014.

Free cash flow totaled $148.8 million in the first six months of 2015 compared with $96.1 million in the first six months of 2014.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

At June 30, 2015, our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments totaled $554.9 million, compared with $330.7 million at December 31, 2014.

The change in position reflected net cash of $171.1 million provided by operating activities; net cash of $104.4 million provided by financing activities, which included $99.1 million of debt payments; and net cash of $59.4 million used for investing activities.

In June 2015, we issued $224.5 million of convertible senior notes due June 2022 with a cash coupon of 2.25%. We used a portion of the approximately $218 million of net proceeds from the offering in June to fund the $16.6 million net cost of convertible note hedges and warrants related to the notes. These transactions are intended to offset any actual dilution from the conversion of the notes and to effectively increase the overall conversion price from $74.05 to $95.01 per share.

During the third quarter of 2015, we expect to use approximately $113 million of the net proceeds to retire higher-rate Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs) related to five of our 747-400 freighter aircraft. The redemption amount gives effect to the company’s ownership interests in the EETCs being retired, which have an average cash coupon of 8.1%.

We expect to use the remaining net proceeds from the convertible note issuance for working capital and capital expenditures, repayment or refinancing of debt, and general corporate purposes.

Outlook

We are encouraged by our strong first-half performance. We are seeing good demand for our aircraft and services this quarter and for the remainder of the year. And we continue to anticipate significant growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share in 2015.

On a sequential basis, we expect earnings per share in the third quarter of 2015 to be slightly better than our second-quarter 2015 adjusted earnings, followed by further earnings improvement in the fourth quarter.

Taking our first-half 2015 earnings strength into account, we continue to expect approximately 55% of our earnings to occur in the second half.

In addition, we anticipate that block-hour volumes this year will increase approximately 10% compared with 2014, including the impact of the 747-8 freighter scheduled to be delivered in November and 747-400BCF that we returned to service at the end of the second quarter. More than 70% of our total block hours should be in ACMI and the balance in Charter. Our ACMI outlook reflects expected growth in both 747 freighter operations as well as CMI flying. Our Charter outlook reflects our strong presence in the global charter market and military demand that is holding up well compared with 2014 levels.

In Dry Leasing, our portfolio is expected to include our recent acquisition and subsequent conversion of two 767 passenger aircraft to freighter configuration. Following their conversion, which should be completed during the fourth quarter of this year, the aircraft will be leased to DHL Express.

Given the flying levels that we anticipate, we continue to expect that aircraft maintenance expense in 2015 should total approximately $190 million. In addition, depreciation should be approximately $125 million. We also anticipate an effective income tax rate of approximately 30%. Core capital expenditures, excluding aircraft and engine purchases, are expected to total approximately $45 million, mainly for spare parts for our fleet. Expenditures for additional aircraft and engines should total approximately $240 million.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-46NF N454PA (msn 30812) in DHL colors departs from scenic Anchorage, Alaska.

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