Tag Archives: BCN

Belavia orders another Embraer 195, will replace its Boeing 737-500s

Belavia Belarusian Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) EW-399PO (msn 190000667) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 925546.

Belavia, the national carrier of Belarus, has recorded a 20% year-over-year increase in passengers and has ordered another Embraer 195 to keep up with demand.

The new airplane brings the total number of E-Jets in the fleet to seven – four E195s and three E175s. The latest E195 will be delivered in 2018. Belavia also announced orders for one E195 and one E175 at the Paris Air Show earlier this year.

The airline is updating its fleet and using its E-Jets to add frequencies on existing routes and to open new markets.

The new E195 will replace the airline’s current Boeing 737-500s (below).

Top Copyright Photo: Belavia Belarusian Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) EW-399PO (msn 190000667) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 925546.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Belavia Belarusian Airlines Boeing 737-524 EW-253PA (msn 26339) BCN (Karl Cornil). Image: 938676.

The Boeing 737-500s to replaced with new Embraer E-Jets in 2018

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Ryanair full year profit jumps 66% to €867 million on renewed customer service, will lease in six aircraft

Ryanair logo-3

Ryanair (Dublin) announced a full year net profit of €867 million ($947.7 million) for the fiscal year ending on March 31.

The company issued this statement:

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:

“We are pleased to celebrate Ryanair’s 30th Birthday by reporting this 66% increase in net profit which demonstrates the enduring strength of Ryanair’s lowest fare/lowest cost model which has been transformed by the success of our “Always Getting Better” (AGB) customer experience program. AGB has attracted millions of new customers to Ryanair.

Highlights of the past year include:

– Traffic up 11% to 90.6 million as load factors rose from 83% to 88%

– Unit costs ex fuel were flat (including fuel they fell 5%)

– Net profits rose 66% as net margin jumped from 10% to 15%

– Earlier loading of schedules led to materially stronger forward bookings

– AGB Year 1 program delivered, Year 2 improvements rolled out

– Ryanair Labs is transforming our digital and mobile platforms

– Lead customer order for 200 x Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft

– 2nd Eurobond issue (€850m @ 1.125% coupon) lowers our finance costs.

Business Development:

Over the past year we have relentlessly improved our lowest fare/lowest cost model. We have expanded into primary airports, added business schedules and extended long term low cost growth deals at major bases including London (STN) and Dublin where the Irish Government has rebooted tourism by abolishing the travel tax.

Our AGB program is transforming our customer experience, our service, and the way we listen and respond to our customers. We have won substantial traffic and share gains in all markets. We are now the No. 1 or No. 2 airline in most EU countries except France and Germany (where we are a rapidly growing No. 3). Since our Year 1 AGB program has been so successful we have launched our Year 2 program as part of our strategy to make Ryanair Europe’s most customer friendly, as well as its lowest fare, airline.

This combination of lowest fares and improving customer experience has led to higher load factors and double digit traffic growth. To facilitate this growth we have ordered 183 Boeing 737-800’s for delivery from 2014-2018, and 200 Boeing 737 Max 200’s from 2019-2023 (including 100 option aircraft). These aircraft will deliver at lower US$ rates and much lower Eurobond finance rates which (with 8 extra seats and 18% more efficient engines) will transform our aircraft costs and enable us to lower fares, which underpins our traffic and market share growth, while maintaining and/or growing margins.

Operations:

Our summer 2015 fleet of 320 aircraft is insufficient to handle the demand for Ryanair’s low fares. We will lease-in 6 aircraft in the peak period (7 in 2014) to help meet this surging demand. We expect over half of our growth to occur at primary airports such as Brussels, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Dublin and London (STN). Much of this growth is being stimulated by our Business Plus and Family Extra services which have been key features of our AGB program and our successful entry/growth at these primary airports.

We continue to deliver industry leading punctuality despite the occasional and repeated damage inflicted on our operations by unjustified ATC strikes and airspace closures or by adverse weather in different European regions during the winter schedule as follows:-

Last year we set out a strategy to drive stronger forward bookings, encourage customers to book earlier to avail of lower prices and deliver higher load factors. These higher load factors have helped to reduce unit costs and boosted ancillary sales. I am pleased that forward bookings, as we enter the S15 peak (June to Sept), are on average 4% ahead of last year, and we expect this will lead to a 2% points rise in load factors from 88% to 90% in FY16 especially as customers enjoy our AGB service improvements.

Revenue and Costs:

We celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ryanair first bringing low fares to Europe ( July 8, 1985) by growing our traffic 11% to 90.6 million customers. This generated revenue growth of 12% which was a pleasing result given we had no new aircraft deliveriesin summer 2014. Ancillary revenues grew at a slightly faster rate than traffic so total revenue rose 12% to over €5.6 billion.

Unit costs which benefited from lower unhedged fuel prices (10% of volume) fell by 5%. Excluding fuel our unit costs were flat, which was an impressive performance in a year where we made a substantial move to more expensive primary airports without compromising our 25 minute turnarounds. The fact that we maintained flat unit costs (ex-fuel) while many competitors saw their unit costs rise means that our cost leadership over competitors has widened during the last year. This bodes well for our growth, especially as we move into airports and routes where our competitors are charging markedly higher fares. This price advantage has helped Ryanair win substantial market share from competitor airlines in Dublin and London (STN), in particular.

Hedging:

Over the last year we have taken advantage of currency and fuel price weakness where possible, to establish a very favourable hedge position as follows:

– oil is 90% hedged for FY16 at $92 pbl

– oil is 36% hedged for FY17 at $69 pbl

– US$ OpEx is 90% hedged for FY16 & FY17 at $1.33 & $1.19 respectively

– US$ CapEx is 100% hedged for FY16, FY17 & FY18 at $1.37, $1.34 & $1.23 respectively

This favorable US$ hedging will deliver significant aircraft, maintenance and fuel savings over the next 2 years, even before we engage in further oil hedging during periods of price weakness.

Balance Sheet and Shareholder Returns:

Our rising profits are generating significant free cash flows, which has enabled us to deliver substantial returns to shareholders. In Feb. 2015 we paid our 3rd special dividend of €520 million (€0.37 per share) and then launched our 6th share buyback under which we hope to buy and retire €400 million of ordinary shares by the end of August. This will bring the cash returned to shareholders over the past 8 years to almost €3 billion.

Despite these pay-outs we still finished the year with €364 million in net cash and a balance sheet rated BBB+ by both S&P and Fitch Ratings, the highest rating of any airline worldwide. We expect our Eurobond program, (under which we have raised €1.7 billion unsecured at blended rates of 1.50% p.a.) will lower our financing costs, boost profitability and continue to strengthen our balance sheet.

Regulation:

Europe’s airline industry continues to be blighted by over-regulation which frequently places producer monopoly protection above the interest of consumers, or growth in tourism and jobs. Examples such as Europe’s discredited ETS system, the shambles of our single sky project and the failure to prohibit ATC strikes (either by “no strike” legislation, or binding arbitration) allows the ATC Unions to regularly and repeatedly close Europe’s skies.

The UK CMA’s 2013 divestment ruling under which this UK regulator orders one Irish airline to reduce its minority stake in another, solely on the basis of “secret” evidence that no other airline would bid for Aer Lingus while Ryanair held a minority 29.8% shareholding, has now been hopelessly disproven by IAG’s offer. We have written to the CMA calling on them to reverse this ruling but have been amazed that they (in their provisional decision) have claimed that the IAG bid for Aer Lingus (which they predicted would not happen) is not a “change of circumstances”. We believe the CMA will be totally discredited if they do not reverse this manifestly erroneous ruling.

In the meantime our approach to the IAG offer remains unchanged. The Board of Ryanair will consider any offer (should we receive one) from IAG on its merits, if or when it is received.

Ryanair strongly supports the development of additional runway capacity in the London market. We believe that the market should be free to develop 3 new runways, one each at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted which is the only long term solution to the capacity crisis in the South East, and which will encourage all 3 airports to deliver additional capacity quickly and cost efficiently.

Outlook:

Thanks to our lowest fares, our growth into primary airports and the remarkable impact of our Year 1 AGB program, we continue to experience strong demand and forward booking momentum. Average load factors in the first 4 months of 2015 grew by 10%. While this will slow to 1% or 2% over the peak summer months (due to high p/y comparables) forward bookings are on average 4% ahead of this time last year, as our earlier schedules, lower prices and AGB customer program, particularly at primary airports attracts millions of new customers to Ryanair.

While our traffic growth this year will be strong, (up 10%), it would be foolish not to expect some irrational pricing response from competitors who cannot compete with our lowest costs and fares. Ryanair will remain vigorously “load factor active/price passive”. Therefore, even with the benefit of lower oil, aircraft and financing costs we may suffer periods of fare/yield weakness especially during the H2 winter season. This is why our yield guidance remains cautious at broadly flat in H1 but down 4% to 8% in H2 for a forecast FY yield decline of 2%. If this decline proves accurate then we believe that lower unit costs in FY16 will still provide a 10% improvement in profits, which should (subject to H2 yields over which we have no visibility) rise to a range of €940 million to €970 million for the full year to March 2016.”

Hannah Maundrell Editor in chief of money.co.uk comments:

“Who ever thought we’d see Ryanair’s customer focus heralded as exemplary? Their impressive profits should act as a clear lesson to any company that thinks low prices excuse poor standards. Consumers want value for money, and they want to be treated fairly. Ryanair is proof that it’s never too late to turn things around.”

Copyright Photo below: Guillaume Besnard/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair will have to lease in six aircraft this summer to meet demand. Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EKJ (msn 38497) with “Comunitat Valenciana” sub-titles departs from Barcelona.

Ryanair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Alitalia to add Milan Linate-Copenhagen service

Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) will introduce the Milan (Linate) – Copenhagen route on March 30. The new route will initially operate three days a week with Airbus A320 aircraft according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-IKU (msn 1217) climbs away from the runway at Barcelona.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

 

Video: A go around at Barcelona on July 5

Sometimes people taking videos at airports capture some interesting footage. This incident took place at Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) on July 5.

Here is the description by Miguel Ángel on YouTube:

On July 5, early in the morning. What you see is what happened.

An UTair Boeing 767-300 (VQ-BSX) incoming from Moscow as (flight) UT5187 and Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A340-300 (LV-FPV) were involved into what could be the bigger disaster of Barcelona Airport.

The Utair 767 was about to land on Runway 02 while the Argentinas was crossing the runway.

By the time Russian pilots sighted the Argentinas (they were taxiing to the holding point of runway 25R for takeoff) on the runway while they were on the final approach, they did their best making an impressive and close go around.

After that incidence the plane landed safely on runway 02, and the Argentinas took-off heading to Buenos Aires.

Read the report from the UTair pilots in the Siberian Times: CLICK HERE

Update: Aerolineas Argentinas has now publicly responded to the filmed event:

“Aerolíneas Argentinas clarifies that in the alleged incident at El Prat airport in Barcelona on Saturday  July 5, involving an aircraft of the Russian airline UTair and an Aerolíneas Argentinas aircraft, there was no risk at any time.

This has been corroborated by the manager of the Spanish airports operator AENA (Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) who initially reported that “both planes were where they should be.”
Moreover, a spokesman of AENA also said that “the landing of the UTair aircraft could have been done without risk, since both aircraft were in the proper place, with enough distance between them.”

This is consistent with the report made by the captain of the Aerolineas Argentinas aircraft, who said the AR plane followed the instructions of El Prat control tower.

This morning AENA issued a statement that ensures that the “go-around” performed by the Russian aircraft “is a standard procedure, with all the guarantees of safety”.

Thus Aerolineas Argentinas clarifies that the situation recorded by a plane spotter and widely publicized by the media, related to flight AR 1163 on Saturday July 5, did not involve any risk.”

 

Norwegian opens its new base at Barcelona, Spain

Norwegian BCN Opening (Norwegian)(LR)

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) and Spanish authorities are celebrating today the opening of the new base in Barcelona. It is the sixth Spanish base along with Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.

The mood among the travelers were on top when Norwegian, Spanish authorities and partners celebrated the opening of the new base in Barcelona with a ribbon cutting, refreshments and speeches.

Between March and October this year Norwegian expects to fly around 700,000 passengers to and from Barcelona. During the same period last year traveled 490,000 passengers to and from the Catalan capital.

Three Boeing 737-800 are now based at the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Over 120 pilots and cabin crew have been hired locally with competitive wages and working conditions. Norwegian opens four new routes and increase frequencies on existing routes from April 2014. Norwegian now has 11 nonstop routes from BCN and 69 flights a week from Barcelona.

Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. The latest Norwegian Boeing 787-8 EI-LND (msn 35310) arrived at Dublin on delivery from Boeing on March 26. The Dreamliner was rolled out yesterday (March 31) with a decal of Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz on the tail.

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LND (02-Grete Waitz)(Tail) DUB (MKY)(LRW)

Atlantic Airways reports a net profit of $626,150 in the first half, up 160%

Atlantic Airways (Vagar, Faroe Islands) reported improved financial results and issued this financial report for the first half of 2013:

Revenue increased 5% to DKK 129.5 million in Q2 2013 from DKK 122.8 million in the corresponding period in 2012. The increase is mainly attributable to an increase in passenger numbers on scheduled services and increased charter activity as well as increased duty-free sales.

EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) in Q2 2013 decreased 1% from DKK 24.7 million in the second quarter of 2012, to DKK 24.3 million.

The result before tax (EBT) for the second quarter of 2013 was DKK 7.6 million, compared with DKK 6.9 million in the same period last year and the result after tax for the second quarter of 2013 was DKK 6.2 million, compared with DKK 5.7 million in the second quarter of 2012.

The main explanatory factors for the higher result in Q2 2013 are the increased number of passengers and higher load factor on scheduled services. However, the result in Q2 2013 was also affected by decreased helicopter activity.

EBITDA in the first half of 2013 were DKK 37.7 million, compared with DKK 31.7 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 19%. The result before tax for the first half of 2013 amounted to DKK 4.3 million, compared with DKK 1.7 million in the same period in 2012 and the result after tax amounted to DKK 3.5 million, compared with DKK 1.4 million in the same period in 2012.

The supply of seats (ASK) on scheduled services in the second quarter was 1% lower than in  the corresponding period last year due to adjustments in capacity. Passenger traffic (RPK) on scheduled services increased 8% in the same period resulting in an increase in passenger load factor (PLF) from 71 to 78%. During the first half the supply of seats grew by 7% owing to the introduction of Airbus capacity in Q 1 and passenger traffic increased by 9% in total.

“Growth in traffic has been significant although there is still room for better loads in the low season”, says Magni Arge, CEO. Growth has been driven by low-fare campaigns and supported by growth in capacity in Q1.

In June, the second Airbus was introduced to service both the route network to the Faroes and charter operations out of Denmark. Like the first aircraft it was also modified to support the groundbreaking RNP AR navigational aid system. The system has improved the regularity and saved us a number of diversions. However, in July, the severe fog interrupted operations consistently over a period of four weeks resulting in 54 diversions and cancellations as well as a further 70 delays.

Without RNP AR equipped aircraft we would have experienced a further 20 diversions. The total cost of the unrecedented weather interruption in July is estimated at between 7.5 and 8.5 MDKK .” says Magni Arge.

Atlantic Airways currently estimates that the full-year result in 2013 will be about the same level as in 2012, yet fuel prices, adverse weather, and advice against travel to Egypt may have a negative impact on the result. Other risk factors mentioned in the Risk management section in the 2012 annual report may similarly affect the financial performance.

Vagar Airport Webcam: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. The company is pioneering its RNP AR navigational aid system at Vagar Airport in the Faroe Islands. Airbus A319-115 OY-RCG (msn 5079) arrives at Barcelona on a flight from Vagar.

Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Atlantic Airways logo

Route Map: Atlantic Airways is the only scheduled passenger airline on these routes from the Faroe Islands:

Atlantic Airways (Faroe Islands) 8-2013 Route Map

Videos:

Aerolineas Argentinas to post its largest loss in 2012

Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) is estimating it will lose around $976 million in 2012, its largest deficit recorded in the last 21 years. On average, the airline has lost close to $2.7 million per day. since July 2008, according to this report by Noticias.

Read the full report (in Spanish): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Carl Cornil. Boeing 737-7Q8 LV-CYJ (msn 30647) arrives at Barcelona.

Aerolineas Argentinas: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available