Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will restore the summer seasonal route between Portland, Oregon and Anchorage, Alaska on May 13, 2016. The restored route will be operated four days a week with Boeing 737-900s according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta has been building up its nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub so it is not surprising this route from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska is being restored. Boeing 737-932 ER N817DN (msn 31928) taxies to the runway at SEA.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add up to 20 Embraer 190 and 20 new Boeing 737-900 ER jets acquired through a new agreement with The Boeing Company.
The agreement is part of the airline’s continued strategy to improve its efficiency by adding additional 737-900 ERs and upgauging its mainline fleet with the nearly 100-seat, twin-engine E190 jets while reducing the use of small regional aircraft.
The order announced today offered Delta more compelling economics over a previously cancelled order that also included Boeing-held E190s.
Expected to begin flying in early 2017, Embraer’s unique cabin design in the E190 includes two-by-two seating throughout the Main Cabin, one-by-two in First Class, and large overhead bins and oversized windows.
The additional Boeing 737-900 ERs will bring the total in Delta’s fleet to 120 by 2019. The aircraft features large overhead bins and audio/video seatback entertainment with 20 seats in First Class, 21 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 139 seats in the Main Cabin.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER WL N827DN (msn 31938) is named for C.E. Woolman, Principal Founder and the First CEO of Delta Air Lines.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (December 3) made this announcement:
Today at its annual Investor Day, Alaska Airlines announced plans to roll-out a Premium Class section. Beginning in late 2016, the new upgrade option will provide more legroom and other perks to customers.
Customers who upgrade to Premium Class will get priority boarding and enjoy three to four inches more legroom compared with a standard coach seat. In addition, Alaska Airlines plans to offer additional amenities to further enhance the Premium Class in-flight experience. This upgrade option will be available to Alaska Airlines elite Mileage Plan members on a complimentary basis at booking or day of travel dependent on status and fare purchased.
Upgrade pricing and details on the included amenities will be announced closer to customer availability.
Alaska plans to retrofit up to 60 aircraft with the Premium Class section by the end of 2016 and the remainder of its 737-800, -900 and -900 ER fleet by the end of 2017. The upgrade option will also be available on Embraer 175s, operated by SkyWest, which are configured with 12 seats in the Premium Class section. Preferred Plus seating, currently available for purchase at check-in for bulkhead and exit rows, will continue to be offered on Alaska 737-400s and -700s.
Seats in the Premium Class section will have at least 35” of pitch, compared to 31” to 32” in the rest of the main cabin. To make room for the Premium Class while maintaining pitch in the main cabin, Alaska will reconfigure and reduce the number of seats available on some aircraft. Also, pitch in the First Class cabin will be increased from 36” to 41” providing a significantly enhanced experience for those customers.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N479AS (msn 60576) departs from Los Angeles International Airport in the revised 2015 livery.
Emirates (Dubai) today (October 26) announced a new codeshare and lounge agreement with Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma).
Pending governmental approval, Emirates will begin marketing up to 300 daily Alaska Airlines flights, which will give customers the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights on both airlines using one reservation, and a seamless ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage check experience during the entire journey. In addition, the new codeshare agreement will feature several other new benefits including reciprocal lounge access and priority boarding and check-in for elite fliers.
With two daily flights now departing from Dubai to Seattle/Tacoma, the enhanced codeshare agreement gives passengers easy connections to 49 cities including Honolulu, Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, Phoenix, Pullman, Sacramento, Spokane, Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks as well as Canadian destinations such as Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates Boeing 777-36N ER A6-EBC (msn 32790) taxies to the gate at Amsterdam.
Below Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER N474AS (msn 40715) with the revised titles and winglet markings arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
Sriwijaya Air (Jakarta) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) on August 20 celebrated the delivery of two new Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range) airplanes (PK-CMO and PK-CMP). This is the first all-new airplane delivery for Sriwijaya Air, Indonesia’s third largest carrier.
The airline operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737 airplanes and offers flights to various Indonesian destinations and a select few international cities.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9LF ER PK-CMP (msn 41843), previously planned for UTair, is named “Keiginan”. The new jetliner is pictured on a test flight from Boeing Field in Seattle on August 15.
Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported a record second quarter GAAP net profit of $234 million.
The group issued this report:
Alaska Air Group, Inc., today reported second quarter 2015 GAAP net income of $234 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, compared to $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2014. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $6 million ($4 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $230 million, or $1.76 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, in 2014.
“We’re pleased to report our 25th consecutive quarterly profit and our best quarterly result ever,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our employees for their hard work and for always putting our customers first. We are focused on running a strong and balanced company that will produce the right outcomes for all of the stakeholders who depend on us, not just this quarter but over the long-term.”
Reported record second quarter net income, excluding special items, of $230 million, a 46% increase over the second quarter of 2014.
Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.76 per diluted share, a 56% increase over the second quarter of 2014 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.73 per share.
Earned net income for the second quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $234 million or $1.79 per diluted share, compared to net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share in 2014.
Recorded $58 million of employee incentive pay in recognition of Air Group employees’ progress on meeting customer service, safety, operational and financial goals.
Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the second quarter of 25.7% compared to 18.3% in 2014.
Generated 20.9% adjusted pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended June 30, 2015, compared to 14.9% for the same period in the prior year.
Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 22.0% compared to 16.1% in the 12-month period ended June 30, 2014.
Repurchased 2.5 million shares of common stock for $160 million in the second quarter of 2015, and 4.1 million shares of common stock for $262 million during the first six months of 2015, representing 3.1% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
Paid a $0.20 per-share quarterly cash dividend on June 4, 2015, a 60% increase over the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2014.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) management team held a conference call yesterday, mainly with the analysts and representatives of the media, after posting a record second quarter profit, beating all Wall Street forecasts.
In the conference call, CEO Richard Anderson when asked about the rejection of the proposed contract by the pilots, stated, without elaborating further, the 40 Boeing 737-900 ERs and 20 Embraer ERJ 190s on order “will be cancelled”. The company had tied these two orders with the ratification of the new pilot contract.
The comment could be considered posturing by some observers, intended as a new salvo to the pilots for the next round of contract negotiations.
The pilots, represented by ALPA, voted nearly two-to-one against the proposed contract. Both sides will now have about six months to further negotiate new terms in which both sides can agree.
ALPA has not formally responded to the comments.
The Embraers would have represented a new lower level of mainline flying.
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced an historic $30 million equity investment in U.S.-based alternative fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. It is also the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels and sets United apart in the aviation industry in the advancement of aviation biofuels and carbon emissions reductions. In addition to the equity investment, United and Fulcrum have entered into an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United’s hubs expected to have the potential to produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year.
United has also negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum and, subject to availability, will have the opportunity to purchase at least 90 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel a year for a minimum of 10 years at a cost that is competitive with conventional jet fuel. This alternative fuel will be a drop-in fuel that meets all of the airline’s technical requirements and specifications, and will power the aircraft in the same way as conventional jet fuel. Fulcrum expects its first alternative fuels plant to begin commercial operation in 2017.
Fulcrum’s Waste-to-Biofuel Technology
Fulcrum’s technology converts household trash, known as municipal solid waste (MSW), into renewable jet fuel. Fulcrum’s renewable jet fuel is expected to provide a greater than 80 percent reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions when compared to conventional jet fuel. Fulcrum
has successfully developed and proven its technology to convert MSW into low-cost, low-carbon transportation fuels in an innovative, clean and efficient thermochemical process. MSW is an attractive biofuel feedstock as it is low cost, has limited volatility and a virtually unlimited supply. United’s agreement with Fulcrum is expected to decrease the airline’s carbon footprint through the use of sustainable aviation biofuel, while also diverting waste from landfills and creating new jobs in those communities where new Fulcrum facilities are sited. Fulcrum’s projects have also received support and participation from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy for the future production of fuel that meets military specifications.
United’s Track Record in Aviation Biofuels
United is the first U.S. airline to invest in a biofuel company. It is another in a series of firsts for the airline which, since 2009, has made significant investments in the advancement of sustainable aviation biofuels.
In 2009, United made history as the first North American carrier to perform a two-engine aircraft demonstration flight using sustainable biofuels.
In 2011, United operated the first U.S. passenger flight powered by advanced biofuels made from algae.
In 2012, United spearheaded the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuel Initiative (MASBI), a public/private partnership of experts from across the Midwest Region, to accelerate the commercialization of advanced biofuels for aviation.
In 2013, United announced an agreement with AltAir Fuels for advanced aviation biofuels to be used on flights out of the airline’s Los Angeles hub, making it the first U.S. carrier to execute a commercial scale agreement for aviation biofuels. United expects to begin regularly scheduled flights using AltAir’s fuel later this year.
In 2015, United received the World Bio Markets (WBM) Award for Excellence in Advanced Biofuels.
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. United’s Boeing 737-924 ER N75432 (msn 32835) is painted in this special Eco-Skies livery (inherited from Continental Airlines). N75432 lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will enter into an aircraft acquisition deal with Boeing for 20 Embraer E190 aircraft and 40 additional new Boeing 737-900ERs upon ratification of a tentative agreement covering more than 12,000 Delta pilots. The tentative agreement was approved for membership ratification on June 10 by the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
The tentative agreement provides enhancements to overall pilot compensation—including base pay increases—along with a revision of the airline’s profit sharing formula beginning in 2016. Additionally, this accord would secure additional career advancement opportunities for Delta pilots while providing the airline with productivity enhancements and further fleet flexibility across the airline’s U.S. domestic system.
The MEC will put the tentative agreement out to pilots for a ratification vote. If approved, the agreement would have an amendable date of December 31, 2018.
Upon ratification of the agreement, Delta will acquire 20 Boeing-held Embraer E190 aircraft previously operated by another carrier. The E190s will enter mainline Delta service in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“These 98-seat mainline aircraft will be flown by Delta pilots,” Anderson said. “The capability and aptitude of all Delta people has already shown that they are the best in the business at managing a diverse fleet while keeping costs in check and never compromising safety. These cost-efficient aircraft will play a key role as we strive to achieve higher returns for our shareholders, and we thank Boeing for their important partnership.”
The E190 will be deployed on U.S. domestic routes to improve the flying experience for Delta customers and continue the shift of flying away from inefficient 50-seat regional jets as part of the company’s successful upgauging strategy.
Delta will also order an additional 40 new Boeing 737-900ERs, augmenting an existing order of the efficient and reliable aircraft to 140 in total. Delta plans to deploy these aircraft as replacements for other narrowbody aircraft scheduled to retire through 2019.
Negotiating committees for Delta and ALPA reached a tentative agreement on June 4. In the ensuing days, the tentative agreement was reviewed and subsequently approved by the Delta MEC on June 10.
In other news, Delta Air Lines (DAL) unveiled the completion of a three-year terminal-wide refurbishment of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), including the airline’s first private check-in lounge, Delta ONE at LAX. The $229-million Delta project was completed in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the City of Los Angeles.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER N809DN (msn 31915) named “The Spirit of Seattle” departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery):