Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has issued this statement regarding its on-going dispute with its pilots for a new contract under federal mediation:
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. received notification from the National Mediation Board (NMB) requesting the Company meet with the NMB on September 16, 2015, in Washington, D.C. As our case remains under the control of the NMB, the Company intends to fully comply with the request of the mediator.
Although the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has deferred a vote by our Pilots, our proposed contract remains on the table, and we continue to believe the appropriate next step is for the Union to abide by its constitution and let our Pilots vote on their own future. A week ago, we offered to meet with the elected leadership of the Union to discuss their language concerns in the proposed contract. To our dismay, there has been no response from the Union leadership to this invitation as a way to collaboratively bring this process to a close.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Republic Airlines (2nd), Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N806MD (msn 17000019) completes the final approach to the runway at Washington (Reagan National).
Air France (Paris) is expanding the role for its HOP! regional subsidiary. HOP! Air France will take over the operation of Air France’s domestic services from the Paris Orly hub to Bordeaux, Marseilles, Nice and Toulouse.
Air France has issued this statement:
Air France at Lyon presented HOP! Air France, its short-haul activity, bringing together since March 29 the entire route network on departure from Paris-Orly, including La Navette flights, routes on departure from the French regions, inter-regional routes and to Europe.
This new organization is supported by a new unique and competitive commercial offer on the short-haul network, with tickets on sale since March 24, 2015.
With regular frequencies and adapted flight times, HOP! Air France aims to meet the expectations of both business travellers and leisure and VFR (Visit Friends and relatives) customers, i.e., travelling to see family and friends, who live and work in different regions, with holiday homes, etc.
HOP! Air France operates the leading European domestic network, with over 600 flights a day, a very extensive domestic network, with around one hundred aircraft offering a seating capacity of 48 to 212 seats. More than 8,500 Company staff (ground agents, pilots, flight attendants) are at the service of customers, across France.
A RETURN TO PROFIT IN 2017
This new offer within the Air France Group, should allow to generate new synergies and contribute to reducing unit costs. With this new activity, the Air France Group plans to implement the conditions for a return to profitability in 2017.
THE ASSOCIATION OF TWO BRANDS TO SIMPLIFY THE AIR FRANCE GROUP’S SHORT-HAUL OFFER
HOP! will be the main commercial brand for the customer. It symbolizes the values of proximity, simplicity and accessibility on short routes. Backed by the Air France brand, synonymous with a powerful network and a reassuring, trustworthy and quality brand, HOP! Air France proposes a new coherent offer that adapts to all the mobility needs of its customers.
Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM Group, stated: “In France and Europe, Air France-KLM aims to offer its customers a solution for all their travel needs, both business and leisure. Our four brands Air France, KLM, HOP! and Transavia are thus developing complementary and competitive offers. This diversification, in which HOP! Air France rightly has its place for short distance travel, represents a considerable asset in addressing our customers’ needs to get about quickly and easily”.
Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France, stated: “The time has come for the Air France Group to gain market share on the short-haul market. Competition is fierce with trains, and more recently coach travel and the car-pooling trend. An extensive network in France, a strong commercial presence on this market and a simpler and more reactive organization will enable HOP! Air France to establish itself as the reference on the French domestic network, Europe’s leading network”.
Lionel Guérin, Chief Operating Officer HOP! Air France, added: “The strength of HOP! Air France is the ability to offer all its customers frequent, rapid and direct flights at attractive and competitive fares, while contributing to the economic and tourist development of the regions served. The HOP! brand, backed by the Air France brand, also benefits from the expertise and professionalism of more than 8,500 employees united under a single banner committed to winning back short-haul customers in France”.
HOP! AIR FRANCE IN FIGURES
• 600 daily flights to 50 airports served
• 96 aircraft with between 48 and 212 seats
• Fares starting at €49* including tax one-way
• 13 million passengers carried each year
• 130 routes in summer 2015
• 4 Navette shuttle flights on departure from Paris-Orly: Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse
• 2 main hubs in France: Lyon (27 routes) and Paris-Orly (20 routes)
• More than 8,500 employees at the service of our customers, both on the ground and on board
On departure form Lyon:
• 27 destinations: 19 in France and 8 in Europe
• 2.8 million passengers carried in 2014
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100LR F-HBXL (msn 17000009) lands at EuroAirport.
United Airlines (Chicago) will introduce new premium-cabin dining service on United Express flights beginning next week, featuring freshly prepared entrees served on chinaware and expanded meal-service times for United First and United Business customers on regional flights.
The airline continues:
These dining improvements are part of United’s previously announced multi-million-dollar investment in in-flight food service.
The new meal service will be introduced in phases by aircraft type, with the new menus available on United Express North America flights operated with Embraer E170 (above) and E175 aircraft beginning March 1, and on Bombardier CRJ700 and Q400 aircraft beginning in April.
More Choices, More Often
New breakfast, lunch and dinner menus designed by United’s team of chefs will be offered on flights of more than two hours and twenty minutes.
Breakfast flights may include a fresh fruit plate served with cereal, creamy Greek yogurt and breakfast bread.
Lunch and dinner will feature two freshly-prepared entree choices that may include an artisanal pretzel roll filled with tangy barbecue chicken and coleslaw paired with a tri-color quinoa side salad; or ginger and garlic marinated beef with pickled vegetables and crisp edamame, served with Asian sesame dressing and a side of fresh fruit. Flight attendants will serve signature triple chocolate chunk cookies as dessert on lunch and dinner flights.
Other highlights include:
On flights of less than one hour, gourmet biscotti will be served on early morning flights and a premium fruit and nut snack mix will be served on later flights.
On flights between one hour and two hours and twenty minutes, flight attendants will offer light refreshments that include a selection of premium snacks and fresh fruit.
The airline is also adding light refreshments to flights departing between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and after 8 p.m.
Photo Above: United Airlines. The barbeque chicken and coleslaw sandwich.
United Express Inflight Entertainment
The airline is continuing improvements to the United Express inflight experience by outfitting more than 200 E175, E170 and CRJ700 regional jets with Gogo’s ATG-4 advanced air-to-ground Wi-Fi product. By mid-2015, United expects to complete installation on these aircraft.
Additionally, the company will begin providing Personal Device Entertainment on these regional jets this year, offering customers hundreds of complimentary movies and television shows to view on their Apple iOS and Android devices using United’s mobile app, as well as on laptop computers.
Eco-Skies Recycling Program Expanded to United Express Flights
In mid-January, United Express carriers began recycling on board E175 aircraft, furthering United’s Eco-Skies commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly. These E175 flights originate from Houston, Chicago and San Francisco.
These flights follow the same recycling program currently in place on United’s mainline fleet, using United Eco-Skies recycling bags for recycling paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and the carrier’s new hot beverage cups. The hot beverage cups – introduced in 2014 and boarded on all E175 flights – are recyclable and made in the United States from 50 percent recycled materials.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America’s Embraer ERJ 170-100SE N639RW (msn 17000057) taxies at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) hub.
United Express-Shuttle America aircraft slide show:
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) has announced it has reached an amendment to its Capacity Purchase Agreement (“CPA”) with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) to operate nine additional 69-seat Embraer ERJ 170 (E170) aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to be placed into service between the 3rd quarter of 2015 and the 2nd quarter of 2016 and will operate for a term of six years per aircraft. In addition, the Company and Delta have agreed to extend the term of the agreement for the existing 14 ERJ 170 aircraft by four years, or through October 2021, and the existing 16 ERJ 175 aircraft by approximately five years, or through February 2024. Both types are operated for Delta by subsidiary Shuttle America.
The nine additional ERJ 170 aircraft will either be sourced internally by the Company or with used aircraft available in the open market.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc., based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N870RW (msn 17000138) arrives in Washington (Reagan National).
Delta Connection-Shuttle America aircraft slide show:
Air France (Paris) will combine its short-haul, point-to-point operations under the HOP! Air France brand starting in the summer of 2015. Air France is reorganizing it short haul operations due to the increased competition for other low-cost airlines and other forms of travel. The airline issued this statement:
The organization proposal for the Air France Group’s short-haul activity, bringing together Air France’s point-to-point activity and HOP!, was presented this during the Air France Works Council meeting.
This proposal is based on the recommendations of a group of experts submitted to Frédéric Gagey on June 30: for each market need there must be a corresponding and adapted commercial offer and economic model, whether in terms of costs or revenue.
Starting from the summer season 2015, the short-haul activity will be operated by HOP! Air France. Its objective will be to quickly generate value for the Group, and recover profitability on the short-haul market within three years.
A new commercial offer will be introduced to the market during the first quarter of 2015, under the brand name HOP! with the backing of Air France .
This project includes the implementation of a new, simplified structure.
Presented by Lionel Guérin, Chairman and CEO of HOP!, tasked with implementing the new HOP! Air France activity, it will bring together the Air France Point to Point teams from Paray Vieille Poste and the HOP! teams from Rungis at a single center in Montreuil, close to the French market sales agents. There will be no modification, transfer of employment contracts, or transfer of the teams based at Roissy or elsewhere in France.
This new structure will come into effect at the beginning of 2015, for operational implementation from the summer 2015 season onwards.
Frédéric Gagey, Air France Chairman and CEO, added: “The short-haul activity is in competition with trains, cars, and low-cost airlines. We need to restructure our company to be even more responsive, market-oriented and close to our customers. HOP! Air France provides a response adapted to the specific characteristics of the short-haul carrier activity and the travel needs of our customers. I am counting on the efforts of all staff to achieve the ambitious targets for this business”.
The new HOP! Air France will operate 800 flights a day.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100STD F-HBXB (msn 17000250) arrives at EuroAirport serving the Base, Mulhouse and Freiburg area.
Estonian Air (Talinn) reported a deepening loss of $7.9 million for first nine months of 2014 due to increased competition.
The company issued this full report:
The total revenue of Estonian Air was 52.2 million and loss 6.4 million euros ($7.9 million) in nine months. Last year the revenue was 55.4 million, and the loss 6 million euros ($7.4 million) in the same period.
“The results of the third quarter were below our earlier forecasts. Although we have increased the number of passengers, added flights to several existing routes and opened new destinations, at the same time the pressure on ticket prices has increased remarkably. Intensified competition on the aviation market and continuous unstable situation on our Eastern market has significant impact on our financial results,” commented Jan Palmér, the CEO of Estonian Air.
In the third quarter 2014, the revenue was 19.3 million and the net loss 1.4 million euros.
Within the third quarter Estonian Air carried altogether 161 000 passengers, out of which 152 000 on regular flights. In nine months Estonian Air carried 403 000 passengers which is 5 per cent less than the same period last year.
Estonian Air has increased its share on Tallinn based charter market. In addition, Estonian Air has signed charter agreements with several Estonian travel agencies to operate during the winter and summer flight period which will help the company to utilise the free capacity of the aircraft more efficiently.
The Council of Estonian Air approved the modified restructuring plan to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of October this year. Upon approval of the restructuring plan Infortar Group will invest into the company, which is anticipated in Spring 2015. The changes in the ownership structure must be approved beforehand by the Government of Estonia.
Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, is the biggest operator at Tallinn Airport. The airline flies regular routes to Stockholm (Arlanda and Bromma), Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Oslo, Moscow, Munich, St Petersburg, Kiev, Vilnius and Trondheim. In addition, from December 2014 to March 2015, Estonian Air will add seasonal flights to Munich and from April to November 2015 to Milan.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEA (msn 17000093) arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda).
United Airlines (Chicago) today (September 17) announced the company will amend its existing agreement with regional carrier Shuttle America, to add 50 Embraer E175 aircraft. Shuttle America‘s (Indianapolis) parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), will determine which of its carriers will operate the new 76-seat aircraft under the United Express brand.
United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop airplanes and older, less-efficient aircraft and are in addition to 70 E175s whose deliveries began this year for other carriers to operate as United Express.
The E175s will offer 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats. The aircraft also offer more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft; a power outlet at each United First seat; and large overhead bins that can accommodate standard-size carry-on bags.
Additional Fleet Updates:
In addition to expanding the E175 fleet, United plans to make the following changes to its United Express service:
1. Extend the airline’s agreement with Shuttle America on 38 E170s, with new expiration dates beginning in September 2019 and continuing through December 2022; and
2. Begin removing, in 2015, 31 Bombardier Q400s operated by Republic Airlines, a carrier also owned by Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (some of the aircraft will go to Flybe).
In related news, Embraer S.A. and Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), operator of the largest E-Jets fleet in the world, announced a contract today for the sale and purchase of 50 firm E175 jets. The value of the firm order, which will be included in Embraer’s 2014 third-quarter backlog, is estimated at $2.1 billion, based on 2014 list prices. The aircraft will be operated for United Airlines under the United Express brand. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2015 and extend until 2017.
This contract is in addition to the order signed by Embraer and Republic in January 2013 for 47 firm and 47 option E175s – 34 of which have already been delivered. In addition to the new order, Republic maintains 32 options for E175s.
This transaction is in connection with the transfer of Q400 turboprop airplanes currently operated by Republic Airlines to UK’s carrier Flybe Limited. Concurrently, Flybe and Embraer have agreed to reduce by 20 the outstanding order for 24 E175’s the airline has on order backlog. Therefore, the net increase to Embraer’s backlog in the 3rd quarter will be 30 E175 jets.
Republic Airways was one of the first U.S. carriers to fly Embraer E-Jets, operating its first E170 in 2004. With this new order, the Republic Airways E-Jet fleet will consist of 72 E170s and 151 E175s for a total of 223 E-Jets. Republic Airways is also a long-time customer of the ERJ 145 regional jet family with 41 flying as Delta Connection aircraft.
Finally, United Airlines launched its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service at Denver International Airport, offering chauffeured convenience at more airports than any other carrier. With this expansion, United offers the service at all of its U.S. hub airports.
The Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service provides the airline’s top frequent flyers with greater comfort and convenience, offering an additional way for these customers to save valuable time when connecting through the airline’s hubs. United will chauffeur selected Global Services members and United Global First customers to their connections in Denver in a Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC SUV, powered by environmentally friendly, clean diesel technology.
United representatives will meet customers at the aircraft, escort them to the waiting Mercedes-Benz vehicle and drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flight. The expediting service gives priority to customers with close connections.
United also offers the transfer service at its hub airports in Chicago, Houston, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles.
Along with tarmac transportation, the airline and Mercedes-Benz USA partner to provide promotional packages and bonus miles to United’s MileagePlus Premier members, which include Global Services members, who purchase or lease certain new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Current offers are available at united.com/Mercedes.
Earlier this year, United opened a new Global Services reception lobby for its top frequent flyers at the airline’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International airport. In October, the airline will open a Global Services reception lobby at San Francisco International Airport. In June, United unveiled an all-new United Club airport lounge and United Global First Lounge at London Heathrow International Airport’s new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal.
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America currently operates 38 Embraer ERJ 170-100SE aircraft for United Airlines under the United Express brand. N637RW (msn 17000051) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
United Airlines (current):
United Express-Shuttle America:
United Express-Republic Airlines (2nd):
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 31 Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) for United Airlines at its hubs. N202WQ (msn 4202) arrives at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).
Republic’s pre-tax income from continuing operations was $22.8 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, an 18.1% increase over the March 2013 quarter. As of Dec. 31, 2013, Republic had a significant amount of federal net operating loss carry forwards and does not anticipate paying significant federal taxes for the next several years.
Republic’s net income for the March 2014 quarter was $14.0 million, or $0.26 per diluted share. This is a $13.7 million increase from the prior year. The March 2013 quarter was negatively impacted by $11.1 million of losses from discontinued operations at Frontier Airlines.
Republic canceled more than 12,400 flights during the first quarter of 2014, primarily because of severe weather in January and February of 2014. That was a 145% increase from the number of canceled flights compared to the first quarter of 2013. These cancellations negatively impacted the pre-tax financial results by about $7.0 million during the first quarter of 2014.
On February 11, 2014, Republic announced the early termination of its 44 to 50 seat fixed-fee agreements with United Airlines and American Airlines, which were scheduled to terminate in 2014. These agreements wind-down beginning in March 2014 through August 2014 and will result in the indefinite grounding of 27 small jet aircraft.
In the first quarter of 2014, Republic recorded an impairment of its owned Embraer ERJ 140 aircraft of $19.9 million and an $18.4 million gain on its Chautauqua restructuring asset. The Company also sold one Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft for a book gain of $1.8 million during the quarter. The net of these three items improved pre-tax earnings by $0.3 million.
On April 4, 2014, Republic announced that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357 failed to ratify a proposed four-year pilot labor agreement. The agreement would have significantly improved pay and work rules for our pilots.
On April 7, 2014, Republic’s Board of Directors authorized management to utilize up to $75 million of unrestricted cash to buy back common shares and/or early retire convertible debt during the next 12 months. Under the $75 million authorization, Republic may repurchase up to $50 million of common shares and early retire up to $50 million of convertible notes, or any combination thereof.
On April 7, 2014, Republic redeemed a $22.3 million convertible note, leaving $52.7 million remaining on the share repurchase and convertible debt retirement authorization. This will reduce the Company’s dilutive share count by about 2.2 million shares going forward.
“I am pleased we were able to report improved first quarter financial results despite the most severe weather events in a single quarter I can recall in my 27 years of experience in the airline industry. Our results demonstrate the stability and strength within our core fixed-fee business,” said Republic Airways Holdings Chairman, President and CEO Bryan Bedford. “We are committed to our guiding principles and strengthening our brand reliability and product quality for our partners, shareholders and employees,” Bedford said.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N806MD (msn 170000019), as a spare aircraft, completes its Republic Airlines (2nd) flight into Charlotte.
Air Lituanica (Vilnius) launched flights to Tallinn on March 12. The number of flights on the Prague route will be increased to 5 times a week, on business days. The flights to Munich will be increased to 4 flights per week; passengers will also have a chance to take a flight on Sundays. The number of flights to Berlin increases to 6 times per week; flights will be operated on a daily basis, excluding Saturdays.
On May 3 the carrier increased the number of flights to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to 5 times a week.
Air Lituanica also flies to Brussels on a daily basis, excluding Saturdays.
Air Lituanica on March 5 added additional flights to Berlin (Tegel) and Prague on March 15.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Estonian Air, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEB (msn 17000106) has been replaced with an ERJ 175.