Tag Archives: MAD

Vueling Airlines outlines its expanded 2015 summer schedule

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) will operate more than 60,000 flights between June and September, offering more than 11 million seats, a 13% percent increase over the same period in 2014.

Vueling now operates on 366 routes with a fleet of 100 aircraft and 3,000 flight personnel.

The fast-growing airline issued this outline for its summer schedule:

Vueling logo

Vueling, the busiest airline at its Barcelona base, will make more than 60,000 flights and 366 routes in the summer season beginning on 15 June, its eleventh. It will offer a total of more than 11 million seats, 13% more than in 2014.

In the busy summer travel season the company will take off and land more than 700 times each day –an average of once every two minutes– at the 155 airports it serves.

Vueling’s fleet numbers some 100 Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s which will log more than 62 million kilometers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa this summer, with nearly 3,000 people making up its cockpit and cabin crews.

Vueing A320-200 EC-JTR cockpit (Vueling)(LR)

Photo Above: Vueling Airlines. The cockpit of Airbus A320-214 EC-JTR (msn 2798).

To meet the summer demand, Vueling will field flights crews totalling nearly 3,000 people, including 979 pilots and 1,974 cabin staff.

Vueling’s newest aircraft feature wingtip “sharklets” (above) and other features enhancing fuel efficiency and environmental protection.

The new Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s have been joining the fleet gradually since January, and are being named in the airline’s inimitable style: You’re the Vueling that I Want (EC-MEL); Keep Calm and Vueling (EC-MEQ); Vueling my best dream (EC-MER); Leonardo da Vueling (EC-MES); Vueling Topic (EC-MFK); Ich Bin Vuelinger (EC-MFL); Are you Vueling to me? (EC-MFM); In Vueling We Trust (EC-MFN); and #BuenVueling (EC-MGE).

366 Routes, from Cape Verde to Moscow

Vueling will operate on a total of 366 routes to 155 cities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. New destinations this summer include Saragossa in Spain; Ancona and Trieste in Italy; the Algarve in Portugal; Manchester, Belfast and Birmingham in the UK; Rabat in Morocco; Accra in Ghana; and Moscow-Sheremetyevo in Russia.

Also noteworthy are the airline’s new direct routes to the islands of Lampedusa in Italy; Madeira in Portugal; Yerba in Tunisia; Sal in Cape Verde; and Corfu, Lemnos, Lesbos, Samos, Cephalonia and Zakynthos in Greece. Vueling flies to more islands than any other airline, reaching no fewer than 35 by direct flights from its hubs in Barcelona-El Prat and Rome-Fiumicino.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EC-LZM (msn 5877) with Sharklets and painted in the special Coruna livery departs from Madrid.

Vueling Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Ad - Captain's Log 5.2015 (LRW)

Iberia to resume summer flights to Havana

Iberia (Madrid) is resuming summer seasonal service to Havana, Cuba with five weekly flights starting on June 1. The flag carrier will also operate three weekly flights on a Madrid – Medellin – Cali – Madrid routing commencing on July 3 per Airline Route. Both routes will operate with Airbus A330-300 equipment.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Iberia Airbus A330-302 EC-LZJ (msn 1490) completes its final approach to the runway at the Madrid Barajas International Airport hub.

Iberia aircraft slide show:

 

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Air China to start Chengdu – Colombo flights

Air China (Beijing) will commence nonstop service from Chengdu to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015.

Air China will operate its Chengdu-Colombo service CA425/6 with Airbus A330 aircraft. The four flights a week will be offered on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The outbound flight departs from Chengdu at 18:30 Beijing time and arrives in Colombo at 21:50 local time. The inbound flight departs from Colombo at 23:10 local time and arrives in Chengdu at 06:40 of the second day. The new nonstop route will be Air China’s fourth one to Southeast Asia after the launch of the routes to Kathmandu, Mumbai and Bangalore by the carrier. It will spare passengers who travel between southwest China and Sri Lanka the trouble of having to make flight connections in cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, thusly cutting the travel time from 10 hours to 5.5 hours.

China is Sri Lanka’s third largest trading partner, and more and more Chinese tourists visit Sri Lanka. Statistics of 2013 suggest that China has become the country’s largest source of tourists in East Asia.

Chengdu – Colombo route is the first of the kind linking the two cities and represents one of the important moves of Air China to make Chengdu its regional hub of operations. It will solidify the position of Chengdu as a center of traffic in South Asia, and is part of Air China’s endeavor to make Chengdu an international hub of commercial aviation.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 B-6073 (msn 780) departs from Madrid (Barajas).

Air China aircraft slide show:

Pullmantur Air rebrands as Wamos Air

Wamos Air 747-400 EC-KSM (14)(Grd) MAD (Jose Luis Celada Euba)(LRW)

Pullmantur Air (Madrid) on December 17 was rebranded as Wamos Air while repainted one of its Boeing 747-400s.

Pullmantur Air logo-1

Copyright Photo: José Luis Celada Euba. Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) pictured at the Madrid base was the first to be repainted.

Pullmantur Air aircraft slide show:

Iberia Express is coming to London Gatwick

Iberia Express (Madrid) will start the twice-daily Madrid-London (Gatwick) route on March 29, 2015.

The company will also new service from Madrid to Paris (CDG) on September 7, 2015 and Manchester on September 8, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-JSK (msn 2807) taxies at the Madrid (Barajas) base.

Iberia Express aircraft slide show:

Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas takes delivery of its first aircraft, hopes to fly from Madrid to South America

Plus Ultra A340-300 (14)(Flt)(Plus Ultra)(LR)

Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas (Madrid-Barajas) is a new airline founded by Julio Martinez, a former director Air Madrid (Madrid). The new company intends to operate long-range scheduled services from MAD to Bogota, Buenos Aires and Santiago.

The company, which does not yet have its AOC, took delivery of its first aircraft. Former Gulf Air Airbus A340-313 A9C-LG (msn 212) was delivered on September 1 when it landed at Barajas.

 

Plus Ultra is the national motto of Spain.

Plus Ultra logo

 

Iberia resumes flights to Istanbul

Iberia (Madrid) on June 20 resumed daily flights between its Madrid hub and Istanbul, Turkey. The restored route will now operate with Airbus A320s, with Business and Economy sections.

Iberia has also announced it is restoring IB service to Amsterdam, Athens and Stockholm in Europe, and to Montevideo in Uruguay and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic starting on September 1.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-IZR (msn 2242) in the Oneworld color scheme completes its final approach to the runway at the Madrid (Barajas) hub.

Iberia:

Norwegian opens its new Madrid base

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on June 3 inaugurated its new base in Madrid.

The base in Madrid is Norwegian’s sixth Spanish base along with Barcelona, ​​Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife. Norwegian also has bases in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, UK, USA and Thailand.

Two Boeing 737-800 aircraft will be stationed in Madrid and about 75 pilots and cabin staff have been recruited to the base. Norwegian has now 64 flights a week from Madrid to eight destinations (Stockholm, Copenhagen, London, Helsinki, Oslo, Malta, Hamburg and Warsaw).

The six bases in Spain together have 116 routes to and from Spain.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NGU (msn 39030) with special 1000th markings prepares to land on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Ryanair reports a drop of 8% in its fiscal year profit of $716.6 million

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal full year net profit of €523 million ($716.6 million), slightly ahead of previous guidance. Traffic grew 3% to 81.7 million passengers. Revenue per passenger was flat, as strong ancillary revenue growth offset a 4% fall in average fares. Excluding fuel, sector length adjusted unit costs fell by 3%.

The company continued:

CEO O’Leary commented on the results:

While disappointing that profits fell 8% to €523m due mainly to a 4% decline in fares, weaker sterling, and higher fuel costs, we reacted quickly to this weaker environment last September by lowering fares and improving our customer experience which caused H2 traffic to grow 4% as load factors rose 1%. Ancillary revenues grew 17%, much faster than traffic growth, and now accounts for 25% of total revenues.

New Routes and Bases

Forward bookings for Summer 2014 are significantly ahead of last year, since we began offering lower fares and released our seasonal schedules earlier, and this should continue to deliver 2% higher load factors, and help us manage fares closer to departure as we have less capacity to sell.

We recently opened 4 new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome. These are performing ahead of expectation as customers switch from high fare carriers to Ryanair’s lower fares and industry leading customer service. We announced 3 new bases for winter 2014 in Cologne, Gdansk, and Warsaw. We released our winter 2014 schedule 3 months earlier than last year, offering our customers lower fares much earlier than our competitors, while we focus on building frequency and capacity on key business city pairs. We expect these new bases will provide significant growth opportunities as we start deliveries (Sept 2014) of our new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft order.

Customer Experience Improvement

We have worked hard over the last 6 months to improve customer experience and enhance our industry leading service (lowest fares, most on-time flights, the youngest fleet). These initiatives include, (i) allocated seating (ii) a simpler, easier to use, website with a brilliant “fare finder” facility, (iii) free small 2nd carry-on bag, (iv) “quiet flights” (v) a 24 hour “grace period” to correct minor booking errors, (vi) reduced boarding card and airport bag fees, and (vii) a new service to cater for groups and corporate travellers. Our new family product will launch in June and will allow children (when travelling with their family) to receive discounts on allocated seats and bags, while families who travel frequently with Ryanair can qualify for discounts on future flights. In the autumn we will launch a business service in conjunction with our frequency build on key business routes which will include, same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, mobile boarding pass, and fast-rack through security at many Ryanair airports. This service, together with our new GDS distribution strategy, will make Ryanair much more accessible and easier to use for business customers.
Digital & Distribution Improvements

Our new digital strategy began to roll out last November with a much easier to use website, cutting the booking process from 17 to 5 “clicks”. More recently we unveiled a new website with “fare finder” which enables customers to easily find our lowest fares, share these fares with their friends and book them quickly. The “My Ryanair” registration service has been welcomed by customers with over 2m already registered. We will continue to invest in web and digital improvements over the coming year, as we deliver an industry leading mobile app (tailored for smart phones and tablets) by mid-summer, and improve our digital marketing and CRM services for the benefit of all our customers.

In April, we began extensive TV and outdoor advertising in major EU markets to promote our new website and recent customer experience improvements. These campaigns will continue through the year, as our marketing and advertising spend rises to approx. €35m (from just €10m last year), although this spend is still less than €0.50 per passenger.

We have broadened our distribution by becoming the first low fares airline in Europe to partner with Google’s “Flight Search” function, which is now available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Ireland, Poland and Spain (and more countries follow shortly). This partnership enables consumers to easily access and book Ryanair’s lower fares every time they search on Google. In April we began distribution on Galileo and Worldspan GDS systems, which allows travel and corporate agents to see and book Ryanair’s low fares. We are in talks with other GDS‘s (to broaden our distribution base) and hope to add more before year end. Our new Groups and Corporate travel service launched in January and take up of these services is growing rapidly.

Fuel

We are 90% hedged for FY15 at a cost of $960 per tonne (approx. $96 p.bl). This will generate net savings of approx. €70m compared to FY14. In light of recent oil price and US$ weakness we have hedged approx. 13% of our FY16 fuel (at approx. $94 per barrel), and have also hedged our dollar requirements which will deliver further savings of up to 4% per passenger, in Euro terms, in FY 2016.

Balance Sheet

Our balance sheet remains among the strongest in the industry and was a key factor in S&P and Fitch recently awarding BBB+ ratings to Ryanair, making us the highest rated airline in the world. During FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks, well ahead of our original €400m target. We remain committed to returning a further €500m to shareholders in Q4 via a special dividend subject to AGM approval. This will bring the total returns to Ryanair shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn. Our business model remains strongly cash generative and year end cash amounted to €3.2bn (net cash of €158m), despite €482m in buybacks, debt repayments of €391m, and capex of €506m during the year.

Outlook.

We expect FY15 traffic to grow by 4% to over 84.6m as load factors increase 2% to 85% and we add some limited new route and capacity growth. Most of this growth will be skewed towards H2 as we reduce our winter grounding from 70 aircraft in FY14 to approx. 50 in FY15. While fares fell by 4% in FY14 we expect FY15 fares to rise by up to 2%. H1 fares will rise by up to 6% due in part to Easter, stable growth in Q2, and stronger forward bookings and load factors. However we remain very cautious about H2 guidance (especially following last winter’s weak price environment) where we are committed to 6% capacity growth which could cause H2 fares to fall by as much as 6% to 8%.

Unit costs for FY15 will be flat. Fuel costs (which includes de-icing) will be €70m lower than last year as we are 90% hedged, but we expect de-icing costs to rise from last year’s unusually mild winter. Excluding fuel unit costs will rise by approx. 5% reflecting pay increases, primary airport charges, a €25m rise in advertising and marketing, and ownership cost increases due to summer lease ins and new aircraft deliveries from September onwards.

In conclusion, we expect this combination of a strong H1, but a weaker H2 will generate a significant rise in after tax profits to a range of between €580m to €620m, although this guidance is heavily qualified by H2 yield outturn, over which we currently have zero visibility.

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek article on how Ryanair is trying hard to be a “gentler and nicer” airline: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMK (msn 38512) arrives in Madrid painted in the special “UK Airport Transfers” livery for National Express.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Iberia Group is adding new destinations

Iberia Group (Iberia and Iberia Express) (Madrid) has announced new routes from its Madrid hub.

Iberia Express has already added a new route to Stockholm (Arlanda) with two weekly flights. It will also add a new route to Amsterdam with twice-daily service starting on July 1.

Iberia Express is also increasing the number of flights to Berlin, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt.

Iberia will add daily service to Istanbul starting on June 20. Santo Domingo will be added on September 1 with five weekly nonstop flights. Athens, which has been a summer route, will become a new year-round route.

Iberia is adding three weekly frequencies to Chicago (O’Hare) for the summer, two more to Panama City starting in July and additional frequencies to Brussels, Geneva, Munich, Rome, Tel Aviv, Venice and Zurich. Iberia has also resumed nonstop flights to Boston and Los Angeles and will also operate summer routes to Dubrovnik, St. Petersburg (Russia) and Zagreb.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Iberia Express’ Airbus A320-216 EC-LVQ (msn 5590) climbs away from the Madrid hub.

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Iberia Express: AG Slide Show