Tag Archives: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

JetBlue adds Wi-Fi to its first Embraer 190

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced it has passed a major milestone on its path to becoming the only U.S. carrier to offer free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet on every aircraft.

JetBlue has completed installation of Fly-Fi® on its fleet of more than 150 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, and its first Fly-Fi-enabled Embraer E190 made its official inaugural flight this week. The airline anticipates it will complete the installation of Fly-Fi on all 60 of its E190s by fall 2016, at which point it will have completed installation of Fly-Fi on the entire JetBlue fleet.

Fly-Fi uses Ka-band satellite technology to offer a broadband Internet experience similar to what customers have at home, including the ability to stream video and use multiple devices at once.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N334JB (msn 19000446) in the Barcode tail scheme taxies at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

JetBlue aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Alaska Airlines adds another spoke route from the SEA hub to Raleigh/Durham

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) continues to expand its Seattle/Tacoma hub with the start of new service from the Emerald City to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina starting yesterday (October 1). Raleigh/Durham is the sixth new destination the carrier has added this year, following last month’s start of service from Seattle/Tacoma to Nashville and New York City’s JFK International Airport.

Flights will be operated by fuel-efficient Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 WL N570AS (msn 35185) in the special “Follow us to Disneyland Resort – Disney Cars” livery arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Video:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/141156602″>Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 N570AS (msn 35185) in the special &quot;Follow us to Disneyland Resort – Disney Cars&quot; livery</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user19954503″>Bruce Drum</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Delta announces the new Raleigh-Durham to Paris CDG route, increases New York JFK – Tel Aviv flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has announced it will connect the Research Triangle to Europe with nonstop service from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport beginning on May 12, 2016.

The flight will operate on the following schedule in conjunction with the airline’s joint venture partners Air France, KLM and Alitalia using 164-seat, Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

Flight number Departure Arrival

DL230 Raleigh-Durham at 6:13 p.m. Paris (CDG) at 8:35 a.m. (next day)
DL231 Paris (CDG) at 10:45 a.m. Raleigh-Durham 1:57 p.m.

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In other news, Delta will add four weekly year-round flights between its New York-JFK hub and Tel Aviv beginning on May 26, 2016.

The additional flights will complement Delta’s existing daily service to Tel Aviv for a total of 11 weekly flights between the two cities and the third largest trans-Atlantic market. Delta will operate the added flights with a 291-seat, Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-26D N900PC (msn 28446) arrives in Las Vegas.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

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Allegiant to add three new routes from Mesa, Arizona

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) is adding nonstop service to Mesa, Arizona (near Phoenix) from Des Moines, Fresno and Memphis beginning on December 17, 2015.

New year-round routes announced to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) include:

1. Fresno, California – starts December 17, 2015
2. Memphis, Tennessee – starts December 17, 2015
3. Des Moines, Iowa – starts December 18, 2015

The new flights will operate twice weekly and expand on the service Allegiant currently operates to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA).

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N217NV (msn 1347) arrives at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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American Airlines Group reports its highest quarterly profit in company history

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) today (July 24) issued this financial statement for the second quarter:

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American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) today reported its second quarter 2015 results.

  • Reported record quarterly net profit of $1.9 billion excluding net special charges, a 27 percent increase versus the second quarter 2014
  • Reported record quarterly GAAP net profit of $1.7 billion, a 97 percent increase versus last year’s second quarter
  • Repurchased over $750 million of common stock and authorized an additional $2 billion share repurchase program
  • Declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on August 24, 2015, to shareholders of record as of August 10, 2015

American Airlines Group’s second quarter 2015 net profit, excluding net special charges, was a record $1.9 billion, or $2.62 per diluted share versus a second quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges of $1.5 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share. The Company’s second quarter 2015 pretax margin excluding net special charges was a record 17.2 percent, up 4.4 percentage points from the same period last year.

On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a record net profit of $1.7 billion, or $2.41 per diluted share. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $864 million in the second quarter 2014, or $1.17 per diluted share.

See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

“Reporting the highest quarterly profit in our history is another indication that our team is on the path to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “These results are especially remarkable considering the significant and successful work underway to integrate two airlines. The more than 100,000 dedicated team members of American Airlines are doing a phenomenal job and we are grateful for their commitment to our customers.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenue in the second quarter was $10.8 billion, a decrease of 4.6 percent versus the second quarter 2014 on a 1.9 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was 13.57 cents, down 6.9 percent versus the second quarter 2014. Consolidated passenger yield was 16.28 cents, down 6.1 percent year-over-year.

Total operating expenses in the second quarter were $8.9 billion, a decrease of 10.5 percent compared to the second quarter 2014, due primarily to a 36.9 percent decrease in consolidated fuel expense. Second quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 11.87 cents, down 12.8 percent on a 1.5 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus the second quarter 2014. Excluding net special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was 8.77 cents, up 2.5 percent compared to the second quarter 2014. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 16.02 cents, up 1.4 percent on a 5.5 percent increase in regional ASMs versus the second quarter 2014.

Cash and Investments

As of June 30, 2015, the Company had approximately $9.7 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $747 million was restricted. The Company also had an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.8 billion.

American continues to invest in its product. As part of an extensive fleet renewal plan that has made American’s fleet the youngest of any U.S. network airline, the Company expects to spend $5.4 billion on new aircraft this year. During the second quarter, the Company took delivery of 24 new mainline aircraft and nine new regional aircraft and retired 34 older mainline and eight older regional aircraft. In addition to this fleet renewal program, American is in the midst of investing $2 billion to further enhance its product, including improvements to aircraft interiors, international Wi-Fi connectivity and upgrades to its Admirals Club lounges.

In the second quarter, the Company returned $823 million to its shareholders through the payment of $70 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $753 million of common stock, or 17.3 million shares, at an average price of $43.53 per share. When combined with the dividends and shares repurchased during the first quarter, the Company has returned approximately $1.1 billion to its shareholders in the first half of 2015, including $943 million of shares repurchased under the existing $2 billion share repurchase program approved in January 2015.

Due to the Company’s strong financial performance, its projected cash flow and the repurchase activity to date, the American Airlines Group Board of Directors has authorized an additional $2 billion share repurchase program to be completed by December 31, 2016. This brings the total amount of share repurchase programs authorized in 2015 to $4 billion. The Company also declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on August 24, 2015, to shareholders of record as of August 10, 2015.

Share repurchases under the share repurchase program may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or accelerated share repurchase transactions. Any such repurchases will be made from time to time subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other relevant factors. The program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any specific number of shares or continue a dividend for any fixed period, and may be suspended at any time at the Company’s discretion.

Approximately $629 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash and short-term investment balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars. This balance includes approximately $621 million valued at 6.3 bolivars per U.S. dollar and approximately $8 million valued at 12.8 bolivars per U.S. dollar, with the rate depending on the date the Company submitted its repatriation request to the Venezuelan government. These rates are materially more favorable than the exchange rates currently prevailing for other transactions conducted outside of the Venezuelan government’s currency exchange system.

During 2014, the Company significantly reduced capacity in the Venezuelan market and is no longer accepting bolivars as payment for airline tickets. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for additional foreign currency losses or other accounting adjustments, which could be material, particularly in light of the additional uncertainty posed by the recent changes to the foreign exchange regulations and the continued deterioration of economic conditions in Venezuela. More generally, fluctuations in foreign currencies, including devaluations, cannot be predicted by the Company and can significantly affect the value of its assets located outside the United States. These conditions, as well as any further delays, devaluations or imposition of more stringent repatriation restrictions, may materially adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

Special Items

In the second quarter, the Company recognized $150 million in net special charges, including:

  • $231 million in merger related integration expenses, including $221 million in mainline special charges and $10 million in regional special charges
  • $77 million in net special credits, including a $68 million credit for bankruptcy related items, principally consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations
  • $11 million non-operating net special credits comprised of a $22 million gain associated with the sale of an investment, offset in part by $11 million in charges principally related to non-cash write offs of unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs associated with refinancing the Company’s secured term loan facilities
  • $7 million in tax special charges related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets

Notes:

(1) The 2015 second quarter mainline operating special items totaled a net charge of $144 million, which principally included $221 million of merger integration expenses related to information technology, professional fees, severance, share-based compensation, fleet restructuring, re-branding of aircraft and airport facilities, relocation and training. These charges were offset in part by a net $68 million credit for bankruptcy related items primarily consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations. The 2015 six month period mainline operating special items totaled a net charge of $447 million, which principally included $437 million of merger integration expenses as described above and a net $99 million charge related to the Company’s new pilot joint collective bargaining agreement. These charges were offset in part by a net $73 million credit for bankruptcy related items primarily consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations.

The 2014 second quarter mainline operating special items totaled a net charge of $251 million, which principally included $163 million of merger integration expenses related to information technology, professional fees, severance, share-based compensation, re-branding of aircraft and airport facilities, relocation and training as well as a net $38 million charge for bankruptcy related items primarily consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations and $37 million in charges related to the buyout of leases associated with certain aircraft. The 2014 six month period mainline operating special items totaled a net charge of $114 million, which principally included $365 million of merger integration expenses, $40 million in charges primarily related to the buyout of leases associated with certain aircraft and a net $5 million charge for bankruptcy related items, all as described above. These charges were offset in part by a $309 million gain on the sale of Slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

(2) The 2015 and 2014 second quarter and six month period regional operating special items principally related to merger integration expenses.

(3) The 2015 second quarter nonoperating special items totaled a net credit of $11 million and primarily included a $22 million gain associated with the sale of an investment, offset in part by $11 million in charges principally related to non-cash write offs of unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs associated with refinancing the Company’s secured term loan facilities. The 2015 six month period nonoperating special items totaled a net credit of $19 million and principally included the $22 million gain associated with the sale of an investment as described above and a $17 million early debt extinguishment gain associated with the repayment of American’s AAdvantage loan with Citibank. These special credits were offset in part by $20 million in charges principally related to non-cash write offs of unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs associated with the debt refinancing as described above and the prepayment of certain aircraft financings.

The 2014 second quarter and six month period nonoperating special items were primarily due to non-cash interest accretion of $2 million and $33 million, respectively, on bankruptcy settlement obligations.

(4) The 2015 second quarter and six month period tax special items were the result of a non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets.

During the 2014 second quarter, the Company sold its portfolio of fuel hedging contracts that were scheduled to settle on or after June 30, 2014. In connection with this sale, the Company recorded a special non-cash tax provision of $330 million in the second quarter of 2014 that reversed the non-cash tax provision which was recorded in other comprehensive income (OCI), a subset of stockholders’ equity, principally in 2009. This provision represents the tax effect associated with gains recorded in OCI principally in 2009 due to a net increase in the fair value of the Company’s fuel hedging contracts. In accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the Company retained the $330 million tax provision in OCI until the last contract was settled or terminated. In addition, the Company recorded a special $7 million non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets in the 2014 second quarter. The 2014 six month period included the $330 million non-cash tax provision related to the settlement of fuel hedges discussed above as well as a special $15 million non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines and US Airways are already operating under a single AOC. However the last US-coded flight will be flight US 434, a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia, on October 17, 2015. After that date, all mainline flights will operate under the AA code. Former US Airways Airbus A319-112 N741UW (msn 1269), operated under the US code but now painted in American’s new 2013 livery, approaches the runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

American Airlines (current livery only): AG Airline Slide Show

US Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Allegiant launches new routes to Florida from Raleigh-Durham, Tulsa and Concord

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Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) on May 6 launched nonstop service from Raleigh-Durham to St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Service to both Sanford (near Orlando) and Punta Gorda started yesterday (May 7). All flights will operate two days a week.

In addition, yesterday (May 7) Allegiant also launched twice-weekly seasonal service from Tulsa to St. Petersburg/Clearwater (near Tampa). The route will operate through August 16.

In addition, today (May 8) the company started twice-weekly service from Concord, North Carolina (near Charlotte) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Finally, also today (May 8), the airline will start Cincinnati’s first low-cost service to Savannah-Hilton Head with summer seasonal service to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). Savannah-Hilton Head becomes the tenth destination Allegiant serves from CVG. The new flights operate twice weekly between the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) through October 11, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N302NV (msn 2387) taxies at Bellingham, WA.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to drop more routes from Denver

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is gradually dropping its spoke routes from and to its hometown Denver International Airport hub due to rising costs.

According to Airline Route, the carrier is planning to drop the following routes through April 2015: Eugene (November 29), Bakersfield (December 1), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (December 19), New York (LaGuardia) (December 20), Idaho Falls (January 5, 2015), Fresno, Harrisburg and Spokane (all January 6), Bloomington, Chicago (Midway), Minot, Newport News/Williamsburg, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara (all January 7), Oklahoma City (April 29) and Fargo (April 30).

Frontier has already ended service from Denver to Branson, Bellingham, Great Falls and Jackson Hole.

Read the full report from The Denver Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look taxies to the gate at Raleigh-Durham.

Frontier aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Southwest Airlines to purchase 3 million biofuel gallons yearly from Red Rocks Biofuels

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has signed an agreement with Red Rocks Biofuels LLC (RRB) to purchase low carbon renewable jet fuel, made using forest residues that will help reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in the Western United States. The airline’s agreement with RRB covers the purchase of approximately three million gallons per year. The blended product will be used at Southwest’s Bay Area operations with first delivery expected in 2016.

RRB’s first plant will convert approximately 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass feedstock into at least 12 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel, and naphtha fuels.

Southwest is a long-time member of Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) which is a government and industry coalition for the development and deployment of alternative jet fuel for commercial aviation. As a member of CAAFI, the airline has followed the progress of alternative fuel technologies. Red Rock Biofuels is the first viable opportunity the airline has found to meet its financial and sustainability objectives.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice ramp portrait of Boeing 737-8H4 N8306H (msn 36983) with the Split Scimitar Winglets painted in the now old 2001 “Canyon Blue” livery.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to add three new routes from Phoenix

Frontier Airlines (2nd) has selected Phoenix for more new routes as it continues to build its network away from its traditional Denver hub. The low-fare airline on November 20 will add new routes from Phoenix to Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Salt Lake City and San Francisco per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N902FR (msn 1515) with “Woody”, the Wood Duck, on the tail, taxies to the runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines choses Republic Airways Holdings to operate 50 new Embraer E175s, United will phase out the Q400s

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.

E175 Features:

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): AG Slide Show

United Express-Shuttle America: AG Slide Show

United Express-Republic Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

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).