Tag Archives: VCV

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter and 2017 results

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.

Alaska Airlines Group issued this financial report for the 4Q and 2017:

Dividend Increase:

  • Announced today a 7% increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.30 per share to $0.32 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 8, to all shareholders of record as of Feb. 20, 2018. This is the fifth time the company has raised the dividend since initiating the quarterly dividend in July 2013, with a cumulative increase of 220% since that time.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the fourth quarter and full-year under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, and $1.0 billion, or $8.30 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2016 net income of $114 million, or $0.92per diluted share, and full-year 2016 net income of $814 million, or $6.54 per diluted share. As the acquisition of Virgin America Inc. (Virgin America) closed on Dec. 14, 2016, 2017 information reflects the results of Virgin America. 2016 information reflects the results of Virgin America from Dec. 14-31, 2016.
  • Reported fourth quarter 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.83 compared to $1.56reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, special income tax benefits related to tax law changes, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, was $103 million compared to $193 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.82 per share.
  • Reported full year 2017 adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, of $823 million, compared to $911 million in 2016. Reported 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $6.64, compared to $7.32in 2016.
  • Paid a $0.30 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the fourth quarter, bringing total dividend payments in 2017 to $148 million.
  • Repurchased a total of 981,277 shares of common stock for approximately $75 million in 2017.
  • Generated approximately $1.6 billion of operating cash flow and used approximately $1.0 billionfor capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $547 million of free cash flow in 2017.
  • Grew passenger revenues by 32% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, and by 36% compared to full-year 2016, largely enabled by our acquisition of Virgin America in December of 2016.
  • Generated full-year adjusted pretax margin of 17% in 2017.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Reduced debt-to-capitalization ratio to 51% as of Dec. 31, 2017, compared to 59% as of Dec. 31, 2016.

2017 Accomplishments and Highlights:

Recognition and Awards – Alaska

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2017 by J.D. Power for the tenth year in a row.
  • Ranked first in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Travel Rewards Programs for the third consecutive year.
  • Won the “Best Rewards Program” for Alaska Mileage Plan for carriers in the “Americas” region in the sixth annual FlyerTalk Award.
  • Mileage Plan ranked Best Airline Elite Status Program in the U.S. by The Points Guy.
  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2017 “America’s Best Employers” for the third year in a row.
  • Received 16th Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing both Alaska and Horizon’s aircraft technicians for their commitment to training.
  • Ranked by AirlineRatings.com as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world.
  • Rated “Best Airline Staff in North America” and “Best Regional Airline in North America” by Skytrax World Airline Awards.
  • Awarded TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice Award for second-best midsize and low-cost airlines in North America and one of the top 10 best airlines in the world.
  • Recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as the 2017 Board Diversity Champion, as well as by the Women Corporate Directors Global Institute for diversity among our Directors.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), receiving perfect scores for “efficiency” and “reliability.”
  • Recognized as No. 1 in fuel efficiency for U.S. airlines by the International Council on Clean Transportation for the 7th consecutive year.
  • Named one of the overall five-star major regional airlines at the Passenger Choice Awards during the APEX EXPO.
  • Ranked fifth of most engaged companies in the U.S. by Forbes Insights, which measured social media engagement, net promoter scores, and year-over-year sales growth.

Recognition and Awards – Virgin America

  • Rated Best U.S. Airline by Conde Nast Traveler in their “Annual Readers’ Choice Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Rated Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Received a five-star rating for low-cost carrier, and received a top honor with a Passenger Choice Award for “Best Seat Comfort” during the APEX EXPO.

Our People

  • Awarded $135 million in incentive pay to employees for 2017.
  • Awarded employees a $1,000 bonus in January 2018 in connection with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, amounting to approximately $25 million to be paid on Jan. 29, 2018.
  • Granted “Single Carrier Determination” by the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, paving the way for labor integration and union representation. The NMB officially certified the Association of Flight Attendants as the union representative for Virgin America inflight teammates and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as the union representative for Virgin America clerical, office and passenger service employees.
  • Entered into an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to amend the eight-year contract with Horizon’s pilots, providing Horizon the ability to attract and retain the best pilots in the regional industry.
  • Alaska received a perfect score of 100% for workplace equality on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (“CEI”). Virgin America received a score of 95%.

Our Guests and Product

  • Launched various new in-flight amenities, including Free Chat, upgraded food and beverage options and Premium Class service.
  • Selected Gogo to provide next-generation satellite-based Wi-Fi across the entire Boeing and Airbus fleets, providing guests a faster and more-reliable internet connection.
  • Dropped fees for bikes, golf clubs, skis, surfboards, and other sporting equipment that exceed Alaska’s normal checked baggage weight and dimensions to $25.
  • Added Condor Airlines, Finnair, and Singapore Airlines as global Mileage Plan partners.
  • Announced plans to fly 13 daily departures from Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington to eight West Coast markets starting in fall 2018.
  • Announced a seven-year partnership to be the official airline of the San Francisco Giants which includes, among other things, exclusive naming rights to the AT&T Park Club Level which will now be called the “Alaska Airlines Club Level.”

  • Signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant naming him “Advisor to the CEO,” and extended our partnership with Russell Wilson and Ciara.
  • Converted the world’s first Boeing 737-700 from a passenger plane to a freighter and placed it into revenue service.
  • Added 14 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and 4 Airbus A321neo aircraft to the operating fleet in 2017, bringing the total Mainline fleet to 221 aircraft.
  • Added 10 Embraer 175 (E175) regional jets to Horizon Air’s fleet in 2017.
  • Added 44 new markets in 2017 across the Alaska Air Group and Virgin America networks.

Our Communities

  • Donated over $14 million and contributed more than 32,000 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in our local communities, focusing on youth and education, medical (research/transportation) and community outreach.

Alaska Air Group Inc. reported fourth quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, compared to $114 million, or $0.92 per diluted share in 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $103 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company reported full-year 2017 GAAP net income of $1,028 million, compared to $814 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $823 million, or $6.64 per diluted share for 2017, compared to adjusted net income of $911 million, or $7.32 per diluted share in 2016.

“2017 was a great year – we invested in our route network, our fleet, our product, and laid the foundation for our future,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska’s CEO. “We added 44 new routes to our network (in addition to the 38 added through Virgin America), grew membership in our loyalty program, and made great progress on our integration of Virgin America. By early spring, we’ll have the bulk of the integration behind us, and working with our people to do more of what Alaska does best – running a highly reliable operation and offering our guests outstanding customer service.”

Copyright Photo: The first ex-Virgin America Airbus A320 has been repainted at Victorville. After this photo was taken, it was flown to San Francisco to enter revenue service from SFO. Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.


Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

The first Boeing 777 is painted for Crystal Luxury Air

The first Boeing 777 for Crystal Luxury Air

Crystal Luxury Air (subsidiary of Crystal Cruises) (Los Angeles) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777. The company will begin offering exclusive 14-day and 28-day itineraries to remote destinations around the world. The pictured ex-Air Austral Boeing 777-29M LR has been painted at Victorville, CA and is now registered as P4-XTL.

As we reported last month: Crystal Cruises for Crystal Luxury Air (Los Angeles) made this announcement:

Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, is once again pioneering new fronts in the luxury travel industry with the purchase of a Boeing 777-200 LR, offering an array of global itineraries for its expanded brand extension Crystal Luxury Air. The announcement comes on the heels of Crystal’s groundbreaking news in July of an extensive brand expansion, which will include extravagant air vacations around the world aboard a luxurious Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

In addition to doubling the initial air projections with the expanded aircraft fleet, Crystal will work with the Registry of Aruba in developing and securing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). This will pave the way for Crystal Luxury Air to launch international operations. The twin-aisle Boeing 777-200 LR will be redesigned to accommodate just 88 guests with flat-bed first class seats; a beautifully appointed lounge and bar; and offer 14- and 28-day around-the-world and international itineraries, beginning in 2017.

The twin-aisle Boeing 777-200 LR, and the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which typically seats up to 300 passengers and will be redesigned to accommodate just 52 guests, will boast the premium luxury that discerning global travelers have come to expect from Crystal, including copious amounts of guest space, plush amenities and Crystal’s world-class service and crew. Trips will include accommodations at the world’s most luxurious hotels, the finest Michelin star-level cuisine prepared by celebrated chefs and fabulous local cultural entertainment. Additionally, the aircrafts can be arranged for special charters.

Copyright Photo: Derin Allard/AirlinersGallery.com.

AG Read the Real WAN

Boeing 737 MAX LEAP-1B engine begins its flight test program on a Boeing 747-100 at Victorville

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and CFM International announced yesterday (May 7) that they successfully initiated flight testing of the LEAP-1B* engine on April 29 on a modified ex-Pan Am Boeing 747-100 (see below) flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California.

CFM International logo

According to Boeing, “The testing is the next major milestone in a two-year program that will culminate in engine certification in 2016 and delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX in 2017. The engine performed well and completed multiple aeromechanical test points at various altitudes during the five hour, 30 minute first flight.”

CFM International LEAP-1B engine (CFM)(LRW)

Above photo: CFM International.

The LEAP-1B engine (above) is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX family and is part of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM’s history. The first LEAP-1B engine began ground testing on June 13, 2014, three days ahead of the schedule set when the program was launched in 2011.

Over the next several weeks, the flight test program will encompass a comprehensive test schedule that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions and acoustics. It also will further validate the advanced technologies incorporated in the engine, including the woven carbon fiber composite fan, the Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler (TAPS) combustor, ceramic matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine and titanium aluminide blades in the low-pressure turbine.

To date, the 737 MAX has accumulated 2,724 orders from 57 customers worldwide.

* The LEAP-1B is a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE.

Video: From CFM International: Who do jet engines work?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA699AKxT7s&w=560&h=315%5D

Bottom photo: Boeing. The test airframe is the pictured GE Aircraft Engines Boeing 747-121 N747GE (msn 19651) seen departing from Victorville with the test engine. The historic Jumbo was originally delivered to Pan Am as N744PA on June 21, 1972.

LEAP-1B First Flight - 747-100 Flying Testbed K66344


TriStar History and Preservation, Inc. to preserve a former TAP Air Portugal Lockheed L-1011 TriStar in TWA colors at Kansas City

TriStar L-1011-385-3 N91011 (Grd) VCV (TriStar)(LR)

TriStar History and Preservation, Inc, (Kansas City) is planning to ferry former TAP Air Portugal Lockheed L-1011-385-3 TriStar 500 N91011 (msn 1241, ex CS-TMR) (above) from Victorville, CA (VCV) to Kansas City where it will be preserved in TWA colors. The society is also preserving former TWA McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N948TW (msn 49575) “Wings of Pride” in its original TWA colors.

TWA operated 41 Lockheed L-1011s but ironically not the TriStar 500 model.

From TriStar’s website:

TriStar logo

Since TriStar’s incorporation on January 14, 2013 we’ve worked hard to establish the aviation, accounting, maintenance, banking, risk management and other expertise to ensure this non-profit serves the community ethically and safely. We operate in compliance with FAA and IRS guidelines while implementing accounting practices that can track donations and expenses to specific aircraft and programs for transparent and effective fiscal management. We respect and are committed to growing the confidence our corporate and individual supporter have already shown us.

With a solid foundation TriStar has begun to share plans with the community at large. TriStar owns 3 aircraft plus a full motion flight simulator and will soon return to service its first aircraft to be used for both ground-based and in-flight programs.

The BAC 1-11 flight simulator has been moved from England to Kansas City via ocean freight. The simulator is in temporary storage until established in its new operating site.

The BAC 1-11 (N999BW) is being housed at Jet Midwest Technik and cared for by our directors of maintenance. Our pilot could fly it, but sadly a perfect engine is out of calendar time and requires either significant maintenance or a complete replacement. We’re hunting for a new engine and how to pay for it. We’re been told by several organizations that performing the required maintenance on the current engine as well as acquiring a suitable alternate engine are both about $250,000 to 300,000.

TriStar N91011 cockpit

Above Photo: The cockpit of N91011.

The L-1011 (N91011) now effectively ready to fly resides at its restoration site Pacific Aerospace in Victorville, California. We’ll ferry it to Kansas City as the next steps for painting and parking are finalized.

The MD-83 (N948TW) Wings of Pride will likely be the first to return to service. We’ll finish the effort to repaint to her original livery. This work is underway at the paint shop at Jet Midwest. We’ll also install new engines. These engines are expensive but less so than the BAC’s and more readily available.

Much has been accomplished but much remains to be done. We’ll soon share plans to provide educational aviation programs. Supporters have voiced concerns over the need to transfer knowledge from this generation to the next. We share this concern and are working to put TriStar’s aircraft assets to use toward this end.

Importantly TriStar has accomplished what is has because of people like you who love aviation and believe the use of these aircraft will inspire the next generation to greater achievement in STEM fields of study.

A history of N91011 (according to TriStar):

September 1979   Ordered to Lockheed by TAP Air Portugal

March 16, 1983   Delivered to TAP Air Portugal; registered CS-TEC; named “Gago Coutinho”

January 1990   Leased to TAAG Angola Airlines until June 1997; kept CS-TEC registration during leasing

October 1997   Sold to Finans Skandic and leased to Novair; re-registered SE-DVF

April 2000   Bought by Air Luxor; leased to Novair

June 2000  Leased to YES – Linhas Aéreas Charter; re-registered CS-TMR

June 3, 2000  YES starts operations; first flight to Cancun

May 2002  Sub-leased to BWIA during a month, replacing a BWIA L1011 in heavy maintenance

May 2003  Returned to Air Luxor

January 2004  Transferred to LUZair; operating under Air Luxor’s AOC; blue tail and no titles

June 2004  Seen operating for DCA – Dutch Caribbean Airlines between Curaçao and Amsterdam

July 6, 2004  Compressor stall in engine #1; sustained damage in a landing gear after high energy RTO

July 31, 2004  Post repair, stall in same engine led to AOG condition; stored at AMS awaiting new engines

October 2006  Began reactivation works at AMS to put aircraft again in the air

January 2007  Three new engines fitted

July 20, 2007  Ferry flight from AMS to LIS

August 18, 2007  Ferried to VCV for C-check

October 2008  C-check complete

January 2014  TriStar History and Preservation Inc. acquires from Banco Espirito Santo in Lisbon, Portugal

January 2014  Maintenance work begins for ferry flight of aircraft from VCV to Kansas City International

January 2014  Re-registered by TriStar from CS-TMR to N91011

TriStar L-1011-385-3 N91011 cabin

Above Photo: The cabin of N91011.

All photos by TriStar History and Preservation Inc. For more information on the organization: CLICK HERE

TWA aircraft slide show: