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News : WestJet begins new IFE system installation

WestJet begins new IFE system installation


WestJet has begun the roll out of its new in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of Boeing 767ERs and Next-Generation 737 aircraft.
 
The new IFE system, called WestJet Connect, will provide internet connectivity and access to 85 movies, and 329 TV programmes, including expanded content in French, to passengers’ personal electronic devices, hosting the latest version of the WestJet app. Tablet rentals will be available on flights longer than three hours and 20 minutes.
 
"Business travellers will appreciate internet connectivity with global reach that's not limited to terrestrial towers over land; they have the opportunity to be constantly in contact anywhere in WestJet's world,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet executive vice-president, commercial.
 
“WestJet Connect is also a great solution for our leisure travellers. Personal electronic devices have become universal and our guests now have access to hundreds of movies and TV shows right to their own device, which will make travelling with the whole family a breeze. Also, our live television channels will enable business and leisure travellers to stay in touch with real-time business and other news." 
 
Content will be refreshed on a monthly basis and will be offered complementary for a limited period, with internet connectivity available at an introductory price of US$7.99 plus applicable taxes for the duration of each flight. Seats are equipped with110-volt and/or USB power outlets.
 
WestJet Connect will be installed on all of WestJet’s fleet of Boeing 767ERs and 30% of Next-Generation 737 aircraft by the end of 2015. The carrier expects installation on the majority of its 737 fleet to be complete in 2016.
 

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News : JetBlue announces 2Q15 results

JetBlue announces 2Q15 results


The second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) has seen JetBlue Airways double its operating income from $141 million in the same period last year to $282 million.
 
JetBlue also recorded record operating revenues for 2Q15 of $1.6 billion.
 
Revenue passenger miles increased 8.7% from 2Q14 to 10.5 billion on a capacity increase of 7.5% across the respective periods, resulting in a 2Q15 load factor of 85.6%, an increase of 1.0 percentage point year-over-year. In light of this, the carrier has said capacity is expected to increase between 8.5% and 10.5% in 3Q15 and between 7% and 9% for the full year, consistent with prior guidance. 
 
JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for 2Q15 has decreased 8.6% in comparison with 2Q14 to total 10.86 cents. 
 
Yield per passenger mile during 2Q15 was 14.28 cents, up 0.2% compared with the second quarter of 2014. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for 2Q15 increased 1.4% year over year to 12.22 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.4% year over year to 13.17 cents.
 
Operating expenses for the quarter decreased 1.7%, or $22 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 15.8%, or $7 million, as JetBlue continued to reduce its debt. 
 
“We are very pleased to report strong second quarter results based on solid demand across our network, safe and efficient operations, and good cost control," commented Robin Hayes, JetBlue's president and CEO.
 
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News : WestJet achieves 41st consecutive profitable quarter

WestJet achieves 41st consecutive profitable quarter


WestJet’s results for the second quarter of the financial year (2Q15) show net earnings of C$61.6 million, an 18.9% increase compared with its C$51.8 million net earnings during 2Q14.

2Q15 saw the airline’s available seat miles grow by 7.5% from 6.193 billion in 2Q14 to 6.655 billion, which, although resulting in a 5.5% increase in revenue passenger miles from 4.930 billion to 5.199 billion, drove WestJet’s load factor for 2Q15 down by 1.5 percentage points from 79.6% in 2Q14 to 78.1%.

The airline carried 3.9% more passengers during 2Q15 in comparison with the same period of last year, increasing from 4,772,324 to 4,956,488. Revenue per available seat mile (RASM) across the respective timeframes also rose by 5.7% from 14.16 cents to 15.02 cents as cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased by 8.1% from 13.76 cents to 12.65 cents. Yields increased by 4%.

“I would like to congratulate our more than 10,000 WestJetters on these exceptional second quarter results which marked our 5th quarter of consecutive record adjusted net earnings,” stated WestJet’s president and CEO, Gregg Saretsky. “The second quarter is historically our most challenging quarter as capacity is transitioned from southern to domestic markets, so it is particularly rewarding to turn in a double digit margin this quarter. With another quarter of record earnings, and after having exceeded our ROIC target for 12 consecutive quarters, we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our target to 13 to 16 per cent, while continuing our commitment to our brand of friendly, caring service and affordable fares.”

Based on the trailing 12 months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 16%, up 0.2 percentage points from the 15.8% reported in the previous quarter.

Finally, 2Q15 saw WestJet achieve an on-time performance rate of 91.3%, a year-over-year improvement of 6.8 percentage points, placing WestJet as the top performing North American airline during the quarter.
 
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News : Ryanair’s 1Q15 profit grows 25% year-on-year

Ryanair’s 1Q15 profit grows 25% year-on-year


Ryanair’s 30th anniversary has reaped strong financial results for the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), with increased passenger numbers – up 16% to 28 million in comparison with 24.3 million for the same period last year – meaning the airline has recorded an average load factor of 92%, a growth of 6 percentage points compared with 1Q14.
 
Overall, the airline has reported a 1Q15 profit after tax of €245 million, up 25% from €197 million last year. Furthermore, despite 1Q15 capital expenditure of €324 million and share buybacks of €195 million, the airline’s net cash increased to over €550 million (from €364 million in March). Ryanair has now completed almost 90% of its current €400 million share buyback programme which, when it closes in August, will have returned almost €3 billion to shareholders via special dividends and share buybacks since 2008.
 
“We are pleased to report strong growth in traffic and profits in Q1,” stated Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary. “Our mix of low fares, best on time performance (91% in Q1) and enhanced customer experience under our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, continues to attract millions of new customers. At the same time our focus on cost (Q1 unit costs fell 7%) enables us to pass on lower fares to customers. Q1 average fares fell 4% to just €45, due to the timing of Easter, weaker April yields and lower checked bag penetration as more families and business customers enjoy discounts on their luggage or benefit from our free 2nd carry-on bag policy.”
 
Other improvements to the ‘Always Getting Better’ programme include the cutting of fees for sports equipment in April, an upgrade to the Ryanair mobile app to facilitate faster and easier booking in May and the announcement of Sabre as the airline’s 3rd GDS partner in June. Moreover, the carrier has enhanced its Groups travel service by adding dedicated Groups page on is website as well as joining Facebook, which provides another channel through which it can communicate with passengers.
 
Ryanair says under the ‘Always Getting Better’ programme passengers will see a new personalised website, new aircraft interiors, new crew uniforms and new bases later this year. In accordance with these developments, the airline says its ancillary revenue will be well ahead of its long-term target of 20% of total revenue, but will track behind the 14% growth in customer numbers in FY16.
 
On the back of its positive 1Q15 financial results, Ryanair is increasing its FY16 traffic target from 100 million to 103 million, which the carrier hopes to achieve through a combination of strong load factor and fewer winter groundings. 
 
This winter the airline will take delivery of 31 aircraft, increasing its fleet to 340 Boeing 737-800s by year-end. In September, it will open a 6th German base in Berlin. September will also see the carrier open its second Swedish base in Gothenburg. In November, Israel will become the 31st country served by Ryanair when it begins flights to Eilat Ovda Airport from Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow.
 
However, the airline has closed two Danish bases in Copenhagen and Billund following threats by the Danish Unions – who admitted that they had no members among Ryanair’s Copenhagen pilots or cabin crew – to get their members (competitor airline employees) to blockade/disrupt its flights. By moving the aircraft from Copenhagen and Billund to airports outside Denmark, the unions have no legal basis for imposing these threatened disruptions, which allows Ryanair to continue to grow strongly in Copenhagen without union interference. 
 
Ryanair predicts that average fares for 1H15 will remain broadly flat, in line with its previous guidance of 0% to -2%, but notes that since its policy is to be load factor active/yield passive, it expects 2H15 fares will be towards the higher end of its -4% to –8% guidance range.
 
“We think it is too early in the year to alter our full year profit guidance, although the slightly better H1 yields will push it towards the upper end of our previously guided range of €940 million to €970 million net profit. We caution however that this guidance, which is 12% ahead of last year’s profit, is heavily reliant on the final outturn of H2 fares over which we currently have almost zero visibility,” O’Leary explained. “Ryanair will continue to pursue its strategy of being load factor active and yield passive for the benefit of our customers, our people and our shareholders.”    
 
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News : GKN Aerospace to acquire Fokker Technologies

GKN Aerospace to acquire Fokker Technologies


GKN Aerospace has agreed to acquire Fokker Technologies Group from Arle Capital for an enterprise value of €706 million (£499 million) to enhance its position as a leading global supplier to the aerospace industry.
 
Fokker is a specialist Tier 1 supplier to the commercial, military and business jet markets which specialises in the design, development and production of lightweight aero structures, electrical wiring interconnection systems and landing gear. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company has almost 5,000 employees with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. In the year ended 31 December 2014, Fokker generated revenue of €758 million. 
 
GKN is a UK headquartered global engineering group with over 50,000 people working in manufacturing facilities across more than 30 countries. GKN Aerospace, like Fokker, is a global Tier 1 supplier of airframe and engine subassemblies, transparencies and fuel/flotation systems with more than 12,000 employees. Its sales in 2014 totalled £2.2 billion (€3.1 billion). 
 
Once the acquisition is completed, Fokker, under the current leadership, will become a new operating unit within GKN Aerospace. Its HQ will remain in the Netherlands as will its R&D and manufacturing facilities. Fokker will also continue its partnerships with the Dutch government and knowledge institutes. 
 
Completion of the acquisition is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2015 following the conclusion of the information and consultation procedures with the Fokker Works Council and trade unions, ITAR and CFIUS regulatory clearances and anti-trust clearance in the EU and the US.
 
“Fokker is a great business with strong customer relationships and a recognised commitment to the development and application of innovative technology. It is an excellent business that fits well with GKN Aerospace. Strategically, this acquisition strengthens GKN Aerospace’s position as a market leader, enhances its global manufacturing footprint and adds new technology,” remarked Kevin Cummings, GKN Aerospace’s CEO. “It also increases GKN’s shipset value on key growth programmes in both the commercial and military markets. The addition of Fokker further strengthens GKN Aerospace’s ability to meet the demands of our global customers – now and into the future.”
 
Fokker Technologies’ CEO, Hans Büthker, commented, “The combination of GKN Aerospace and Fokker will create a world-leading, innovative multi technology aerospace company with a global footprint. GKN Aerospace and Fokker together have an impressive multi-technology portfolio for our customers. Fokker can benefit greatly from the scale, innovation and financial power of GKN. The innovation and technology driven culture in this larger company will provide broader and new opportunities for our employees who will be participating in some of the world’s largest and most challenging aerospace projects. 
 
“GKN was founded more than 250 years ago while Fokker has been at the forefront of aerospace technology for more than 100 years. Both companies understand the value of long term investment and the importance of operational excellence. The combination will help to meet the challenges of a more competitive and increasingly global aerospace market,” added Büthker.
 
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News : Volaris’s 2Q15 results show strong non-ticket revenue growth

Volaris’s 2Q15 results show strong non-ticket revenue growth


Volaris has announced its financial results for the second quarter 2015 (2Q15), including an operating revenue of Ps4,099 million, an increase of 23.9% in comparison with 2Q14’s figure.
 
Other highlights include an adjusted EBITDAR for the second quarter of Ps1,281 million, an increase of 115.3% year-over-year.
 
As a result of operating expenses per available seat mile (CASM) decreasing 3.3% year-over-year to Ps112.5 cents, Volaris’s 2Q15 total operating revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) rose to Ps123.0 cents, an increase of 8.7% on 2Q14. The lower operating expenses were enabled by lower fuel prices: the average economic fuel cost per gallon decreased 21.3% year-over-year in 2Q15 to Ps31.01 per gallon.
 
Active in fuel risk management, Volaris hedged 44% of its second quarter fuel consumption at an average strike price of $2.15 per gallon, which combined with the 56% unhedged consumption, resulted in a blended average economic fuel cost of $1.99 per gallon for the quarter.
 
Furthermore, total non-ticket revenues increased 48.3% to Ps977 million in comparison with 2Q14 despite non-ticket revenue per passenger increasing by only 23.2%. These improvements are attributed to refined ancillary services, the implementations of new commission-based products in the booking flow and new à la carte products. In addition, performance of Volaris’s cobranded credit card improved.
 
These positive results were affected by the macroeconomic environment in Mexico. Whilst the Mexican peso depreciated 17.7% year-over-year against the US dollar, which put pressure on Volaris’s US-dollar denominated costs such as aircraft rents, international airport costs, and maintenance expenses, the country also witnessed GDP growth for the first quarter of 2015 of 2.5%, as well as continuing increases in consumer confidence across 2Q15 in comparison with last year.
 
Volaris CEO, Enrique Beltranena, commented, “During the second quarter we continued to see improving market dynamics driven by solid demand and growing customer acceptance of the Volaris ULCC model. We continue to drive our growth through an expanding international presence while maintaining cost discipline and executing our business plan that is focused on generating shareholder value.”
 
The airline’s revenue passenger miles increased 15.8%, with the carrier’s passenger market share among Mexican carriers reaching 23.4% in both domestic and international markets, the second largest share. This occurred even whilst domestic capacity grew 7.3%, and international capacity increased 34.6% (the airline launched three new domestic routes and four new international routes during 2Q15).
 
As of 30 June 2015, Volaris’s fleet comprised 53 aircraft (33 A320s, 18 A319s and 2 A321s), with an average age of 4.3 years. Volaris expects to end 2015 with 55 aircraft.
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News : WestJet steps up Edmonton flights

WestJet steps up Edmonton flights


WestJet is set to launch a new route between Edmonton and Nanaimo in British Columbia, as well as increasing the frequency of its flights between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Regina and Saskatoon. 
 
The Edmonton–Nanaimo service will operate daily from 15 December, departing the former at 12:45 and landing in Nanaimo at 13:51. The return flights will leave Nanaimo at 14:25, arriving back in Edmonton at 17:12.
 
“Edmonton is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada and these important schedule improvements will support that growth,” explained Chris Avery, WestJet’s VP network planning, alliances and corporate development. “These increases cover a broad range of areas including key business and leisure routes, offering greater flexibility for business travellers who want same-day return trips, and more choices for people looking for vacation opportunities.”

Changes to frequencies begin with the return Edmonton–Regina service from 25 October, which will increase from a twice-daily to thrice-daily service. From 26 October, the return Edmonton–Grande Prairie route will see a more significant increase of nine extra return services each week. The carrier will operate 23 return flights per week as opposed to the previous 14.

The Edmonton–Kelowna and Edmonton–Saskatoon routes will increase from three to four-times daily flights from 15 December, the same date on which the Edmonton–Nanaimo service is due to begin.
 
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News : ALC places Boeing 737-800 with Air Vanuatu

ALC places Boeing 737-800 with Air Vanuatu


Air Vanuatu has signed a long-term lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for one new Boeing 737-800 from ALC’s orderbook with Boeing.
 
“Air Vanuatu looks forward to the introduction of the brand new Boeing 737-800 with the enhanced Sky Interior and the latest technology and customer features in January 2016,” confirmed Joseph Laloyer, Air Vanuatu's CEO.
 
“ALC is very pleased to announce this strategic new 737-800 lease placement with Air Vanuatu, a new customer for ALC in the South Pacific region,” commented ALC’s chairman and CEO, Steven Udvar-Házy. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with the airline as they grow and modernise their fleet.” 
 
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News : Tigerair cuts losses across 1Q15/16

Tigerair cuts losses across 1Q15/16


Tiger Airways Holdings Limited, which does business as Tigerair, has reported an operating profit of $0.6 million for the first quarter of the 2015-2016 financial year ended 30 June (1Q15/16), compared with an operating loss of $16.4 million during 1Q14/15.
 
Although the group revenue of $168.3 million for the quarter stood 2.0% lower than the prior year following a capacity decrease of 7.2%, the consolidation of Tigerair’s fleet and network led to improvement in yields of 4.7%. Load factor fell 1.2 percentage points, but remained at a healthy level of 83.5%.

Group expenses fell by 10.8% to $167.7 million compared with the same period last year, despite the benefit of lower fuel costs beings partially offset by a $4.1 million increase in expenses arising from changes in accounting estimates for maintenance provisions and aircraft depreciation policy. Group expenses were also impacted by the stronger US dollar.

The Group’s 1Q15/16 net loss after tax narrowed significantly to $1.7 million, compared with a net loss after tax of $65.2 million for 1Q14/15. This marks an improvement of 97.4%. The absence of shutdown costs and losses related to Tigerair Mandala contributed to this improvement in bottom-line.

At the end of the quarter, the Group generated positive cashflows of $14.4 million from core operations and remained in a net cash position.

Lee Lik Hsin, Tigerair’s CEO, averred, “We are encouraged by our improving results, and will continue to work towards a return to full-year profitability.”

Even though the period between July and September is a seasonally weak quarter for Tigerair, the Group expects to keep up the recovery momentum and will continue exploring all opportunities for synergies with Scoot and the rest of the SIA Group in commercial, operational and other areas.
 
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News : fastjet inaugurates Dar es Salaam–Lilongwe service

fastjet inaugurates Dar es Salaam–Lilongwe service


fastjet has begun operating its sixth international route in Africa with twice-weekly flights between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lilongwe in Malawi.

The Dar es Salaam–Lilongwe flights will initially operate on Mondays and Fridays using the airline’s Airbus A319 aircraft with seating for up to 156 passengers, but fastjet Tanzania expects to add more capacity as demand on the route increases.

The journey by road between the two cities takes at least 21 hours, including travelling 1,520 km around Lake Malawi. By offering low fares, fastjet Tanzania expects many of its passengers using this service to be first time flyers. In December 2014, the airline conducted research which proved 35% of its passengers hadn’t flown by air before. 

“Until now, it has been prohibitively expensive to fly between Lilongwe and Dar es Salaam,” stated Jimmy Kibati, fastjet Tanzania’s general manager for East Africa. “We believe that affordable fares on a direct route between the two cities will make it possible for more people in Malawi and Tanzania to experience the safety and convenience of air travel. We have worked closely with the governments of these two magnificent countries to establish this route, as we all agree that it will strengthen the trade, tourism and business sectors.”

fastjet will be offering its ‘Freighty’ luggage option that allows passengers to transport up to 80 kg of checked bags on the route, as well as its ‘Smart Class’ fares, which include pre-booked premium seat selection, increased baggage allowance of 32 kg and the ability to change flight dates.

“We expect Freighty to be popular with traders flying to purchase wholesale produce internationally to transport back to their home markets for resale, as fastjet’s low fares support their businesses by reducing their overall procurement costs,” continued Kibati. “Low-cost air travel stimulates economies in a number of ways, and we’re excited to contribute to economic growth in the countries we operate in.”
 
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News : Southwest flight attendants reject tentative agreement

Southwest flight attendants reject tentative agreement


According to representatives for the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, in the vote on a tentative agreement (TA) on a new contract for Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants, 87% of those who cast ballots voted against the TA.

Had the TA been passed it would have brought to an end two years of negotiations. For now, Southwest’s flight attendants will continue working under the terms of their current agreement, which became amendable on 31 May 2013.

The new deal was slated to run until May 2019 and contained fixed wage increases, cash bonuses, and quality of life improvements. According to TWU, nearly 89% of eligible flight attendants voted in the ballot.
“This agreement ensured that our flight attendants would stay atop the industry in pay and benefits,” said Randy Babbitt, Southwest’s SVP labour relations. “It improved the company's competitiveness with certain work-rule changes and supported our evolving network, both domestically and in international markets. So naturally we're disappointed that it didn't pass.”

Southwest expects TWU leadership will take some time to evaluate the results prior to returning to direct bargaining. 
 
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News : Republic reports preliminary 2Q15 financial results

Republic reports preliminary 2Q15 financial results


Republic Airways Holdings has announced it expects to report a net income of between four and five million US dollars for the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) due to 4% fewer block hours than forecasted as a result of operational disruption caused by regulatory changes and further intensified by the airline’s ongoing pilot labour dispute.

The carrier has also predicted pre-tax margins of 2.5% to 3.0% on operating revenues of $338 to $340 million.

Republic’s ongoing labour dispute with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) – the union which represents the bargaining rights of all Republic pilots – is currently being negotiated under the supervision of the National Mediation Board. 

A spokesperson for the airline commented, “The lack of a new agreement for our pilots requires the company to maintain its below market contract and is contributing to increased levels of attrition and an inability for the company to attract new pilots.”

A lack of timeline for the resolution means Republic anticipates continued operational disruption. As a result, the airline has initiated discussions with its mainline partners to take the necessary actions to both temporarily and permanently reduce scheduled flying commitments for the remainder of 2015 and the first half of 2016. In light of the anticipated fleet reductions, Republic is rescinding all previously issued financial and operational guidance.
 
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News : Vietjet receives world’s first 230-seat A321ceo

Vietjet receives world’s first 230-seat A321ceo


Vietjet’s newest aircraft, an Airbus A321ceo equipped with Sharklet wingtips, is the latest version of the OEM’s single-aisle family and the first in the world to feature 230 seats.
 
The aircraft landed in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport on 25 July after flying over from Hamburg, Germany. 

Vietjet now operates 26 new Airbus A320s and A321s, which are helping to further develop the carrier’s network in Vietnam and across the Asia-Pacific region. 

“By welcoming this A321ceo with Sharklets into the Vietjet family, we can meet our expansion plans,” remarked Luu Duc Khanh, Vietjet’s managing director. “We are wholly committed to operating brand new aircraft while continuously upgrading our fleet to bring our passengers greater comfort and maximum convenience when flying with Vietjet.”
 
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News : KLM to introduce in-flight Wi-Fi on-board first Dreamliner

KLM to introduce in-flight Wi-Fi on-board first Dreamliner


KLM has announced that the delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which is scheduled for October this year, will mark the launch of ‘KLM Wi-Fi.’
 
Both KLM and its partner Air France completed in-flight Wi-Fi trials in partnership with Panasonic Avionics in 2013. KLM Wi-Fi will enable passengers to access the internet, email and other online services on-board from their personal electronic devices using Panasonic's Global Communications Suite.
 
KLM’s Dreamliner will also feature upgrades to its in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. Passengers in World Business Class seats can watch content on fitted 16” monitors, but there is also the option of a dual-screen experience, allowing passengers to game or chat using the handset while watching a film.

In economy the IFE has been renewed and extended, boasting a larger, 11” intuitive HD-quality touchscreen, interactive 3D maps and the option to communicate via Seat Chat with passengers not seated nearby. 
 
The IFE system provides access to more than 150 films and 200 TV programmes in 12 languages, including a large number of local films.
 
These changes are part of KLM’s larger fleet investment programme. Other features of the 787-9 designed to improve passenger experience include special LED-lighting, larger windows and a higher cabin pressure in an effort to reduce jetlag. 
 
“The Boeing 787-9 enables KLM to offer passengers even more comfort and privacy,” commented Pieter Elbers, KLM’s president and CEO. “KLM has chosen to add specific improvements to this special aircraft, which make it unique among other 787s. All these details add up to ensure our passengers can experience a new way to fly.”
 
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News : Southwest records ninth consecutive quarter of record profits

Southwest records ninth consecutive quarter of record profits


Southwest Airlines’ financial results for the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) have seen a $206 million increase on the carrier’s 2Q14 net income, totalling $691 million (excluding special items), which is an all-time quarterly high.
 
“Our second quarter 2015 operating unit revenue performance was impacted by challenging year-over-year comparisons, longer average stage length, higher average seats per trip (gauge), and a softer yield environment,” stated Gary Kelly, Southwest’s president, CEO and chairman of the board.
 
However, the airline's 2Q15 total operating revenues were $5.1 billion, a 2% increase compared with 2Q14, largely driven by passenger revenues of $4.9 billion. Operating income for the period also reached a record $1.1 billion compared with $775 million in 2Q14.
 
“Overall, our network performance is exceptional. For this year, we are growing our available seat miles (ASMs) approximately 7%, year-over-year. The annualised impact of our 2015 expansion is expected to contribute the majority of 2016's year-over-year capacity growth,” commented Kelly. “As we continue to optimise our network, we are currently planning to grow our total 2016 ASMs in the five to six percent range, year-over-year, with the goal to sustain strong margins and ROIC levels in line with 2015.”
 
Even with this ASM growth, Southwest’s 2Q15 load factor reached a record 84.6% load factor.
 
This year, Southwest’s extra capacity has come from development markets in Dallas. In April, the airline launched nine additional daily nonstop flights, bringing the total daily flights out of Love Field to 166. By August 2015, Southwest is scheduled to operate 180 weekday departures to 50 nonstop destinations.
 
“Our international expansion is also progressing, as planned, and producing expected results. We began service to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) in June and announced daily service between PVR and Denver beginning in November 2015, pending foreign government approval,” Kelly noted. “We are excited to begin service by the end of this year between eight international cities and Houston (Hobby), including inaugural service to Belize City, Belize in October 2015, and Liberia, Costa Rica in November 2015, both pending foreign government approvals.”
 
During 2Q15, Southwest's fleet increased by ten aircraft to a total of 689 at period end after the delivery of six new Boeing 737-800s and five pre-owned Boeing 737-700s after the retirement of one Boeing 737 Classic. The carrier continues to expect to grow its net fleet approximately two percent year-over-year in 2016. 
 
As an extension of its fleet modernisation initiatives, 2Q15 also saw Southwest designate its 31 Boeing firm orders in 2016 to 737-800s rather than 737-700s and add 31 pre-owned 737-700s scheduled for delivery through to 2018. In addition, it cancelled the 12 737NG options scheduled for delivery in 2016.
 
“We also were very pleased with our overall cost performance. Our cost control efforts, ongoing fleet modernisation and improved aircraft utilisation resulted in a 1.8% year-over-year decline in our second quarter 2015 unit costs, excluding fuel and oil expense, special items, and second quarter 2015's record profit-sharing expense of $182 million,” continued Kelly. “Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, special items, and profit-sharing, we expect third quarter 2015 unit costs to decline approximately one percent and full year 2015 unit costs to decline approximately two percent, both compared with the same year-ago periods.
 
“Fuel savings in 2Q15 were nearly $500 million, which led to a reduction in our second quarter 2015 unit costs, excluding special items, of almost 12% year-over-year.
 
For the six months ended 30 June 2015, total operating revenues increased 3.8% to $9.5 billion, while total operating expenses decreased 6.4% to $7.7 billion, resulting in an operating income of $1.9 billion, compared with $991 million for the same period last year. Excluding special items, operating income was $1.9 billion for first half 2015, compared with $1.1 billion for first half 2014.
 
“We are currently estimating third quarter 2015 unit revenues to decline a modest one percent from third quarter 2014,” Kelly concluded. 
 
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July 17, 2015
HMG Aerospace is proud to announce the return of the Inflight Workshop & Awards to Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) 2016.
April 14, 2015
VT Miltope is presented with the Inflight award for Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins at this year's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg
April 8, 2015
Inflight is pleased to announce that newly appointed editor, Piers Townley, will be attending this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg
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