9 Air takes delivery of 2 Boeing 737-800s from GECAS
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered two Boeing 737-800s on lease to 9 Air, the low-fare subsidiary of Juneyao Airlines, which represents a new customer for the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE.
Established in 2014, 9 Air launched operations from China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in January. The carrier currently operates a fleet of five aircraft to three destinations in China, with plans to expand and add new domestic routes.
2Q15 sees Aer Lingus’s long-haul endeavour take off
Whilst Aer Lingus’s mainline passenger numbers for the second quarter of 2015 which ended on 30 June (2Q15) only grew by 1% overall in comparison to the same quarter last year – from 2,782 million to 2,809 million – the airline has reported a 7.1% increase in revenue from €437.8 million to €468.9 million across the respective periods.
This revenue increase comes on the back of total passenger numbers including Aer Lingus Regional growing by just 0.4%, as regional flights saw an 11% decrease in passenger numbers from 364,000 in 2Q14 to 324,000 in 2Q15.
2Q15 revenue passenger kilometres grew by 4.9% over 2Q14, whilst capacity only rose by 2.8%. The primary factor behind these figures is the expanding success of Aer Lingus’s long-haul routes: long-haul fare revenues grew by 24.4% from €138.7 million to €172.5 million, whereas short-haul revenues only increased by 3.2%.
During 2Q15, the airline introduced long-haul services between Dublin and Washington in May as well as additional frequency to New York and additional capacity on other destinations, including San Francisco.
Average fare revenues per seat and per passenger both increased during the period, meaning the carrier’s ancillary services are also performing well. Aer Lingus continued to roll out its new ‘Smart Flies Aer Lingus’ brand platform, consolidating the introduction of the new Aer Lingus long-haul business class service on its A330 fleet. Business class passengers are up 21.1% for the first half of the 2015, which includes the first three months of the new business class service. This meant a business-class load factor increase of 3.2 percentage points to 73.1% in comparison with 2Q14’s figure.
“I am pleased to report a profitable second quarter with Aer Lingus well positioned to deliver an improved operating performance in the key Q3 trading period and for the full year,” commented Aer Lingus’s CEO, Stephen Kavanagh. “Passenger, retail and cargo revenues all grew strongly in the quarter. The continued investment in our transatlantic business was rewarded with strong growth in unit revenues. The volume-active strategy employed in our short-haul business delivered stable unit revenue performance in an intensely competitive marketplace.”
The load factor for short-haul flights increased slightly more – by 1.9 percentage points from 76.4% in 2Q14 to 78.3% in 2Q15 – than the long-haul load factor increase of 0.9 percentage points across the same periods, due to a slight decrease in short-haul capacity. However, the average load factor across Aer Lingus’s total operations grew by 1.6 percentage points from 80.6% to 81.7%, once again showing the impact of a rewarding long-haul network, which boasted a load factor of 86.2% for 2Q15.
Despite these positive results, 2Q15 operating costs also rose by 8.8% to €434.4 million, driven by higher transatlantic activity in the quarter relative to the previous year, but this was offset by lower US dollar fuel prices. Aer Lingus expects the benefits of lower priced fuel hedging contracts to be more evident in the second half of 2015 and also expects the stronger US dollar to favourably impact the Q3 results.
“The adverse effects of unfavourable FX movements on performance which were evident in this quarter will moderate in the second half of the year as a result of a higher proportion of US dollar denominated revenues. Both short and long haul capacity are set to expand into the peak season and we are very satisfied with forward yield and load factor profiles at this time,” added Kavanagh.
Aer Lingus has still been left with a healthy 17.7% increase in net cash from €545.4 million in 2Q14 to €641.6 million in 2Q15.
“Finally, I would like to reiterate the view of the independent directors of Aer Lingus that the combination with IAG will strengthen Aer Lingus and will grow our airline and contribute to growth in the tourism sector and wider Irish economy,” Kavanagh concluded.
AirSatOne and RingCentral to provide business passengers with uninterrupted communication
AirSatOne, an aircraft satellite communications airtime provider, has certified RingCentral’s VoIP app, allowing business jet passengers a seamless transition between cellular and Wi-Fi services on their own personal electric device (PED).
Accessible through AirSatOne’s free sat com management service - FlightStream SA - RingCentral’s cloud-based system is compatible with iOS or Android devices, and allows a sustained connection for voice, fax, text, global conferencing, and online meetings during flight. Calls can also be forwarded from other devices including those at home or the office.
According to Jo Kremsreiter, president of AirSatOne, “FlightStream SA frees up bandwidth by blocking advertisements and provides text and image compression. This ensures that the end-user gets the best results while using RingCentral for VoIP phone calls.”
Once airborne, the system recognises the strongest network signal, automatically transferring to the aircraft’s Satcom-based Wi-Fi service when access to the cellular network is lost.
As a cloud-based VoIP PBX (Private Branch Exchange) solution, no aircraft hardware or software installation is required.
RingCentral offers a free 30-day trial and plan subscriptions start at US$24.99 per month.
WestJet begins rolling out new IFEC system
WestJet has begun installing its aircraft with a new inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system, WestJet Connect, with the aim of completing implementation on each of its Boeing 767ERs and more than 30% of its 737NGs by the end of 2015.
“The launch of WestJet Connect is an important next step in the evolution of our guest experience,” explained Bob Cummings, WestJet’s EVP commercial. “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.
“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,” Cummings continued.
To access the content provided by WestJet Connect via mobile devices or tablets using iOS or Android operating systems, passengers have to download the latest version of the WestJet app prior to boarding. The WestJet app will take guests to the WestJet Connect home page. Seats on WestJet Connect-equipped aircraft have 110-volt and/or USB power outlets, allowing passengers the opportunity to charge or power their devices.
Customers will also be able to access WestJet Connect using their laptops and tablet rentals will be available on flights longer than three hours and 20 minutes for travellers who do not have their own device.
At launch, WestJet Connect will feature 85 movies and 329 TV programmes, including expanded content in French. Content will be refreshed on a monthly basis and will be offered at no charge for an introductory period. The system's internet connectivity will be available at an introductory price of C$7.99 plus applicable taxes for the duration of each flight.
“WestJet Connect will continue to evolve in the months and years ahead,” remarked Marshall Wilmot, WestJet’s SVP marketing and digital. “We look forward to adding more movies and live satellite TV channels, as well as a three-dimensional moving map, games, books and electronic magazines including, of course, WestJet Magazine.”
Installations on the majority of WestJet’s 737 fleet are expected to be completed in 2016.
CTC Aviation to select direct entry pilots for BA CityFlyer
BA CityFlyer has signed an exclusive agreement to outsource its selection of First Officers, assigning CTC Aviation to perform direct entry pilot selection services on its behalf.
CTC Aviation’s airline resourcing team will provide selection services to support the airline’s flight operations team in the task of recruiting the highest calibre of direct entry pilots, after which successful applicants will join BA CityFlyer as an Embraer 170/190 First Officer.
Located at the airline’s main base at London City Airport, the new crew members will be serving a mixture of business and leisure destinations throughout Europe.
“We require our pilots to have the drive to provide industry defining standards of customer service in a demanding, yet exciting environment. We have been working with CTC Aviation for some time now and recently employed a number of their CTC WINGS and CTC TAKEOFF graduates,” remarked David Cox, fleet manager of BA CityFlyer. “Having been impressed by what we have seen, we are now also entrusting our direct entry pilot recruitment to their care. They have been tasked to provide us with airline pilots of the highest professional standards and we are looking forward to the first successful pilots joining our team very soon.”
Trans States Airlines becomes latest to join ATP's Tuition Reimbursement Programme
Trans States Airlines has joined Mesa Airlines, Compass Airlines and GoJet Airlines in partnering with ATP Flight School to offer financial aid to aspiring commercial pilots as part of ATP's Tuition Reimbursement Programme.
Trans States will assist with flight school loan repayment or refund a portion of flight training costs in exchange for eligible ATP participants flying for the carrier after gaining the required experience.
“We're delighted to participate in this innovative new programme that offsets the costs associated with earning a commercial pilot license,” commented COO of Trans States Airlines, Fred Oxley. “While many regional airlines, including Trans States, offer signing bonuses to incentivise pilots, this programme is the first of its kind to subsidise training costs.”
In addition to ATP tuition reimbursement, Trans States Airlines does offer a $10,000 First Officer signing bonus and covers the cost of the ATP-CTP course for qualified applicants. The airline is also authorised to run a Captain Qualified First Officer (CQFO) programme, giving experienced new hire pilots immediate access to the left seat.
Justin Dennis, VP of ATP, added, “ATP students have access to numerous loan options for full financing of airline career pilot programme flight training. This agreement will allow for a portion of students' training costs to be paid for by Trans States Airlines.”
Jin Air’s 13th 737-800 is first directly from Boeing
Jin Air, the low-fare airline subsidiary of Korean Air, has received its first direct-delivered Boeing 737-800 in a ceremony at the OEM’s Seattle facility.
This delivery marks the 13th Boeing 737-800 to join Jin Air’s all-Boeing fleet.
The airline currently serves 16 routes in Asia and operates a total of 15 airplanes, including two 777-200ERs.
Innovint designs PED Containment Bag to deal with Li-ion incidents
Hamburg-based Innovint Aircraft Interior GmbH (Innovint) has designed a Containment Bag (CB) for personal electronic devices (PEDs) in case of an on-board fire caused by lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which, according to the FAA, have been the reason behind 152 recorded incidents in-flight since 1991.
Innovint claims that whilst Li-ion batteries allow lots of energy to be stored in a small space, creating a high density of power perfect for smartphones and laptops, for example, they risk catching fire as a result of mechanical defects, incorrect charging or simply heat (a phenomenon known as ‘thermal runaway’).
As technology evolves, PEDs are increasingly common in the cockpit, cargo hold and the cabin, which further increases the risk of thermal runaway incidents. Innovint’s PED Containment Bag has been designed to minimise the implications of this scenario within the cabin to protect passengers and crew from injuries, as well as damage to the cabin environment.
The CB (pictured) is resistant to heats of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1.273 kelvin), enabling the crew to transport the defective PED safely to a fireproof place in the cabin, where it can burn out or be cooled down under their supervision.
Innovint conducted tests which showed Li‐ion batteries can reach 700 degrees Celsius (973 kelvin) when set alight. In a separate test Innovint brought a 6Ah battery to thermal runaway by overloading it and placed it in the CB. The company recorded that the fire inside the CB reached a maximum of 480 degrees Celsius (753 kelvin). However, due to the bag’s insulating effect, the temperature on the outer side of the CB was reduced to 80 degrees Celsius (353 kelvin).
These tests show the CB can be handled even with a defective PED is inside, but only when crew are wearing fire‐protection gloves and crew smoke hoods – accessories also provided by Innovint – as a precaution.
The tests also demonstrate that when a PED undergoing a thermal runaway is inside, no flames are present outside the bag; only smoke is released. Innovint claims its PED Containment Bag passed the test without any damage, only solely black soot indicating the stress the CB was exposed to.
Innovint says that immersing the CB into water or other non-flammable liquids also works to prevent battery cells from catching fire.
The company offers a similar solution for electronic light bags (EFBs) contained in an aluminium box which can be locked. Innovint says this is to ensure there’s only one part to carry, which will make for a more straightforward handover during a flight crew change, eliminating the risk of losing certain items.
The launch of Innovint’s products come shortly after the British Airline Pilots’ Association released a statement encouraging airlines to instruct passengers to keep PEDs with them in the cabin rather than stowing them in hold luggage to reduce the risk fire.
On 7 April, 2015, EASA issued a Service Information Bulletin (SIB) focusing on the dangers caused by Li‐ion batteries on‐board aircraft, recommending airlines follow procedures published in ICAO Doc. 9481‐AN/928. Innovint says its PED Containment Bag is contributing to the further development of these procedures, with the aim to achieve the highest possible level of safety for airlines.
In an interview with Henry Canaday for a feature on Li‐ion batteries for the January/February issue of Inflight magazine, Anthony Bell, president of Aerolithium, says there are numerous ways PED users can help avoid thermal runaway scenarios. These are the same precautions people should take on the ground and include allowing air to flow around equipment when in use, turning it off for a while to cool down if it feels abnormally hot and being aware not to crush the battery by dropping it somewhere inside the seat.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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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