Airline News

Airline News

Adria Airways has become the newest member of the European Regions Airline Assn. Ljubljana-based Adria, which serves 40 European destinations with 48-seat CRJ200s, partners with Lufthansa, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot, LOT and Montenegro Airlines. Jul 5, 2004

Aer Lingus will launch new routes from Dublin to Liverpool, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Budapest at the end of Oct., bringing to 17 the number of routes introduced this year. The airline will operate a daily service to Liverpool, while flights to Budapest will operate four days a week and those to Lanzarote and Las Palmas will be weekly. Jul 2, 2004

Aer Lingus senior management asked the Irish government last week for permission to seek financial backing for a buyout. In a letter to the Transport Ministry, a three-man team comprising CEO Willie Walsh and his CFO and COO said it was confident “an attractive proposal could be developed and financed” if government consent was forthcoming, Reuters reported. Aer Lingus, which came close to bankruptcy after 9/11, has repositioned itself as a low-fare carrier and achieved an impressive financial turnaround under Walsh. It posted a stronger-than-expected net profit last year of eur69.2 million ($85.2 million), up 96% from net income of eur35.3 million in 2002. If the government agrees with the request from Walsh and his team, the airline effectively will be on the market with a bidding process that would be open to other potential buyers. Jul 7, 2004

Peru’s Aero Continente was grounded and forced to cancel several flights after the Peruvian government said the airline had not submitted its new insurance policy. According to Reuters, the insurance expired July 10 and the company said it had secured a new policy and had notified the government. However, the government said Monday that it had received no documents and was halting flights for “the security and peace of mind of thousands of passengers,” the report said. Specifically, the government is questioning the contract’s coverage for ground staff. Aero Continente, Peru’s largest airline, has been plagued with problems this year. In April it was barred from flying to the US because of safety concerns that were raised during an inspection by FAA officials. Then in June the US government put it on a blacklist, forbidding US companies from doing business with it. The US has charged that Aero Continente founder Fernando Zevallos is a drug trafficker. He currently is on trial in Peru for alleged drug-related offenses, according to the Associated Press. The airline operates a fleet of 35 jets and turboprops. Jul 14, 2004

Aeroflot is expected to announce today an invitation to suppliers to tender offers for the supply of 50 regional aircraft in the 75/100-seat category. Separately, Sibir is expected to make an announcement regarding a regional jet purchase in the next two weeks. Jul 2, 2004

Aerolineas Galapagos took delivery of the first of two ex-Air Malta 737- 200s. The operating lease is provided by Amtec Corp. and the transaction was arranged by Sigma Aircraft Management. Jul 2, 2004

Air Berlin may split its planned order for up to 70 aircraft between Airbus and Boeing and a decision could come at this month’s Farnborough Air Show. Deliveries would begin in late 2005 or early 2006, which is around the same time that many of Air Berlin’s 43 737s begin coming off lease. It also operates two F100s and two BAe 146s. “I can imagine having two separate fleets in the future. Air Berlin has reached a size now where outsourcing, like maintenance, gives us new opportunities. We like to take advantage of market opportunities like this, as well as attractive leasing rates,” Managing Partner Joachim Hunold said. The airline plans to extend its network from Germany to Prague, Paris Orly and Scandinavia next year. It is operating a hub in Palma de Mallorca with 240 weekly flights and around 60% of its business comes from routes to and within Spain. The carrier wants to increase Spanish domestic flights and Hunold did not rule out the possibility of establishing a hub on the Iberian Peninsula. In the first six months of 2004, Air Berlin transported 5.4 million passengers, up 39% versus 2003, while load factor rose 1.5 points to 77.5%. Turnover increased 24.2% to eur453 million ($550.9 million). For the full year it expects to carry around 11.6 million passengers and post turnover of eur1 billion. Jul 2, 2004

Air Canada this week launched three weekly nonstop flights between Toronto and Bogota and between Toronto and Caracas. In addition, AC recently boosted its service to Santiago and Buenos Aires from three to four weekly flights. Jul 1, 2004

Air Canada took delivery of its first A340-500 on June 29 2004. Jul 1, 2004

Air France and Air Europa agreed to expand their codeshare agreement to include new flights between France and Spain. AF flights between Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Madrid, between Bordeaux, Lyon and Barcelona and between Paris CDG2 and Vigo now are operated under the AF and UX codes. In addition, flights between Madrid and Paris Orly as well as three daily CDG2-Barcelona flights are operated under the UX and AF codes, bringing the total number of AF/Air Europa weekly flights between France and Spain to 680. The Spanish airline currently is negotiating to join the SkyTeam alliance as an associate member. Jul 7, 2004

Air New Zealand began three weekly flights between Auckland and San Francisco using a 392-seat 747-400. Jul 1, 2004

Air Senegal International announced its decision to buy a 737-700 with delivery scheduled for July 2005. The CFM56-powered aircraft will have a two-class configuration with 114 seats. It will replace the carrier’s 737-200s. Air Senegal also operates Dash 8s. The airline finished FY03 with a positive net result after only three years of operation and carried 360,000 passengers, up 44% over 2002. Jul 23, 2004

Air Wisconsin announced a restructuring of its senior leadership. Executive VPs and Directors William Jordan and Pat Thompson will become vice chairmen and remove themselves from the day-to-day operation of the company. Chairman, President and CEO Geoff Crowley will retain those titles but along with Thompson and Jordan will focus on long-term strategic and policy issues, the company said. Doug Horn, AWAC’s current senior VP-customer service, will assume the role of executive VP and COO. Jul 2, 2004

AirAsia will add several key tourist destinations to its network next month. Beginning Aug. 5, the carrier will launch service from Kuala Lumpur to Bali. On Aug. 27 it will begin direct Kuala Lumpur-Medan flights. Separately, Thai AirAsia, an affiliate of AirAsia, launched daily nonstop service between Bangkok and Macau. Jul 9, 2004

AirCell this week successfully completed the initial phase of testing for its next-generation airborne telecommunications link aimed at permitting passengers to use certain kinds of cellphones and other wireless devices on commercial aircraft while in flight. The company plans to deploy a nationwide network in the continental US in the next 18-24 months. It said it is maintaining discussions with “major US airlines” regarding the services and has plans for commercial deployment. Initial testing of AirCell’s system aboard scheduled airlines is targeted to begin early next summer. The initial phase of testing was completed in the Rocky Mountain West using a specifically equipped business jet and a modified ground-based cellular station. The testing was conducted on air-to-ground frequencies under Special Temporary Authorization from FCC. Data uploads and downloads were demonstrated and the results were confirmed with the aircraft operating at a variety of altitudes, airspeeds and configurations, the company said. Jul 8, 2004

AirTran Airways completed construction of its first maintenance hangar at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The hangar is 65 ft. tall and can fit two of the airline’s new 737-700s parked wing-to- wing. The structure also houses more than 76,000 sq. ft. of work space and features a computerized atmosphere control system. Jul 1, 2004

AirTran Airways began two daily nonstop flights between Dallas/Ft. Worth and Los Angeles. Jul 2, 2004

Alaska Airlines celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art Concourse C at Anchorage. Jul 1, 2004

Alitalia expected to receive EC approval for bridge loan The European Commission is expected to approve at its July 20 meeting the Italian government’s plan to provide a guaranteed bridge loan amounting to eur400 million ($492.7 million) to Alitalia. “Next week it should be possible to give the green light to this demand from the Italian government,” Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio told reporters after a meeting with Italian ministers who included Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi. She said the likely approval follows a “strong commitment” from Italy that its flag carrier will be privatized. According to the Associated Press, Italian European Affairs Minister Rocco Buttiglione said Rome will relinquish control in the airline by reducing its stake to less than 50%, “possibly before six months” but at the latest “within a year.” EC spokesperson Amador Sanchez Rico stated that the bridge loan cannot be used by the carrier for investments or to expand its activities. “We need to be sure the bridge loan they receive respects the market,” he said. Meanwhile, the government still seems divided on the airline’s fate. Italy’s Northern League party intends to try to block the bridge loan. “We will do everything so that this decree doesn’t come into force,” said Welfare Minister Roberto Maroni, who is a senior member of the Northern League. The decree allowing a government- guaranteed bridge loan to Alitalia was approved by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government last month, but it still must be voted on in Parliament in the coming weeks. Jul 14, 2004

A federal grand jury in Miami returned an indictment charging two former America West Airlines pilots with operating an AWA A319 while under the influence of alcohol, US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Marcos Daniel and Miami-Dade Police Dept. Director Robert Parker announced. The charges stem from an incident at Miami International Airport in July 2002 when the two pilots, Thomas Porter Cloyd and Christopher Scott Hughes, were pulled from an America West flight destined for Phoenix after airport personnel suspected them of being intoxicated. Breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests showed blood alcohol levels of .091 and .084 for the pilots, police said. The legal limit for operating an automobile in Florida is .08. If convicted on the charge, each defendant faces a maximum of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Jul 12, 2004

Debis AirFinance signed an agreement with Asiana Airlines to purchase two new A321-200s and lease them back to the airline on operating leases. Asiana took delivery of the first aircraft last month and the second is scheduled for delivery in Sept. 2004. Jul 7, 2004

ATA Airlines flightdeck crewmembers, represented by the Air Line Pilots Assn., ratified concession and new equipment letters of agreement to their current collective bargaining agreement. Roughly 72% of the 896 crewmembers voted in favor of the deal. The amendments to the existing contract will save the company approximately $43 million over the next two years, according to the airline. A new contract amendable date extends the term of the current agreement by one year to 2007. In addition, the amendment includes a new competitive pay scale for a proposed 110-seat aircraft the company is contemplating acquiring in the next 12 months, ATA said. Jul 2, 2004

Atlantic Southeast Airlines – ASA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, marked its 25th anniversary last month with the delivery of a CRJ700 bearing a special livery commemorating the occasion. ASA took to the skies in 1978 with a single 19 passenger de Havilland Twin Otter. It was founded by George Pickett, John Beiser and Robert Priddy, who met while working at Southern Airways. The three spoke at a luncheon in Atlanta recently and shared memories of the early days of the airline. “We realized there were a lot of so-called commuters around, but not one in Atlanta,” Pickett recalled. When the founders sought financing for their business plan, they were told they needed at least $3 million in startup costs but they were only able to raise about $500,000. Nevertheless, ASA managed to get off the ground and in 1984 it became a Delta Connection carrier. It was “a goldmine after that,” according to Priddy, and when it was sold to Delta in 1999 it was valued at $1 billion. ASA currently operates 133 aircraft to 108 destinations in the US, the Bahamas, Canada and Mexico. Since 1999 it has added 93 new regional jets and another 3,000 employees. It expects to board more than 10 million passengers in 2005. “We’ve worked very hard over the past five years to get where we are today,” said CEO Skip Barnette. Jul 5, 2004

Austrian Airlines Group plans to streamline its fleet with confirmation that it has ordered an eighth 737-800, this one for its Lauda Air charter unit, for delivery in July 2005. Lauda already operates four 737-800s. Earlier this year, Austrian ordered three 737-800s. AAG currently operates 96 aircraft in 10 families and has long-term plans to try to standardize around fewer fleet types. As an immediate solution, it plans to phase out two 737-400s, a dash 300 and two dash 600s. Its seven MD-80s may leave next year. According to CFO Thomas Kleibl, the airline also would like to dispose of its two A340-200s, which are too expensive to operate, but cannot find a buyer. Jul 13, 2004

AWAS delivered a 737-300 to Spanish airline Air Plus Comet. With the delivery, AWAS now has aircraft on lease to six Spanish and Portuguese carriers. Jul 1, 2004

Boeing delivered AeroMexico’s eighth 737NG as part of the airline’s continuing fleet modernization program. The carrier will receive seven more 737-700s by Nov. 2004 under a 15-aircraft order placed last year. Jul 1, 2004

Boeing confirmed an order by Air China Cargo for two 747-400Fs valued at approximately $400 million at list prices. The first is scheduled for delivery in Nov. 2005 and the second in March 2006. They will be powered by PW4056 engines. Jul 30, 2004

Boeing announced to media in London that it has secured 140 additional orders for 7E7s from 20 airlines, although to date it only has identified four customers for the new aircraft: All Nippon Airways (50), Air New Zealand (two), First Choice (six) and Blue Panorama (four). With this year’s Farnborough Air Show just days away, speculation is building about two sales campaigns at Asia/Pacific carriers in which Boeing is believed to have a leg up. Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways both are looking to replace and/or supplement their 747-400 fleets and are thought to be close to announcing orders. The conjecture is that SIA will order 777-300ERs and dash 200LRs to replace its 747-400s and A340- 500s. It also is understood to be a launch customer for the 7E7 and has paid a refundable deposit on up to 20, insiders close to the deal said. Boeing declined to comment. Meanwhile, Cathay is thought to favor the 777-300ER to replace its leased A340-600s. In addition, Cathay and Qantas have been searching for at least a dozen secondhand 747s to handle traffic growth but the quest is proving to be difficult. Qantas now is believed to be looking at new 777-300ERs as a better investment. Jul 16, 2004

Boeing announced that UK leisure carrier First Choice Airways (formerly Air 2000) and Italian leisure airline Blue Panorama will be the launch customers for the 7E7 in Europe. The carriers plan to acquire a total of 10 7E7s, valued at $1.2 billion at list prices. First Choice signed a letter of intent for six and said options on an additional three were possible; Blue Panorama will add four to its fleet at a value of $500 million. Contract negotiations are expected to conclude later this year, Boeing said, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2009. Both airlines selected the 7E7-8 model with a range of 15,700 km. and are expected to announce their engine choices, either the GE GENX or Rolls- Royce’s Trent 1000, by year end. “Blue Panorama and First Choice will have a clear, competitive advantage over carriers operating more conventional aircraft,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-Sales for Europe Marlin Dailey said. First Choice, which rebranded from Air 2000 earlier this year, said aircraft lessors likely will be involved in its 7E7 plans. “There’s been a lot of interest [from lessors],” MD Chris Browne told Reuters. According to its website, the carrier currently operates a fleet of 30 aircraft comprising seven A320s, four A321s, 17 757s and two 767s. Privately owned Blue Panorama operates five 737-400s and three 767-300ERs and will take delivery of a fourth 767-300ER in Dec. The airline expects to carry nearly 900,000 passengers this year on its network that extends across the Mediterranean, the Middle and Far East, Central America and the Caribbean. Jul 8, 2004

British Airways will shift its flights from the Berry Terminal to the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport July 8 2004. BA currently operates daily 777 service between Detroit and London Heathrow. Jul 1, 2004

CanJet will launch fall and winter service to Orlando, St. Petersburg- Clearwater, Sarasota Bradenton and West Palm Beach. The new flights will begin Oct. 9 and 10 2004, three weeks earlier than in 2003. Jul 13, 2004

Cathay Pacific Airways will add several new audio and video products to its inflight sales catalog, Shop. Jul 1, 2004

Cathay Pacific Airways launched daily nonstop A340-600 service between Hong Kong and New York JFK. Jul 2, 2004

China Southern Airlines launched a commuter network from Guangzhou Baiyun using its new fleet of six ERJ-145s that will be based at the airport. The RJs will serve short-haul and medium-haul point-to-point routes. Short-haul routes will operate to destinations located “around the Guangzhou marketplace” including Beihai, Meixian and Zhanjiang. Medium-haul destinations include Changzhi, Lianyungang, Luoyang, Nantong, Nanyang, Xiangfan, Xuzhou, Yichang and Zhoushan. The carrier had been operating 737s on the routes but said it was unable to generate sufficient passenger loads. Jul 7, 2004

Continental Airlines ordered 35 Performance Improvement Program upgrade kits for the GE90-90B engines powering its 777s. Air France, Austrian, Kuwait Airways, China Southern and Saudi Arabian Airlines also have purchased GE90 upgrade kits. Jul 2, 2004

Continental Airlines will resume codeshare operations on 11 Copa Airlines flights this week. Beginning July 10, Continental will place its code on Copa services from Panama City to Guatemala City, Kingston, Lima, Los Angeles, Managua, Miami, Orlando, San Jose (Costa Rica), San Juan, Santiago and Santo Domingo. Jul 8, 2004

Continental Airlines began offering free wireless Internet service in all of its Presidents Clubs at airports in the US except Chicago, where it shares a club with Northwest Airlines. The company said it expects to expand the service to its international clubs by year end. Jul 13, 2004

Continental Airlines will launch daily nonstop service between Tucson and Newark Sept. 30 2004 using a 104-seat 737. The airline offered Saturday service between Tucson and Newark from last Dec. until May 2005. Jul 27, 2004

CSA Czech Airlines will launch a daily scheduled service between Glasgow and Prague Oct. 31 2004, operating 737-500s in a two-class configuration. Jul 12, 2004

CSA Czech Airlines will launch daily service between Glasgow and Prague Oct. 31 2004 using a 737-500 in a two-class configuration. Jul 14, 2004

Dba will base a 737-300 in Hannover and expects to launch service there by mid-Sept. 2004. The move is an effort to forestall the arrival of easyJet, which plans to bring service there, according to Reuters. So far, easyJet has postponed adding flights at Hannover after TUI and Air Berlin agreed to bolster service at the airport. The carriers also threatened to quit the hub as they said there were not enough passengers to cope with easyJet’s arrival. Dba currently is in talks with Boeing and Airbus about adding 737-700s or A319s to its fleet, which it wants to increase to 24 aircraft by 2008, Reuters reported. Jul 30, 2004

Delta Air Lines began service between New York JFK and Greensboro and San Diego. The JFK-San Diego service will be operated with 148-seat 737- 800s while the JFK-Greensboro flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier Comair using a mix of 40- and 50-seat regional jets. Jul 2, 2004

Delta Air Lines will begin seasonal service between Atlanta and Gunnison/Crested Butte this winter. The flights will be offered on Saturdays from Dec. 18 through April 2 and will use 183-seat 757s. Jul 5, 2004

Delta Air Lines will launch Saturday-only service between Cancun and Salt Lake City Nov. 6 2004 using a 737-800. SkyTeam partner AeroMexico plans to codeshare on the flights once US and Mexican government approvals have been obtained. Jul 13, 2004

Delta Connection carrier Comair will begin three daily flights between Cincinnati and Sioux Falls July 29 2004. Jul 9, 2004

easyJet is looking to open its fourth base and could end up setting up shop in Hannover. The move seems logical as the carrier already operates to three airports in Germany, Cologne-Bonn, Dortmund and Berlin Schoenefeld. However, Hannover is served by German LCCs Hapag Lloyd Express, Air Berlin and Germania Express, who believe the catchment area is too small for four LCCs. If easyJet were to establish a base in Hannover, the three carriers said they would either reduce their operations or move to other airports. Jul 5, 2004

easyJet will expand further into Central Europe this fall by adding six new routes to Hungary and Poland. This will bring to 17 the number of easyJet routes serving Central and Eastern Europe. Beginning Oct. 31 2004, the carrier will launch two daily Warsaw-London Luton flights and daily service from Krakow to both Luton and Dortmund. Additionally, it will begin daily service from Budapest to Newcastle, Bristol and Geneva. It will increase its Budapest-Luton service to twice-daily from Oct. 31. The Luton-based carrier said it expects to carry well over 2 million passengers to/from the region in the coming 12 months. Jul 14, 2004

Embraer’s Commercial Airline Market division delivered 40 regional jets in the 2004 second quarter, 25 ERJ-145s and 15 ERJ-170s. In the six months ended June 30, the Brazilian manufacturer delivered 62 commercial aircraft consisting of 39 ERJ-145s and 23 ERJ-170s. Last year the company delivered 28 aircraft during the second quarter and 51 in the first half. Embraer said it maintains its forecast of 160 and 170 commercial, corporate and defense aircraft in 2004 and 2005 respectively. As of June 30, its total firm backlog in the three markets was $10.5 billion. Including options, backlog totaled $28.3 billion. Jul 9, 2004

Emirates introduced a new service that allows passengers to check and send e-mails via their personal laptops while in flight. The service, which launched July 1 2004 on an A345, enables passengers with Wi-Fi- enabled laptops to access their regular e-mail accounts via “an onboard wireless hot spot” throughout the duration of a flight. Also, Emirates will launch its 17th weekly frequency from Dubai to Tehran Sept. 16 2004. Jul 9, 2004

Emirates SkyCargo began three weekly services to Christchurch and in mid-Aug. 2004 will expand to six weekly flights. The route will be served using an A340-500 with a 16-tonne payload. Jul 1, 2004

The UK High Court referred IATA’s legal challenge of new passenger rights rules to the European Court of Justice for resolution. The rules, which have been criticized heavily by airline trade groups, are set to take effect from next Feb. 17 2005. IATA and others charge that the rules as currently written will require airlines to pay compensation for flight cancellations and delays even in instances where external factors such as air traffic control and weather are the cause. In a statement, IATA said that “airlines accept the need to compensate in areas within our control; however, this regulation seeks to make airlines responsible for delays beyond their controlO.It was irresponsible from day one.” The International Air Carrier Assn., representing Europe’s leisure and charter industry, also welcomed the High Court’s decision. IACA said it believes the new legislation is “fundamentally flawed, while the current text is open to a range of interpretations and will pave the way for disputes between passengers, airport and airline staff.” Jul 15, 2004

FedEx Express said it plans to begin operating regular flights using its own aircraft into Central Japan International Airport outside Nagoya when the facility opens in Feb. This will be the third Japanese airport the company serves following Narita and Kansai. Jul 1, 2004

Finnair and Aeroflot will begin codesharing on each other’s daily flights between Helsinki and Moscow at the beginning of this month under a new agreement. Jul 1, 2004

As part of its strategy to acquire “the best possible fleet for its feeder traffic,” Finnair signed an agreement with Embraer for 12 170s to replace its MD-80s and ATR 72s that are being retired. The airline took options on eight additional aircraft, which may be converted to Embraer 175s or 190s. The 170s will be configured with 76 seats in a one-class layout and deliveries will begin in Sept. 2005 and continue through May 2007. The value of the firm order at list prices totals $306 million and the contract has a potential value of $510 million if all options are converted. “We have renewed half our fleet in five years,” Finnair President and CEO Keijo Suila said. “Our operational environment is changing and the most successful will be the one who reacts quickly to the new situation and is among the first to take advantage of it.” Finnair currently operates a fleet of 61 aircraft comprising seven ATR 72s, 10 A319-110s, 12 A320-210s, five A321-210s, one DC-9-51, six MD- 11s, 13 MD-82s/83s and seven 757-200s. “Shifting to a single aircraft type will bring significant savings in operating costs,” Suila said. “At the same time, fuel consumption will be cut by a third and air traffic charges will decrease.” Jul 1, 2004

Finnair in cooperation with Lithuanian Airlines is increasing frequencies between Helsinki and Vilnius from two to three daily flights. Service will start Aug. 1 2004, operated with LAL Saab 2000s. Jul 30, 2004

Frontier Airlines will launch twice-daily service between Denver and Little Rock Oct. 10. The flights will be operated by Horizon Air as Frontier JetExpress with CRJ700s. Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair will realign flights at Huntington, W. Va. Effective Sept. 15, Comair will offer four daily nonstops between Huntington and Cincinnati using 50-seat CRJs, while ASA will discontinue its three daily flights to Atlanta. Jul 2, 2004

Frontier Airlines accepted two new 132-seat A319s last week on lease from GE Capital Aviation Services. With the deliveries, the airline’s fleet now consists of nine 737-300s, 31 A319s and six A318s. Jul 5, 2004

Global ePoint said its AirWorks division received initial orders from American Airlines to install laptop power systems in 103 additional MD- 80s. The initial orders are valued at $361,000 with follow-on buys anticipated. AirWorks previously provided laptop power systems to American in 1998. Jul 2, 2004

Brazilian LCC Gol will acquire three 737-300s and launch regular service to Buenos Aires after receiving official authorization from Brazil’s Dept. of Civil Aviation, Reuters reported. Following the acquisitions, the airline’s fleet will total 25 aircraft. Gol did not specify when it will begin service to Buenos Aires but market analysts expect it to start in Oct., the report said. Jul 7, 2004

Gol confirmed that it was approved by the Brazilian Committee of Studies Related to International Air Navigation to commence regular international flights to Buenos Aires. The airline said it is taking all necessary measures to begin the flights by year end. Jul 9, 2004

Hawaiian Airlines will introduce the APS digEplayer personal entertainment system on its flights next month. The system will be offered on transpacific flights to Hawaii, Sydney, Pago Pago and Papeete. The battery-powered, 3-lb. unit will be available free in first class and for a $10 rental fee in coach, subject to availability. The airline is purchasing 1,500 digEplayers from APS following a two-month test run earlier this year. Jul 15, 2004

IATA applauded Geneva Airport’s decision to cancel plans to hike passenger charges for mainline carriers even as it redeveloped an older facility targeted at low-cost airlines. Calling it a “step in the right direction,” IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said the organization will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that airlines using Terminal 1 do not end up cross-subsidizing the proposed development of T2, intended for LCCs. KLM, Air France and Lufthansa led the opposition to the plan under which their per-passenger fees would have increased from Sfr19 ($15) to Sfr22 while LCCs would pay just Sfr14 to use a more basic facility to be built in the old Aerogare, which was closed in 1968. EasyJet is the dominant player at Geneva, accounting for 25% of the 8 million in annual passenger enplanements. Jul 7, 2004

Iberia said its franchise partner Iberia Regional Air Nostrum launched twice-daily service from Madrid to Bordeaux using a mix of CRJ200s, F50s and Dash 8-Q300s. Iberia Group now operates 602 flights each week between Spain and seven French cities. Jul 12, 2004

Iberia and its oneworld alliance partner Cathay Pacific agreed to market flights between Spain and Hong Kong under a codeshare arrangement. This is the first such agreement between the two. Under the pact, which takes effect today, Iberia’s code will be included on Cathay Pacific flights between Amsterdam and Hong Kong while Cathay Pacific codes will be placed on Iberia flights from Madrid and Barcelona to Amsterdam. Jul 2, 2004

The world’s airlines in aggregate lost $6.57 billion last year after nonoperating items and taxes, according to preliminary estimates from ICAO, which last month reported that carriers of the organization’s 188 member states recorded an operating loss of $2.8 billion. The net result represented an improvement from the 2002 net loss of $11.32 billion. Operating revenues were estimated to have increased 2.3% to $312.9 billion while operating expenses were estimated to have risen 1.5% to $315.7 billion. “Following the poor results of the last two years, the recovery in 2003 would have been stronger, but was adversely affected by continuing security concerns, events in the Middle East and the outbreak of SARS,” ICAO said in a statement. World RPKs rose 1% in 2003 to 2.99 trillion, although this was still below the 2000 figure of 3.04 trillion. International passenger traffic was flat compared to 2002 at 1.73 trillion RPKs and down 3.3% compared to 1.79 trillion RPKs flown in 2000. Total FTKs rose 5% to 125.2 billion while international FTKs increased 2% to 103.7 billion. Jul 1, 2004

Independence Air today will launch six daily flights between Jacksonville and Washington Dulles. The schedule expands to seven daily nonstops Aug. 23. The airline will begin six daily nonstop flights between Nashville and Dulles with the service expanding to seven daily nonstops on July 23 2004. In addition, the carrier will launch eight daily nonstop flights between Syracuse and Dulles. Jul 1, 2004

Independence Air launched six daily nonstop flights between Washington Dulles and Yeager (W. Va.) Airport, seven daily nonstops between Dulles and Albany, six daily nonstops flights between Dulles and McGhee Tyson (Tenn.) Airport and nine daily nonstops between Dulles and Manchester (N.H.). Jul 26, 2004

In yet another delay to the long-running Indian Airlines/Air-India fleet renewal plan, Indian has asked Airbus and Boeing for extensions on the validity of prices while Air-India, which has yet to have its order confirmed, said it is ready for another round of buys. This is the fourth time Indian has been forced to seek an extension of the pricing since its board approved the purchase in March 2002. The carrier has recommended an order for 43 A320/A321s but the buy has been tied up by the seemingly endless number of government approvals it needs as well as a government investigation. At present Indian is waiting for the Public Investment Board to meet and approve the purchase. This was supposed to occur in Jan. but was postponed at the last minute and a new date has not been set. Air-India has committed to purchase 10 A340-300s and 18 737-800s and also is awaiting approvals. On Friday it announced that it is looking at another buy of long-range aircraft but did not elaborate. The campaign to renew Air-India’s fleet goes back to the mid-1990s when McDonnell Douglas was touting its MD-11. Jul 7, 2004

Low-cost airline fever has taken off in India with several new carriers emerging. Indian Airlines has announced plans to convert its loss-making subsidiary Alliance Air into a low-cost airline operating new A319s, which would replace 737-200s. Wadia Group announced plans to launch a domestic LCC called Go with a fleet of 100-seat regional jets. Last week, UB Group announced its intention to launch Kingfisher by year end with eight A320s on major domestic routes with fares 30% below current rates. Jul 2, 2004

InteliSys Aviation Systems said its amelia Reservation System has been certified for use on ARINC’s iMuse common-use terminals. Jul 1, 2004

JAL Group said its international bookings for the July 16 to Aug. 15 period total 663,140 passengers on a departing Japan basis, 25.9% above the same period in 2003, which was impacted by the Iraq war and the SARS outbreak. The 2004 figures include 601,374 reservations on Japan Airlines and subsidiary JALways, which operates on Pacific resort routes on behalf of JAL, and 61,766 reservations on Japan Asia Airways, the JAL Group carrier serving Taiwan. Domestic bookings totaled 4.3 million, 2.3% below 2003. The figure includes bookings on Japan Airlines’ own domestic routes and those of six subsidiaries: Japan Transocean Air, JAL Express, J-Air, Ryukyu Air Commuter, Japan Air Commuter and Hokkaido Air Service. Jul 15, 2004

Japan Airlines will begin three weekly flights between Nagoya and Guangzhou when the new Chubu International Airport (Centrair) opens in Feb. The airline also will boost cargo services at the airport with three weekly 747F flights on the Hong Kong-Nagoya-US route. In addition, JAL will increase capacity on its twice-daily Centrair-Narita feeder service. One of these flights is operated as an international service while the other, a domestic roundtrip that currently is operated with a 50-seat CRJ200, will be changed to a 150-seat 737 when the airport opens. Jul 2, 2004

JetBlue Airways’ 100-seat Embraer 190s, which begin arriving next year, “will offer better cockpit/seat economics” than larger Frontier Airlines A319s, AirTran 717s and Southwest Airlines 737s, according to JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker. In a report, Baker said that three-year seniority rates for JetBlue 190 captains will be $74 per hour, or $80 when adjusted for overtime. A 12-year captain on a JetBlue 190 will earn $96 including overtime, representing “a 33%” cost-per-seat advantage versus Southwest’s 137-seat aircraft when adjusted for planned pilot pay increases at Southwest. “Whereas airline pilots typically get paid more as aircraft size increases, JetBlue has established its 100-seat pay scale below that of certain 70-seat operators, an obvious competitive disadvantage for the Regional airline sector, at least initially,” Baker stated. Pay rates also will pressure regional jet operators. For example, a three-year captain on a 70-seat CRJ700 flying for Comair, a Delta Air Lines subsidiary, earns $74 per hour while captains on Horizon Air CRJ700s earn $75. According to Baker, American Airlines “would require a 757 to approach JetBlue’s cockpit/seat economics” based on planned third-quarter 2005 AA pay rates. Jul 9, 2004

JetBlue Airways will invade another low-cost carrier’s turf on Oct 1 2004 when it begins new daily service from New York JFK to Phoenix, home to America West Airlines. Phoenix will become JetBlue’s 29th destination. Jul 13, 2004

Jetstar, Qantas’s new low-cost subsidiary, is making significant inroads into the Australian domestic market and should become profitable in July, only two months after its launch, according to CEO Alan Joyce. Jetstar has secured an estimated 7% of the domestic market since its introduction with 14 717-200s on routes to 14 mostly leisure-oriented destinations, carrying 500,000 passengers and boosting capacity to tourism centers in Queensland and Tasmania by more than 30%. Joyce said ontime performance was 93% in May and the outcome for June “would have placed us at the head of the pack in Europe.” The airline, which does not offer commissions to travel agents, sold 90% of its fares online. Joyce, a former Aer Lingus and Ansett executive, told the National Aviation Press Club last week that he is well aware that no mainline airline has succeeded in operating a low-cost subsidiary. “The creation of Jetstar has been a bit like a rollercoaster with its own share of ups and downs,” he said. Jetstar’s first two A320s entered service last Tuesday. The airline will take delivery of 21 more A320s over the next two years, phasing out its 717s. Jul 26, 2004

Korean Air flew 3.83 billion RPKs in May, up 46.4% over the year-ago period. Capacity climbed 23.6% to 5.27 billion ASKs and load factor gained 11.3 points to 72.7%. For the five months ended May 31, RPKs rose 19.3% to 18.07 billion, ASKs jumped 11.2% to 25.79 billion and load factor increased 4.7 points to 70%. Jul 2, 2004

Korean Air launched three weekly nonstop A330-200 flights from Seoul Incheon to St. Petersburg, Russia. Jul 15, 2004

Korean Air launched three weekly flights between Penang and its hub at Seoul Incheon using a 269-seat A330. Jul 30, 2004

Kuwait Airways implemented Mercator’s MARS Airline Reservation System and MACS Airport Control System. Jul 1, 2004

LanChile, LanPeru and LanEcuador introduced complimentary ground shuttle service between New Jersey and LAN’s New York JFK terminal. The shuttle service is available daily from Paterson Station, Union City Station and Newark Station. Jul 15, 2004

A survey of business travelers at US-based companies reveals that 23% of respondents use primarily low-cost carriers for business travel while 46% place quality of customer service above loyalty programs in terms of influencing their purchase decision, a percentage seemingly at odds with continuing service reductions by US legacy airlines. Furthermore, 71% said their use of LCCs for business travel will remain the same or increase over the next six months. The survey of 429 travelers, conducted by Accenture, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said they had taken at least six flights in the past six months and 34% had taken 3-5 flights. Also, 41% of travelers experienced at least one maintenance-related delay or cancellation within the past six months while 5% experienced 3-5 such incidents. The survey also confirmed widespread use of the Internet for travel arrangements, with 75% purchasing tickets online and 48% using Internet check-in. Jul 15, 2004

LTU will introduce a new Comfort-Class on its short and medium-haul network by Nov. 1 2004. The airline claims it will become the first European charter carrier to offer a premium product on continental routes. Jul 14, 2004

Lufthansa will begin three weekly flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town Oct. 16 2004 using an A340-300. The service will increase to daily from the end of Oct. 2004. Jul 16, 2004

Lufthansa and Air China decided to extend their 15-year-old Ameco- Beijing joint venture for at least 25 years, according to German news agency dpa in Beijing. Approximately 4,000 employees work for Ameco- Beijing, which provides maintenance for Air China as well as dozens of other airlines. Annual turnover is around eur130 million ($158.1 million). Air China holds 60% of the JV and Lufthansa has a 40% stake. Jul 2, 2004

Lufthansa Technik will provide total maintenance support to Barcelona- based startup Vueling Airlines under a five-year contract covering its A320 fleet, including line and base maintenance, component support and engine overhauls. Vueling will start operating this month with two A320s and plans to acquire six more by the end of 2005, according to LHT. Jul 1, 2004

Mesa Air Group announced several senior management promotions. Director- System Operation Control Zakaullah Khogyani was named VP-flight operations of the company’s Air Midwest subsidiary. Director-Inventory Control Troy Lambeth was named senior director of the airline’s system operation center, Director-Financial Planning/Analysis John Baker was named senior director-crew resources and Bob Ramirez was named director- quality assurance at Air Midwest. Ramirez previously was maintenance director for Mesa’s Freedom Airlines subsidiary. Jul 1, 2004

Mexicana Airlines selected Terminal 4 at New York JFK as the new base for its daily nonstop service from Mexico City. Jul 2, 2004

Midwest Airlines will offer second daily flights between Milwaukee and both Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa between Dec. 18 and April 17. It also will extend through Oct. 30 the operation of a fifth daily flight between Milwaukee and Boston, service that was scheduled to end Sept. 6. In addition, it will convert service between MKE and Denver from Saver Service to Signature Service beginning Dec. 4 2004. Jul 28, 2004

Midwest Airlines sold a DC-9-30 to Global Aircraft Leasing in South Africa. Meridian Aerospace Group was the exclusive agent for Midwest. Jul 1, 2004

Nok Air, Thailand’s latest low-cost carrier, took to the air Friday. The airline, which is 39% owned by Thai Airways International, launched flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai. It plans to operate 20 domestic sectors a day with its two leased 737-400s. Jul 26, 2004

Northwest Airlines has applied to operate more flights to Asia that became available following the new bilateral agreement signed between the US and China. “We need to maintain our leadership in the transpac market and meet the steadily increasing demand in China for both passengers and cargo service,” CEO Richard Anderson said in a message to employees. The airline has applied to the US Dept. of Transportation for daily passenger service between Detroit and Guangzhou via Tokyo and additional freighter service between Chicago and Shanghai via Anchorage. It hopes to start the flights later this year. It also would like to add freighter service between Los Angeles and Guangzhou next year. If granted, the new routes would more than quadruple NWA’s cargo capacity to China. Jul 9, 2004

Northwest Airlines cancelled and delayed a number of outbound flights at Minneapolis after one its facilities in Eagan, Minn., experienced an internal power failure in the morning, affecting the use of computer systems. The power went down at approximately 8:15 a.m. CDT and was restored about 45 min. later. The airline said departing flights were returning to normal yesterday but it anticipated cancellations and delays to continue into the evening. It expected to return to its full flight schedule late Jul. 14 2004. Jul 15, 2004

Northwest Airlines will begin daily service between Minneapolis and Greenville/Spartanburg Sept. 27 2004. Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines will operate the service using 50-seat CRJs. Jul 15, 2004

Norwegian Air Shuttle said that its yield remained depressed last month as it continued to open new routes. According to Reuters, June’s yield was Nok0.71 ($0.10), flat compared to May and below April’s Nok0.76 and March’s Nok0.99. Norwegian, the domestic rival of SAS, extended its network with 18 new routes from April to June. The carrier said June traffic more than doubled to 161 million RPKs compared to the same month last year. Passenger boardings also increased significantly from 112,048 to 206,329. The carrier operates domestic flights and serves destinations in Spain, Croatia and Germany. Jul 15, 2004

Official Airline Guides launched OAG Flight Status, a database that distributes real-time flight status information such as delays, cancellations and gate changes. Jul 15, 2004

Pogo is the new name for the “next-generation air taxi operation” being formed by People Express founder Donald Burr, CEO of the venture, formerly named iFlyAirTaxi. Chairman of the company is former American Airlines Chairman and CEO Robert Crandall. Pogo aims to make travel by private plane available “to a vastly expanded audience” by using smaller, “underutilized airports” and a fleet of “next-generation aircraft.” Jul 15, 2004

Qantas flight attendants are primed for industrial action over the airline’s plans to establish a base for 400 long-haul cabin crew in London. About 200 members of the Flight Attendants Assn. of Australia in Sydney voted Tuesday to vigorously oppose the action, which the airline claims will save it A$18 million ($13 million) annually. Similar meetings of employees are scheduled for Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne over the next two weeks. Union chiefs said flight attendants will have to work longer hours for similar pay despite Qantas’s insistence that salaries for the London-based staff will be comparable to what they currently are earning and packages will be similar to other UK-based crew. Jul 8, 2004

QantasLink will operate 50-seat Dash 8s for the first time on flights between Melbourne and Devonport, Burnie-Wynyard and Mildura from Aug. 23 2004, replacing a number of the 36-seat aircraft currently serving the routes. Jul 13, 2004

Qatar Airways began thrice-weekly service between Istanbul and Doha. Jul 9, 2004

Qatar Airways launched four weekly flights between Zurich and Doha. Jul 16, 2004

Republic Airways Holdings, parent of Chautauqua Airlines, and United Airlines reached agreement on a revised schedule for Republic to begin operating Embraer 170s for United in a codeshare deal. Under the terms of the new agreement, Republic said Chautauqua initially will operate the aircraft for United. It planned to begin flying the 170s as early as Aug. through its newly created operating subsidiary Republic Airline but the certification process has taken longer than anticipated. The company said it expects Chautauqua to receive the required aircraft certification in Oct. In addition, Republic will boost from 16 to 23 the number of 70-seat 170s it will operate for United and reduce its ERJ-145 fleet from 16 to nine. Because Republic is changing the mix of 50- and 70-seaters, the increase in 170s will not result in a higher number of aircraft being flown for UA. United also has agreed to postpone from Sept. until Nov. 20 its ability to terminate the codeshare agreement with Republic Airline if Republic or Chautauqua is unable to obtain certification to operate the 170s. Jul 9, 2004

Sabre Airline Solutions launched customer care features, Customer Insight and Customer Data Delivery, that are part of its new-generation passenger management suite. The offerings have been implemented by several airlines including ATA, Aerolineas Argentinas and Jet Airways of India. Jul 1, 2004

Santa Barbara Airlines, a privately held Venezuelan passenger carrier, was to launch twice-daily service from Miami to Caracas using 757- 200ERs. Jul 9, 2004

Scandinavian Airlines has contracted with Connexion by Boeing to provide wireless LAN Internet communication systems for seven A340-300s and four A330-300s. The value of the contract was not disclosed. Lufthansa Technik’s aircraft overhaul and modification division in Hamburg, which already has equipped some of Lufthansa’s passenger aircraft with the system, will perform the installations. In addition, talks are in advanced stages with two Asian carriers to equip their Airbus fleets with the inflight Internet system, according to LHT Engineering Systems Director Ulf Hallmann. If an agreement is reached, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, an MRO center specializing in the A330/A340 family, would perform the installations. LHT officials revealed the SAS contract in Tokyo after a flight from Munich on a Lufthansa A340-300 that featured the system, which LHT has pioneered and helped refine since initial prototype tests last year aboard 155 flights from Jan. 5 to April 18. A formal announcement will be made today. The revamped version of the system has become available recently on LH flights from Europe to Asia after technical details involving use of ground stations were ironed out in May. As of July, 10 of the carrier’s 80 long-haul aircraft have been equipped with the system. As the exclusive engineering partner of Connexion by Boeing for Airbus types, LHT has carried out a pre- installation analysis in Copenhagen to adapt relevant systems and components for the specific SAS aircraft involved. The complex conversion project will be completed by early 2005. It takes roughly 10 days to install the system. In May, LHT became the first company certified to install Connexion aboard Airbus types. Two months ago, Germany’s civil aviation authority LBA granted LHT the first industrywide STC that permits the company to install a wireless LAN aboard an A340-300, which Lufthansa has been operating on a transatlantic route between Munich and Los Angeles. Since then, certification has been granted for installation in the first A340-600 and officials told this website that additional approvals “are expected shortly” for the A330-300. Jul 5, 2004

SAS Group will be forced to cancel more than 30 flights to European destinations scheduled for July 17-19 2004 owing to a shortage of staff attributable to the summer vacation season. Last weekend, SAS cancelled 45 flights affecting about 4,000 passengers. Jul 15, 2004

Siberia Airlines launched weekly Tu-154 service between Leipzig and Moscow Domodedovo Saturday and additional frequencies could follow. Sibir serves four other German cities: Munich, Hannover, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt. Jul 5, 2004

Singapore Airlines launched three weekly 777 flights between Singapore and Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Jul 30, 2004

Australian Regional carrier Skywest moved to scupper a hostile acquisition bid by a Singapore-based group by referring it to the country’s takeover watchdog. The Takeover Panel will examine Skywest’s allegations of “unacceptable circumstances” by CaptiveVision Capital, the airline’s major shareholder. Skywest claims that its recently sacked CFO Craig Lovelady passed on inside information about the company by e- mail to the head of CVC, Jeff Chatfield. This was denied firmly by Lovelady, who has launched a wrongful dismissal action and defamation proceedings against the airline. Skywest, a one-time Ansett subsidiary and the main carrier serving Western Australia, is seeking orders from the panel to set aside acceptances to the CVC bid and for shares acquired by CVC to be handed over for sale to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Jul 8, 2004

Brussels Court of Appeal has annulled the bankruptcy of Sobelair, the former charter subsidiary of defunct Sabena. Technically this means that Sobelair is now in liquidation, although curators have already sold off eur20 million ($24.3 million) of its assets, mainly three Boeing aircraft. In Jan., the Brussels Court of Commerce ruled the leisure carrier bankrupt. Jul 2, 2004

It took the intervention of Chairman Herb Kelleher and more than two years before Southwest Airlines and its flight attendants were able to reach a tentative agreement on a new contract. However, it appears that the long wait and the tough negotiating paid off for the cabin staff. According to the Transport Workers union, the agreement, if ratified by membership, will make Southwest’s attendants “the leaders in industry pay and work rules over the life of the contract.” Under the six-year deal, the compensation package provides raises that average 31% across the board, the union said. Pay scale increases range from 22% to 126% and flight attendants will reach their top pay in 14 instead of 17 years. Other increases and incentives include productivity pay, redeye pay, training pay for new-hire flight attendants and longevity pay for reserves. In addition, flight attendants will receive an increased per diem that is on par with what SWA pilots get. The agreement also includes first-time-ever stock options for flight attendants as well as first-time holiday pay, a.m./p.m. reserve and retirement medical insurance at age 55 and significant improvements to duty day protections. “For more than two years, we went to the bargaining table, facing the daunting task of creating a contract that corrected problems from the past and created a roadmap for our future as well as the future of the airline we love,” union head Thom McDaniel said. “We addressed this challenge with steadfast resolve to ‘do the right thing’ and solved many problems with compromise and creativity from both the union and management.” Union members will begin voting on the agreement July 16 and results are expected July 30 2004. Jul 2, 2004

SunExpress launched one weekly service from Antalia to Moscow. The Turkish airline will operate 737-800s on the route. Jul 16, 2004

Swiss’s decision to operate Boeing Business Jets leased from PrivatAir on services between Zurich and Newark from next Jan. 15 2005 marks the second time a European carrier has opted to outsource flying to the Swiss VIP travel specialist. PrivatAir has been operating BBJs and CJ319s on Lufthansa routes to Newark and Chicago for 24 months. Swiss will withdraw its own service with A330s when the PrivatAir service commences. The BBJs will be outfitted with 56 lie-flat seatbeds. Jul 2, 2004

Swiss International Air Lines will begin Boeing Business Jet service on its Zurich-Newark route on Jan. 15. Simultaneously, Swiss will withdraw its current Zurich-Newark A330 service. The 56-seat BBJ will be operated by PrivatAir. Jul 1, 2004

Although it has been in the air for only a few months, Ted already is having an impact on the marketplace, according to United Airlines. In the low-fare carrier’s first three months of operations from Denver, it has gained roughly 10 points in market share from key competitors, moving from 41.5% to 51.6%. Since launching operations from Washington Dulles in April, Ted has increased its market share in its markets by 17 points from 29.3% to 46.1%. “While we continue to be impressed by the terrific operational results that employees are delivering to customers flying on Ted, the competitive impact Ted is having on the marketplace is significantOAs we gain market share we are also improving the financial performance in these markets and exceeding our financial targets,” Ted VP Sean Donohue said in a message to United employees. Jul 2, 2004

Thai Airways International announced an order for six A380s plus one additional A340-500 and one A340-600. In addition, the airline placed an order for six medium-range aircraft, which are thought to be 777-200s. Total value of the 14 aircraft is put at $9.6 billion. Currently, Thai’s fleet consists of 83 aircraft and it has three A340-500s and five A340- 600s on order. Chairman Thanong Bidaya said the carrier will be able to pay for the aircraft from cash flow expected from robust profit growth. It is forecasting net profits of 20 billion baht ($483 million) a year over the next five years. Jul 30, 2004

United Airlines implemented a 5% fare increase on “most” of its international flights that originate in the US to help offset rising fuel costs. “Escalating fuel prices are a growing concern throughout the airline industry,” Executive VP-Marketing John Tague said. “We must take the necessary steps to manage our exposure to this unprecedented rise in expense.” The fare increase applies to all published nonsale fares to international destinations that originate in the US, including first and business class, unrestricted and discounted United Economy fares and most consolidator fares. Jul 1, 2004

United Airlines said it has withdrawn the 5% fare increase it implemented on most flights to international destinations that originate in the US. The increase was put into place last month in response to rising fuel costs. Jul 9, 2004

United Airlines launched daily nonstop service between Denver and Reagan Washington National Airport. Jul 12, 2004

United Airlines agreed to an $850,000 civil penalty to resolve its violations of state and federal hazardous waste laws at its San Francisco International Airport facility, the Dept. of Justice, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California announced. The penalty relates to “widespread violations of hazardous waste regulations” throughout the UA aircraft maintenance center during inspections conducted by EPA in 1999 and 2001. The violations included failure to close hazardous waste containers, improper labeling of hazardous waste containers and storage of hazardous waste for longer than the allowable time. Jul 14, 2004

United Airlines engaged Discover the World Marketing to “help supplement its sales efforts to travel agencies in the US.” Jul 15, 2004

United Airlines and Northwest Airlines were authorized to operate new daily flights between the US and China that were made available under the US-China aviation agreement signed last month. “Today’s action marks the first step in an unprecedented expansion in US-China aviation services,” US Dept. of Transportation head Norman Mineta said. “Building stronger connections between the fast-growing US and Chinese economies means more opportunity, more travel and more jobs for countless Americans.” Both carriers were awarded seven weekly flights for new China services. Northwest will operate a new daily flight from Detroit to Guangzhou with a stopover in Tokyo, while United will begin daily nonstop service between Chicago and Shanghai. Currently, four US airlines serve China with a total of 54 weekly flights. The US will be allowed to name a new all-cargo airline to begin service in the US-China market this year, a service that was made available under the new agreement between the countries. Jul 26, 2004

JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker has widened his full-year loss forecast for the US airline industry to $3 billion from $1.7 billion previously and now predicts carriers will earn a “rather paltry” $500 million in 2005, although he notes that likely capacity reductions at United Airlines and US Airways “may afford considerable upside” to next year’s earnings outlook. In a report released June 30 2004, Baker attributed the diminished forecast to “higher fuel costs and softer revenue trends.” That latter is actually the bigger problem–“airline earnings are far more sensitive to revenue inputs then oil inputs,” he noted, while adding that the industry no longer should expect a cyclical domestic demand recovery that will push revenues higher. “If it hasn’t happened by now, it won’t likely any time soon,” he wrote. Jul 1, 2004

US airline ontime performance plummeted in May compared to the year-ago period, potentially confirming industry and government fears of a coming summer of delays and discontent as traffic and schedules return to pre 9/11 levels. In aggregate, the 19 carriers reporting to the US Dept. of Transportation recorded an ontime arrival rate of 77.6% in May, well below both the 84.9% posted in May 2003 and the 83% mark of April 2004. Hawaiian Airlines posted the highest ontime arrival rate at 95.2% , according to the report released by DOT. Among airlines operating in the continental US, SkyWest’s performance was the highest at 86.8% and JetBlue Airways was next at 83.4%. Atlantic Coast Airlines reported the worst ontime arrival rate at 69.4%, with American Eagle at 69.5% and ExpressJet at 74% rounding out the bottom three. The most frequently delayed flight was ExpressJet 2933 from Augusta, Ga., to Newark, which was late 92.31% of the time. The 19 carriers canceled 1.7% of their scheduled domestic flights during the month, higher than the 0.8% recorded in both May 2003 and April 2004. JetBlue Airways was best among the carriers with just two of its 7,335 scheduled flights canceled, while American Eagle Airlines at 5.5% canceled the most flights. Jul 8, 2004

US Airways expanded its new fare structure, GoFares, to include flights from Reagan Washington National Airport to Syracuse and Nashville. As it happens, new low-fare carrier Independence Air inaugurated service from Washington Dulles to Nashville and Syracuse. Jul 2, 2004

US Airways expanded its new fare structure, GoFares, to include flights from Reagan Washington National Airport to Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Charleston. New low-fare carrier Independence Air will launch service to these cities later this month. Jul 15, 2004

US Airways will resume service between New York LaGuardia and Ft. Lauderdale with four daily nonstop flights Nov. 7. The airline said the new flights are included under its new fare structure, GoFares. Jul 27, 2004

The US Transportation Security Administration will launch the Registered Traveler Pilot Program officially today at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in conjunction with Northwest Airlines. The program will be implemented at Los Angeles International in coordination with United Airlines later this month. By the end of Aug. 2004, TSA intends to have the program active at Houston George Bush Intercontinental in coordination with Continental Airlines and at Boston Logan and Reagan Washington National in coordination with American Airlines. Under the program, frequent travelers at the selected airports will be able to volunteer to submit information, including biometrics, necessary for TSA to determine their eligibility. The agency said the biometric information, such as fingerprints, will be used for identity verification purposes and in conjunction with a security assessment will allow passengers at the pilot airport locations to go through an expedited security screening process. However, all still will undergo basic screening procedures. Jul 7, 2004

US Transportation Security Administration last week launched the Registered Traveler Pilot Program at Los Angeles International Airport in conjunction with United Airlines. A similar pilot program began in Minneapolis with Northwest Airlines earlier this month. The pilot will expand to three other airports this summer; George Bush Intercontinental in Houston with Continental Airlines will launch in the next few weeks and Boston Logan and Reagan Washington National, both with American Airlines, by the end of Aug. 2004. Jul 26, 2004

Vietnam Airlines took delivery of the first of five A321s ordered directly from Airbus in 2002. The carrier also operates a leased fleet of 10 A320s and three A321s. Jul 7, 2004

Virgin Blue is undertaking a feasibility study into establishing a long- haul international airline out of Australia to the US West Coast, London and other destinations in direct competition with Qantas. The budget carrier confirmed Wednesday that work on the new airline project is “advanced” and that it has lodged an exploratory document with the federal government. However, Virgin Blue’s head of strategy, David Huttner, said no final decision has been made on whether to go ahead with the project, adding, “It’s not going to happen before Christmas.” Huttner indicated that various destinations are under consideration, including Los Angeles, London and Johannesburg. The carrier’s initial target, should it proceed, will be the South Pacific route between Australia and the US, which is currently one of the most profitable for Qantas and a key sector for troubled United Airlines. Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways have tried to gain fifth-freedom rights to serve the route via Australia, but their moves so far have been blocked by the Australian government. There is speculation that Virgin Blue may consider developing the long-haul international operation in conjunction with its “sister” airline Virgin Atlantic, which begins flying from London to Australia via Hong Kong in Dec. This will provide SIA, 49% owner of Virgin Atlantic, with a back-door entry to the Australia-US route. Virgin Blue already operates a short-haul international service, Pacific Blue, between Australia and New Zealand. However, it has no experience with long-haul operations, which would be expected to offer a full service. Tourism chiefs have been pressing for some time for additional capacity to the US given the strong recovery in demand. Qantas has responded by increasing frequencies to Los Angeles and Air New Zealand recently announced plans to start flying 747-400s out of Melbourne to Los Angeles via Auckland. Qantas shares lost A10 cents ($0.07) Wednesday on news that Virgin Blue was examining its options for a long-haul service. Jul 9, 2004

WestJet will add Tampa, New York and Palm Springs to its network this fall and early next year. The Canadian airline will begin 12 nonstop flights between Toronto and New York LaGuardia Sept. 20 2004, four nonstop flights between Toronto and Tampa Oct. 31 and two nonstop flights between Calgary and Palm Springs Jan. 7. It also will launch six nonstop flights between Toronto and Orlando Oct. 1, four nonstop flights between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale Oct. 31 and six nonstop flights between Vancouver and Los Angeles Dec. 19 2004. Jul 12, 2004

World Airways signed a letter of intent to lease two MD-11Fs early next year for its international cargo fleet. The aircraft will bring World’s MD-11 fleet to five cargo and eight passenger types. It also operates five DC-10s. World expects delivery of the aircraft in the spring of 2005. Separately, the airline promoted Director Gary Goodpaster to VP- flight operations. Larry Montford was named VP-technical operations. Jul 8, 2004

COPYRIGHT 2004 Pyramid Media Group, Inc

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group