Sunday, April 28, 2013

787 back into the air since grounding



TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways, the Japanese launch customer for Boeing's 787, flew its first Dreamliner in more than three months on Sunday to test reinforced batteries installed by the U.S. aircraft maker.
The ANA flight was the second by an airline since aviation regulators on Friday gave permission for 787 operations to restart after batteries on two of them overheated in mid January. One was on an ANA plane in Japan and another on a Japan Airlines jet parked at Boston's Logan airport.
Ethiopian Airlines on Saturday became the world's first carrier to resume flying Dreamliner passenger jets since the global fleet was grounded three months ago, carrying passengers to neighboring Kenya from Ethiopia.
The ANA flight, with company president Shinichiro Ito and Boeing's chief of commercial aircraft, Ray Conner, among those on board, left Tokyo's Haneda airport at 8:59 a.m. local time. It returned without incident at 10:54 a.m., a spokesman for the airline said.
ANA plans at least 230 test flights through May before resuming commercial operations. In addition to the battery fix approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau has requested its airlines monitor the battery current while the jet is in the air and inspect used batteries.
ANA owns 17 of the 50 Dreamliners, which have been grounded since mid January, while local rival JAL has seven of the carbon composite aircraftin its fleet.
JAL will start test flying its Dreamliners early next month with the aim of returning to normal operation in June. Neither Japanese carrier, which on Tuesday will release their earnings results for the three months that ended March 31, have said how much the 787 grounding has cost them in lost revenue.


Source: Reuters

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boeing and Air China Biofuel test.



Boeing and Air China are planning a second plant oil Biofuel flight. PetroChina will be the fuel provider for this much longer trip than the first one by Air China and provably trans-Pacific.
Stephen Emmert, Boeing's regional director of bio-fuel strategy team for China and North America said: "The project aims to prove that China produced bio-fuels works and to ensure that regulators and airlines around the world are comfortable using them for commercial flights."

The flight will involve using a PetroChina-produced bio-fuel from locally grown jatropha, using oil form the plant seeds. China has a big potential for growing the plant in big amounts.

Marck Allen, head of Boeing's China operations said on the last International Air Transport Association meeting in Beijing that China like the rest of the world has a very real need of cleaner fuels. And, abut China he said: "They have an economic scale that many parts of the world cannot match. And, they have fast growing technological capability that will allow them to be on the forefront on these initiatives."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Latam Airlines Group

Latam Airlines Group





LAN Airlines and TAM officially completed their merger under LATAM Airlines Group Friday, creating a mega-airline company that is expected to control more than 40% of the Latin American air passenger market.

The transaction was carried out through an exchange offer in which TAM’s shareholders received 0.9 LAN shares for each TAM share. “The creation of this group of airlines is an opportunity to take South America to the world and to allow us to position ourselves to operate in an increasingly competitive environment due to the continuing consolidation of the global airline industry,” LATAM CEO Enrique Cueto, who was formerly LAN’s CEO, said in a statement
LATAM will initially employ more than 51,000 workers and connect passengers to 150 destinations in 22 countries. The group’s cargo operation will reach 169 destinations in 27 countries.
Cueto said LAN will remain based in Santiago de Chile and TAM in Sao Paulo. He added that the carriers will continue to operate under separate brands. “This is the beginning of a long journey and the benefits to our customers will be added gradually as the integration of our companies’ progresses,” he said.
LAN/TAM believes the merger will generate $600-$700 million in annual synergies within four years.


Source: ATW Daily News

Monday, May 14, 2012

American Airlines To Explore Merger Options



AMR, parent of American Airlines, bowed to pressure on Friday from its unsecured creditors, including its largest unions, and said it would explore merger options while it is still in bankruptcy.
AMR, which has been in Chapter 11 since November, had long said it intended to emerge as a stand-alone carrier, shrugging off interest expressed by rival US Airways.
The airline, however, has faced mounting pressure from vocal members of its creditors committee who believe a better future for AMR can be secured by merging with US Airways.
In reversing its stance, AMR said it wanted to assure stakeholders that it would pursue the best possible outcome for the airline.
"To be clear, American has committed to work in collaboration with the (creditors) committee to develop only potential consolidation scenarios and this agreement does not in any way suggest that a transaction of any kind or with any particular party will be pursued," Beverly Goulet, AMR's chief restructuring officer, said in a statement.
US Airways has been courting AMR creditors, especially disgruntled unions that say an AMR/US Airways tie-up would create a stronger carrier and save more jobs than AMR's stand-alone plan.
"We look forward to engaging in the AMR process to demonstrate the significant advantages of our plan to maximize value for all constituents," US Airways said in a statement.
US Airways said in April that a merger with AMR would generate at least USD$1.2 billion a year in new value beyond the benefit that could be passed to employees of the combined carrier. AMR has said its stand-alone plan would generate USD$3 billion in new revenue and savings by 2017.
AMR's chief executive, Tom Horton, had said the airline was focused solely on its bankruptcy, calling those who would attempt to acquire the company in bankruptcy "opportunists." But he never ruled out taking a merger partner after bankruptcy.
Other potential suitors also have considered a deal with AMR, including Delta Air Lines and private equity firm TPG Capital, sources have said.
Robert Mann, an airline consultant and former AMR executive, said AMR's new openness to mergers could flush out more potential partners.
"I think it was already headed there anyway," he said. "It's a recognition of the inevitable that there would be some sort of transaction."

CREDITOR REVOLT
American's three unions, which are part of AMR's nine-member creditor committee, have said a merger with US Airways would create a stronger airline and save more jobs than AMR's stand-alone plan. US Airways has not made a bid for AMR.
Unions representing pilots and flight attendants at American Airlines on Friday again denounced the company's stand-alone business plan, calling on the managers to explore merger options with rival US Airways.
The workers staged rallies in New York and Fort Worth, Texas, where AMR is based, to declare "no confidence" in the company's ability to produce a viable business plan.
The protests came as the two sides prepared to spar in court on Monday over AMR's request to void the contracts it has with the unions. The airline and its unions are on a two-week hiatus from their court battle over that request.
"US Airways management's plans for merging the two carriers call for preserving and enhancing the American Airlines brand, retaining our Fort Worth home and saving thousands of jobs that will be eliminated under AMR management's stand-alone plan," David Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), said in a statement.
The airline, which has about 74,000 full-time and part-time workers, has said it must cut 13,000 union jobs.
The carrier won steep concessions in 2003 as it dodged bankruptcy at the time. AMR had been locked in fruitless talks with unions for years before filing for bankruptcy.
The APA, which has been negotiating with management this week, has yet to reach a deal. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants also said it has had talks with management.
Meanwhile, the Transport Workers Union, which represents 26,000 ground workers, dispatchers and other groups, is voting on AMR contract proposals for its seven work groups.
The deals do not have the endorsement of union leaders, but if they are ratified, they would cut the number of TWU-represented jobs targeted for elimination to 6,400. That compares with 9,000 jobs AMR said it would cut if it voids the worker's current deal and imposes new terms.

Source: Reuters

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

British Airways' holiday destinations




Tens of thousands of people are taking advantage of British Airways’ network to more than 150 destinations to get away over the holiday period.
The great escape will begin in earnest on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 as a peak 95,000 customers jet off around the globe with the airline.
Even Christmas Day will see nearly 30,000 people travelling.
Thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew, pilots and customer service staff will be looking after customers all over the world.
Homebound customers peak on January 2nd, 2012 with 94,000 people flying on the airline’s network.
The top ten destinations for Christmas and New Year are:
  • New York
  • Geneva
  • Edinburgh
  • Barcelona
  • Manchester
  • Glasgow
  • Miami
  • Dubai
  • Cape Town
  • Amsterdam
Richard Tams, head of UK and Ireland sales, said: “Christmas is an exceptionally busy time of year for us and we’ve already welcomed tens of thousands of customers on board.
“December 22nd is our next peak with people maximising their time off and we are looking forward to carrying half a million people home in the first week of the New Year.”

Source: BTN

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

American Airlines bankruptcy



AMR Corporation, parent company to American Airlines, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States as it seeks to return to profitability.
AMR, which also operates American Eagle, took the decision after the failure of the latest round of cost-cutting labour negotiations and is the last of the major American carriers to seek such protection.
The decision was taken in order to “achieve a cost and debt structure that is industry competitive and thereby assure its long-term viability” of the carrier, explained a statement.
Following the lead of virtually all other major airline competitors in the United States, the Chapter 11 process will allow AMR to continue conducting normal business operations while it restructures its debt, costs and other obligations.
Normal flight services will continue, with the decision having no direct legal impact on operations outside the United States.
“We have met our challenges head on, taking all possible action to secure our long-term position,” said Thomas Horton, chairman, chief executive officer and president of AMR.
Horton earlier replaced Gerard Arpey, who yesterday informed the board of his decision to retire, at AMR.
He initially joined AMR in 1985 and held a range of senior financial positions with AMR before taking over the top position today.
Chapter 11
American has battled against bankruptcy for nearly a decade as rivals have slimmed down.
The carrier has been embroiled in negotiations with unions for all of its major work groups for five years as it sought to cut an $800 million labour-cost disadvantage to other carriers.
Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and baggage handlers are all presently involved in disputes with the company.
The airline also has a fleet of older aircraft where are less fuel-efficient than those operated by rivals. As fuel prices have continues to rise conditions have become unsustainable for AMR.
“As we have made clear with increasing urgency in recent weeks, we must address our cost structure, including labour costs, to enable us to capitalise on our foundational strengths and secure our future,” continued Horton.
“Our very substantial cost disadvantage compared to our larger competitors, all of which restructured their costs and debt through Chapter 11, has become increasingly untenable given the accelerating impact of global economic uncertainty and resulting revenue instability, volatile and rising fuel prices, and intensifying competitive challenges.”
The Company has approximately $4.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments which it says will be sufficient to meet ongoing costs.
Passengers concerned over the possible impact on flights are advised to check the official website.

Source: BTN

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

American Airlines, Brithish Airways and Iberia joint fare sale



American Airlines and two of its fellow oneworld® members, British Airways and Iberia, are observing the first anniversary of their joint business. To mark the occasion, the airlines are having a joint fare sale between the United States and Europe with fares as low as $224 each way, based on round-trip Economy Class travel purchased on AA.com.
Book now, as tickets for these special fares will go quickly and must be purchased by Nov. 15.  Economy Class fares must be booked at least seven days prior to travel, while Business Class fares must be booked at least 14 days prior to travel.
The Economy Class originating travel dates to Europe include Nov. 8 through Dec. 16, 2011, as well as Dec. 25, 2011, through April 1, 2012.  Business Class originating travel dates run from Nov. 15, 2011, through May 22, 2012.  All travel in both classes must be completed by June 15, 2012.
The special Economy Class fares to continental Europe are lowest for travel Sunday through Thursday.  If traveling to the UK, fares are lowest Monday through Wednesday.  Other attractive Economy Class fares are offered on other days of the week.  The special Business Class fares are valid any day of the week.  A Saturday night stay is required for both Economy and Business Class , while the maximum stay allowed is six months.
Here are some sample fares for Economy Class travel on off-peak days.  A portion of or all travel for some itineraries may be operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, American Eagle or the AmericanConnection® carrier Chatauqua:
New York – London $224
Chicago – Paris $285
Dallas/Fort Worth – Frankfurt $360
Los Angeles – London $274
New York – Manchester, UK $224
Miami – Madrid $262
Boston – London $224
New York – Milan $318
Dallas/Fort Worth – Paris $374
New York – Zurich $298
Travelers can check schedules and fares and book on www.AA.com  .  AA.com has the absolute lowest fares – guaranteed – available for American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® carrier flights.

Source: BTN