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Old December 13th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #1041
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Congradulations to Boeing on this order by southwest airlines.
Another Boeing 737 MAX oder for 150 airplanes and 58 NG 737s.
Heres the article

DALLAS, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Southwest Airlines today announced a firm order for 150 fuel-efficient 737 MAX airplanes. Southwest is the first customer to finalize an order for the 737 MAX and becomes the launch customer for the new-engine variant. The Dallas-based carrier also ordered 58 Next-Generation 737s.

The firm order is the largest in Boeing history both in dollar value, nearly $19 billion at list prices, and the number of airplanes. It supports Southwest's initiative to modernize its all-Boeing fleet, the world's largest fleet of 737s. As the 737 MAX launch customer, Southwest will take delivery of the first airplane when it enters service in 2017.

"Southwest is a special Boeing customer and has been a true partner in the evolution of the 737," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh. "Throughout our 40-year relationship, our two companies have collaborated to launch the 737-300, 737-500 and the Next-Generation 737-700 – affirming the 737 as the world's preferred single-aisle airplane. As launch customer for the 737 MAX, Southwest, Boeing and the 737 continue that legacy."

The 737 MAX is the new-engine variant of the world's best-selling airplane and builds on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737. The new-engine variant, powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines, reduces fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 10-12 percent over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane. It will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with a 7 percent advantage over tomorrow's competition.

"Today's environment demands that we become more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, and as the launch Customer of the Boeing 737 MAX, we have accomplished both," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. "We are teaming up with our friends from Boeing to lead the industry in a way that makes both our shareholders and our Customers proud to associate with Southwest Airlines. Today's announcement will allow us to maintain our position as a low-cost provider in the years ahead."

This order continues the growing momentum for the 737 MAX. With the Southwest order, the 737 MAX has orders and commitments for more than 900 airplanes from 13 customers, while the Next-Generation 737 family has won orders for more than 6,600 airplanes and Boeing has delivered more than 3,800.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #1042
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Delta announces big LaGuardia expansion
By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP
The Associated Press

http://www.ajc.com/business/delta-an...a-1262066.html

NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines Inc. plans a massive flight expansion out of New York's LaGuardia airport, hoping to improve its competitive edge against its two biggest rivals in one of the nation's most important air travel markets.

Delta said Friday that the additions make it the biggest airline between the New York area and other cities in the U.S., as it adds routes that target American Airlines and put it in a better position to compete against United Continental. That should help it grab more high-paying business travelers, a critical passenger segment in major cities like New York.

The list of added cities reads like a map of the hubs of competing airlines. Delta is adding Miami and Dallas, both American Airlines hubs. It will also fly to Houston and Denver, which are United hubs, and Charlotte, N.C. — a hub for US Airways. In all, it will add more than 100 flights to 29 new destinations.

By next summer Delta expects to operate 264 daily flights from LaGuardia — the smallest of the New York area's three main airports. Those flights will go to more than 60 cities, which Delta says is more than any other airline. Currently Delta operates flights to 35 cities out of that airport.

....
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 12:36 PM   #1043
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Old December 30th, 2011, 05:30 AM   #1044
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United Continental ends 2011 as the world's largest airline – CAPA
December 29, 2011, 2:00pm
MANILA, Philippines — United Continental Airlines ended 2011 as the world's largest airline, overtaking Delta Air lines, according to the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

American Airlines has dropped to third in the ranking, based on available seat kilometers, and through capacity cuts associated with its bankruptcy may fall to fourth place next year, allowing Emirates to swoop in as third largest, said CAPA.

Emirates has moved into fourth place. Five US carriers feature on the top ten, while no mainland Chinese carrier is yet in the top flight although Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is in at number 10. China Southern is 12th, while Air China at 14th and could enter the top 10 in 2012, if cutbacks are enacted by Europe's majors, including British Airways.

Other fast movers in 2011 have included Qatar Airways (20th) and Turkish Airways (23rd) and both are expected to keep climbing the rankings next year, likely ending the year well inside the top 20, possibly at the expense of KLM and Air Canada, said CAPA.

The world's airlines are scheduling 3.2% more flights this month, translating into 5.3% more seats and 7.3% more than in Dec. 2010. With available seat kilometers growing faster than flights and seats, airlines are opening longer flights. Growth in this area is spurred by network carriers China Southern, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish Airlines.

The largest mover in the top 25 low-cost carriers (LCCs) based on available seat kilometers was Volaris, the Mexican LCC that moved up six ranking positions and had the highest overall growth rate, 58%, of all of the top 25 LCCs.

Volaris has benefited from Mexicana's 2010 exit and started rapidly increasing capacity in late first quarter of 2011. Volaris has now doubled its US presence while maintaining healthy load factors. Volaris is expanding out of Mexico City, a point it initially shunned, although smaller Mexican carrier InterJet has seen the largest overall growth.

Also making big moves in rankings were Air Berlin and Indigo, who each moved up two rankings. Air Berlin's growth, however, has not been followed with profitability. Indigo is the largest carrier in India, which has the second-highest domestic growth rate after Chile, and is currently the only profitable one in the market.

CAPA noted that Ryanair and Vueling were the only LCCs in the top 25 to have decreased capacity. Ryanair is grounding 80 aircraft this winter to preserve yields in the face of high fuel prices.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #1045
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Great summary of 2011. I'm honestly incredibly surprised with Delta as per reported in the article. But then again, Delta seems to be making a lot of aggressive changes to compete with other legacy carriers: improvements in experience at Terminal 4 JFK, increasing flights to/from LGA effectively creating a new domestic hub, etc.

Quote:
Hits and Misses in 2011 Airlines
Print Share

By: Zacks Equity Research
January 11, 2012 |Comments: 0
Recommended this article (0)
LUV | BA | JBLU | DAL | UAL | ALK
The airline industry was hit hard last year owing to persistent market turmoil and surging fuel costs despite a strong turnaround in 2010. Unfortunately, we foresee a similar scenario in 2012. Airlines are also losing money due to poor customer service, which is considered as a key growth metric.

Customer service metrics are based on number of operational measures such as baggage handling, on-time arrivals, long and excessive delays, bumping of passengers, flight cancellations and complaints filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Further, we think airline traffic is also a strong evaluator for operational performance of individual carriers. Airline traffic implies one mile flown by one passenger.

Strong Movers

The top performers in terms of customer satisfaction according to the Portland-based FlightStats.com and the U.S. DOT are as follows:

Moving forward to 2012, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) and the smallest among the seven major U.S. airlines, was the best-performing carrier in the U.S. Alaska Airlines exhibited top on-time arrival performances, a key measure of airlines operation, last year along with fewer flight delays and cancellations. The carrier has made good progress in terms of maintenance and safety of passengers.

The 2011 traffic for Alaska Air Group climbed 9.6% year over year on capacity (or available seat miles) growth of 6.8% and load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) expansion of 210 basis points. The annual traffic growth of the company is the largest among the major U.S. carriers.

Healthy operating performance at Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) last year places it in the No. 2 position in terms of customer service, which came in as a bit of a surprise. The carrier, which was the worst performer in 2010, managed a remarkable turnaround based on technological upgrades, strong on-time arrivals, good baggage handling, few excessive delays, limited bumping of passengers from flights, few canceled flights, good handling of customer complaints and well-organized systems.

About 83% of the flights across the U.S. were on-time last year, up from 78% in 2010. Delta’s overall traffic dipped only 0.2% last year, with capacity growth of 0.8%, offset by decline in load factor to 82.1% from 83% in prior year. Domestic traffic fell 0.7% while international traffic grew 0.8% during 2011.

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) was ranked third in satisfying customers. The largest U.S. low-cost carrier had fewer customer complaints than any other airline, despite the mishandling of baggage. Excessive flights delay especially in the first half of 2011 made luggage handling a difficult proposition. Southwest has made efforts to improve the on-time flight arrivals in the second half, but is still struggling with baggage handling problems. The company is currently exploring hand-held scanners to decrease the number of mishandled bags.

The on-time arrival performance of Southwest dropped to 71% in 2011 from 76% in 2010. Southwest recorded a strong year-over-year traffic growth of 6.4% on a capacity increase of 4.9%. Load factor increased to 80.8% in 2011 from 79.7% in 2010.

Despite the longest and excessive delays, JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU) holds the fourth position in delivering customer service. Unfavorable weather conditions compelled the carrier to frequently delay or cancel flights, thus making customers lousy. Other metrics including baggage handling and customer complaints was favorable.

Underperformers

Filed for bankruptcy protection in November, American Airlines was the worst carrier with respect to on-time performance, baggage handling, bumped passengers and customer complaints. American Airlines had the highest percentage of canceled flights, which is 70% more than Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL). Effective early New Year, the shares of American Airlines have de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.

United Continental, the largest U.S. airline, also lagged in operational performance, as the merger created major woes for the customers. Though merged in October 2010, United and Continental still operates as a separate entity. The company is yet to combine their passenger services and reservation system and failed to deliver the post-merger benefits as expected by travelers.

Combined traffic dropped 1.4% year over year in 2011 at United Continental. Both domestic and international traffic declined 2.5% and 0.5%, respectively. The 100 basis point year-over-year decrease in load factor and a 0.2% decline in capacity led to the second worst performance among airlines last year.

Bottom Line

We believe that the performance of air carriers are the matter of huge concern to the travelers as they indirectly influence the latter’s activities. The cancellation or delay of flights might induce travelers to miss their meetings, wedding or a funeral. Frequent mishandling of baggage is also a headwind for travelers. As a result, we believe good operating performances and customer services are a key to airline success.

Going forward, air carriers are adding new features to their services as well as introducing new products to improve customer satisfaction and experience. Carriers are going wireless with the in-flight entertainment systems such as American Airlines’ Gogo “Vision” wireless video-on-demand and Delta Air Lines’ “Delta Connect”. Other carriers will soon launch their in-flight entertainment systems.

Besides, Delta Air Lines and United Continental are installing winglets, WiFi and flatbed seats apart from expanding Economy Comfort or Economy Plus seats to their fleet. Southwest Airlines continues to benefit from EarlyBird check-in, unaccompanied minor travel and pet fees. The company is upgrading its fleet with the new Boeing Co. (BA) Sky Interior and the All-New Rapid Rewards program is also contributing to revenue growth. JetBlue is poised to benefit from continued success in the Getaway Vacations Division as well as the Even More Space product.

We currently have our long-term Neutral recommendations on Delta, United Continental, Southwest and JetBlue. For the short term (1-3 months), the stocks retain the Zacks # 3 (Hold) Rank.
(via Zacks Investment Research)
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Old January 12th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #1046
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Transatlantic flights forced by wind to land for fuel
'Non-stop' 757 flights make unplanned visits to Gander, Halifax
CBC News
Posted: Jan 11, 2012 2:37 AM ET
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2012 7:59 AM ET

The strongest winds over the Atlantic Ocean in more than 10 years have forced dozens of Continental Airlines flights from Europe to the eastern U.S. to make unscheduled refuelling stops in Canada and elsewhere, a report says.

The fuel stops at airports such as Gander, N.L., and Halifax are partly the result of a decision by parent United Airlines to use smaller jets on the overseas flights. The strategy works in light winds and saves money on fuel and crew costs, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Using Boeing 757s on flights that approach their 7,400-kilometre range, the airline doesn't leave much room for error in estimating fuel when the twin-engine planes are flying into strong headwinds, the paper says. The result has been delays for passengers and added operating costs.

"Headwinds returning from Europe are more extreme than we have seen in 10 years," the Journal quotes a United Airlines spokeswoman as saying. December headwinds averaged 56 km/h, according to United's records. Last month, however, prevailing westerly winds averaged 87 km/h, and, on the worst 15 days of the month, 111 km/h.
Unplanned visits to Gander

As a result, flights to east coast destinations have been forced to stop for fuel at places such as Gander, Goose Bay, N.L., Iceland, Ireland, Albany, N.Y., and New Windsor, N.Y., north of Manhattan.

For airports such as Goose Bay and Gander, which have seen fewer landings in recent years because of commercial airliners' longer ranges, these unexpected refuelling stops can bring in tens of thousands of dollars in landing fees and other revenue a month, the Journal reported.

While United's Continental unit has been the worst affected, other airlines have reported similar difficulties.

US Airways, which flies 757s to Philadelphia from some European cities, said that in December it diverted four of 112 transtlantic flights due to strong headwinds. Three Amsterdam-Philadelphia flights and a flight from Brussels to Philadelphia refuelled in Bangor, Maine, the Journal reported. Two more repeated the pattern in January.

American Airlines, which flies six European routes with 757s, said it has had "a few" unplanned fuel stops on westbound flights, but it's "not a daily occurrence," the paper said.

The Continental-served European cities involved include Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Stuttgart, and Barcelona. U.S. destinations involved were Washington's Dulles Airport and the airline's hub at Newark, N.J.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #1047
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While global climatic conditions have definitely changed over the years, I'd also like to point the most of the 757s North American airlines employ are fairly old pieces of infrastructure, so I think aging fleet does cause more unexpected problems.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 12:46 AM   #1048
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Old February 1st, 2012, 12:52 PM   #1050
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Quote:
United Announces Daily Service between Washington/Dulles and Honolulu
January 31, 2012
http://www.united.com/press/detail/0,7056,69315,00.html

United will begin daily year-round service between Washington/Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Honolulu (HNL) on June 7, 2012, the only nonstop service between the two points. The flights will operate using Boeing 767-400 aircraft.

United, the largest carrier between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii, connects the Aloha State with eight mainland cities, as well as Tokyo, Guam and Majuro, offering nonstop service in 23 city pairs.

From its Dulles hub, United also offers more domestic and international service from the nation’s capital than any other airline.
..
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:27 AM   #1051
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JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines Sign Partnership Deal
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1223295.html

NEW YORK -- JetBlue Airways Corp. and Hawaiian Airlines have formed a partnership that will allow passengers to fly on both carriers' flights on a single ticket.

The deal, which is expected to be formally announced later Monday, follows Hawaiian Airlines' announcement of plans to add New York service direct from its home base in Honolulu starting in June. Customers on both airlines will be able to connect with those flights through JetBlue's base at New York's JFK.

In the meantime, passengers can connect through Los Angeles International Airport to Hawaiian Airlines one-stop service from Hawaii to New York.

Besides added flight options, travelers will also be able to earn or redeem frequent flier miles on each other's flights, starting with the New York service in June.

Partnerships like this allow airlines to expand their service without spending more money to add flights on their own. Hawaiian Airlines already has similar partnerships, called codeshares, with major U.S. airlines including United-Continental, Delta and American. JetBlue has deals with a number of international carriers, including Ireland's Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Emirates.
..
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Old February 9th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #1052
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Alaska Airlines is going to commence direct service between Seattle and Philadelphia giving Philadelphia even more connections to the West Coast. Alaska Airlines will also discontinue service to Miami, instead switching over to Fort Lauderdale.

Quote:
Alaska Airlines Launching Daily Service from Seattle to Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Carrier offers introductory fares and double Mileage Plan miles on new routes

2/7/2012 5:00 a.m.

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines announced today it will launch new daily nonstop service between Seattle and Philadelphia, starting June 11, and between Seattle and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning July 16, 2012.

"Philadelphia is one of the largest cities we don't currently serve from Seattle while Fort Lauderdale is a popular departure point for cruise ship passengers," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "We're excited to be bringing our award-winning customer service to the ‘City of Brotherly Love' and ‘The Venice of America.' "

.....
Also Emirates and Alaska Airlines is going to launch a frequent flier partnership.

Quote:
Emirates and Alaska Airlines launch frequent flier partnership

Airlines to celebrate Emirates' Seattle launch with Double Miles, starting March 1

2/6/2012 5:31 p.m.

DUBAI, U.A.E — Emirates, one of the world's fastest-growing international airlines, and Alaska Airlines, have announced the launch of a new frequent flier partnership that will offer travelers the opportunity to accrue Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles when they fly to any of Emirates' 118 destinations worldwide, including points across Africa, India and the Middle East.

Emirates Skywards members can also accrue miles across the Alaska Airlines network in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada and Mexico.

"As part of our commitment to Seattle, we are launching our service by partnering with Seattle's hometown airline to offer customers the convenience of a frequent flier partnership as well as one-stop check-in and through checked baggage, providing easier access to a vast range of points across the United States, Canada and Mexico" said Nigel Page, Emirates' Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Americas."

Emirates, the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, will operate a daily nonstop flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Dubai aboard an ultra-long range B777-300ER from March 1, 2012 . Seattle will become the airline's sixth U.S. gateway , joining New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and from 2nd February, Dallas/Fort Worth.

.....
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Old February 15th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #1053
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Quote:
Passengers will fly United after merger milestone next month
By Kiah Collier
http://www.chron.com/business/articl...ne-3323015.php
Updated 08:59 p.m., Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Next month Houston's Continental Airlines will begin fading in the distance as two carriers that have merged into the world's largest become United.

Some planes still will bear the Continental name, until the company completes the task of repainting 700 aircraft that began when Houston-based Continental and Chicago-based United Airlines merged in October 2010. Because of ongoing labor negotiations, flight crews from the two former airlines will continue to fly separately.

But passengers will book only United flights, earn frequent flier miles on United's MileagePlus loyalty program, and queue up for check-in and boarding under United Airlines signs.

"We're going to have one frequent flier program, we're going to have one website, we'll actually be one airline from our customers' perspective, which is really valuable to the customers and will give them much better customer service," said Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings, the parent company. "Many of the things customers have issues with today will disappear once we have a single passenger service system."

In an interview with the Chronicle on Tuesday, Smisek said it will be the first time United and Continental will appear to customers as a single airline the company refers to as "the new United."

The change will take place during the first week of March, though the company declined to specify the exact date.

A spokeswoman was hesitant to set an official timetable for the disappearance of Continental, which traces its origins to the 1930s and has been headquartered in Houston since 1982.

But the integration of the passenger service system is the biggest component left to the joining of the two airlines. They technically began operating as one carrier at the end of November after the Federal Aviation Administration granted a single-operating certificate.

From the perspective of passengers, however, United and Continental have remained separate airlines.

They still book tickets through separate websites and separate reservation phone lines answered by Continental- and United-specific agents.

But in March, calls to both airlines' existing toll-free reservation lines - which will stay in place, at least in the beginning - will go to a single team of agents.

The advertised reservation number will be 1-800-United1.

Continental's website, 'www.continental.com,' will route visitors to www.united.com.

Other merged airlines have experienced glitches when integrating reservation systems, but Smisek said the company has had four "full-scale dress rehearsals" and is confident the changeover will go smoothly.

Smisek said issues discovered during the first three rehearsals were fixed and "all systems were go" during the fourth.

As a precaution, he said, the company will reduce the number of flights during the changeover period "to take some of the load off the airports themselves in case there are any kind of slower processing times so that we don't inconvenience the customers." A spokeswoman said the reduction will not be significant enough to affect service.

Smisek said the company is on target to achieve merger-related savings of up to $1.2 billion by 2013.

But the integration won't do much to quell customers' most consistent complaint: Higher ticket prices.

.......
..
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:40 AM   #1054
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Originally Posted by swe View Post
AA exercised options for a ninth 773ER. I guess the slot restrictions at JFK and ORD has something to do with it. Also the introduction of the 773ER means that AA now can operate nonstop flight to Australia.
This may have been done before but AA has chosen the newly introduced "Select Two" version of the IAE V2500 engine for their A321. The upgrade will have a small reduction in fuel burn over the current "Select One". They will most likely be offered a similar solution for the CFM. Well...
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 12:32 PM   #1055
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Think we can expect a new livery from United once the two companies are fully merged ?
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:21 PM   #1056
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Originally Posted by noir-dresses View Post
Think we can expect a new livery from United once the two companies are fully merged ?
United already came out with a new livery.

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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:27 PM   #1057
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You missed my point. We all know United kept the name, and Continentals livery was used in the process of merging.

I'm talking about when all the paper work is finished, and the two airlines actually become one company.

I have a feeling a totally new livery will come out to represent a whole new era of corporate branding/image.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:41 PM   #1058
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Originally Posted by noir-dresses View Post
You missed my point. We all know United kept the name, and Continentals livery was used in the process of merging.

I'm talking about when all the paper work is finished, and the two airlines actually become one company.

I have a feeling a totally new livery will come out to represent a whole new era of corporate branding/image.
I am not sure what you are refering to here since the new livery/corporate logo was in the photo I posted earlier which was introduced months ago in anticipation of the merger with Continental (ie they are not going to introduce a new livery because they already just did so).
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 07:50 PM   #1059
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Originally Posted by noir-dresses View Post
You missed my point. We all know United kept the name, and Continentals livery was used in the process of merging.

I'm talking about when all the paper work is finished, and the two airlines actually become one company.

I have a feeling a totally new livery will come out to represent a whole new era of corporate branding/image.
No, that is the new livery. Their entire concept was to use Continental's branding and United's name.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 10:58 PM   #1060
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Originally Posted by deasine View Post
No, that is the new livery. Their entire concept was to use Continental's branding and United's name.
I know that, knew that the moment it happened. It's been around for while now.

What I mean can you see a totally new livery, nothing to do with Continentals livery since the companies will be fully merged soon.
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