December 10th, 2013
Qantas, the Australian airline, has had its credit rating downgraded to “junk” – below-investment – level, by the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
The downgrade could increase the airline’s borrowing costs and sends a warning to investors.
The move by S&P comes after the airline issued a surprise profit warning and announced 1,000 job cuts on Thursday.
The carrier expects to make losses of up to A$300m ($271m; £165m) in the July-to-December period.
S&P said the rating cut reflected its view “that intense competition in the airline industry has weakened Qantas’ business risk profile to fair from satisfactory, and financial risk profile to significant from intermediate.”
It lowered the carrier’s rating from the lowest investment grade, BBB-, to BB+.
December 10th, 2013
The merger between the two companies creates the world’s largest airline
American Airlines and US Airways have completed their long awaited merger to create the world’s biggest airline.
It follows AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, emerging from its 2011 bankruptcy filing.
Shares in the new company soared after making their debut on the Nasdaq exchange under the stock symbol AAL.
The merger had previously been blocked by the US Justice Department (DOJ) over concerns about competition in the sector.
“Our people, our customers and the communities we serve around the world have been anticipating the arrival of the new American,” said new boss Doug Parker. Mr Parker had previously been the head of US Airways.
“We are taking the best of both US Airways and American Airlines to create a formidable competitor, better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to integrating our companies quickly and efficiently so the significant benefits of the merger can be realised.”
The two companies say they expect to save more than $1bn in synergies with the merger.
November 18th, 2013
It was a security consultant’s nightmare and a moment to savour – royalty, airline bosses, planemakers and press hordes wedged into the same overcrowded room wanting to see the same thing: the colour of money in the oil-rich and fast-growing Gulf.
Gulf airlines dropped $US100 billion ($A106 billion) in 15 minutes on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow, as they ordered hundreds of passenger jets to expand a common ambition to turn the region into a global aviation hub.
After one mega-deal, as Emirates airline and Qatar Airways ordered 200 of Boeing’s newly re-launched 777 jet, a quick decor change brought Airbus to the stage to sign a deal with Emirates for 50 of the world’s largest jetliner, the A380 superjumbo.
“I don’t have my calculator,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai airline groupsEmirates and flydubai joked when asked to estimate the value of deals just unveiled.
November 11th, 2013
Not quite premium, not quite economy … Hawaiian Airlines’ ‘extra comfort’ seats.
Since they have to ride a knife edge financially, where marginal profits in one year can be wiped out by volatile fuel prices in the next, airlines tend to be conservative – reactionary even – in introducing changes that can affect their bottom line.
For the past 15 years, they have been obsessed in their attempt to improve “yield” – average fares paid, which is the magic number that industry analysts look for in regular filings to stock exchanges – by squashing economy seats ever closer together so they can woo business flyers with ever more luxurious premium offerings.
With the fares they were charging to sit in business class – anything up to seven times the discount rates down the back – the gap in the classes became a canyon.
Eventually, a number of full-service carriers figured out there was a market in between the corporates and the rest which they decided to call premium economy.
September 9th, 2013
Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle on Sunday announced a new technical problem with one of its Boeing 787 “Dreamliners”, as the plane was grounded due to a flaw in its electrical system.
“We’ve had a problem since yesterday (Saturday) with a Dreamliner, linked to its electrical system,” company spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told AFP.
“The aircraft is not getting enough electricity.”
The plane was scheduled to leave Oslo for Bangkok on Saturday, but after waiting for more than 24 hours, the passengers were transferred to Stockholm, where they boarded a chartered plane.
September 9th, 2013
Emirates Airline A380
It’s not every day that Sydneysiders hear a bang in the distance from an A380 superjumbo flying overhead.
And it’s certainly not usual for them to hear a thud on their rooftop moments later.
But that is what a northwestern Sydney home owner experienced late last year when an Emirates A380 bound for Dubai suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff.
The surprise discovery is detailed in a report from air-safety investigators into the mid-air incident, which forced the Emirates A380 to return to Sydney Airport.
September 9th, 2013
Thai Airways A330 Crashed Landed at Bankok International Airport
Fourteen passengers were injured when a Thai Airways plane with a wheel base problem skidded off a runway at the main airport in Bangkok, an airline spokesperson said on Monday.
The Airbus A330-300 had been carrying 288 passengers and crew from Guangzhou, China, NBC reported.
During landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday, its wheel base had a “glitch,” and the landing gear experienced a malfunction, an airline spokesperson said. The plane skidded off the runway into a grassy spot and came to rest, with its nose down. The impact was hard enough to activate the plane’s emergency inflatable slides, NBC reported.
September 4th, 2013
Airbus SAS (EAD) beat Boeing Co. (BA) to win an order for 10 wide-body international jets and 30 narrow-body planes from Delta Air Lines Inc. with a list value of $5.6 billion.
Deliveries of the A330-300 twin-aisle aircraft will begin in early 2015, while the single-aisle A321 jets for domestic service will start arriving in 2016, Atlanta-based Delta said today in a statement.
Delta is buying the current model of the A321, eschewing re-engined versions that cost more, as part of Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson’s strategy of purchasing cheaper planes that can be paid off quicker.
Delta, the world’s second-largest carrier, had been evaluating A330s against Boeing’s wide-body 777 as part of a fleet upgrade, people familiar with the matter said in March.
September 4th, 2013
Qantas New seats
Qantas is confident its new business-class seats unveiled recently will be the best in Australia and Asia.
The Marc Newson-designed seats are more like the sort of “private suites” found in some first-class cabins and convert to beds that lie totally flat. The seats have a Panasonic entertainment system with 16-inch screens, a large work table and generous storage area.
Passengers will be allowed to remain reclined during take-off and landing.
September 2nd, 2013
Canada’s WestJet Airlines has plans to buy 65 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes as it tries to modernize its fleet.
The Calgary-based low-cost carrier’s pending order is valued at $6.3 billion, Boeing said. It will consist of 40 737 MAX 8s and 25 737 MAX 7s. Delivery is expected to begin in September 2017.
WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a written statement that the airline would be the first North American carrier to fly the new fuel-efficient Boeing model in its first year of operation.
“This pending order reinforces our strategy of maintaining the flexibility in our fleet plan while enabling us to introduce new fuel-efficient technology and enhance our inflight guest experience,” he said. “Our strong balance sheet allows us the opportunity to support our low-cost business model and contribute to our profitable growth through the renewal of our fleet with a lower operating cost aircraft.”