Airline Finance News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Airline Finance News North America) Apr 8, 2012

AeroSvit Airlines, Boeing AeroSvit takes delivery of first 737-800 NextGen. Ukrainian AeroSvit Airlines took delivery of a Boeing 737-800, its first NextGen aircraft. AeroSvit supervisory board chairman Gregory Gurtovoy said this delivery, the first of 11 aircraft, Omarks the beginning of our airlineOs narrow body fleet renewal. Execution of this large scale program will help AeroSvit to increase our operating efficiency.O The carrierOs order includes seven 737-800s and four 737-900s. AeroSvit expects delivery of all the aircraft by 2016. In 2011, AeroSvit took delivery of five 737 Classics and four Boeing 767s. It has 27 aircraft in its fleet. VV also operates Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer E-145/195s. AeroSvit, established in 1994, is based at Kyiv-Boryspil. The carrier serves 80 international routes to 34 countries, including five transcontinental destinationsNNew York, Toronto, Beijing, Delhi and Bangkok. It also provides passenger service to major regional centers in the Ukraine. Apr 2, 2012

Air Canada Air Canada Reports March Load Factor. For the month of March, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 81.5 per cent, versus 79.5 per cent in March 2011, an increase of 2.0 percentage points.E System traffic increased 4.8 per cent on a system-wide capacity increase ofE2.2 per cent. Air Canada reports trafficEresults on aEsystem-wideEbasis, including regional airlinesEfrom which Air Canada purchases capacity. "For the month of March, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 81.5 per cent, an increase of two percentage points from the previous year," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. E"Led by an increase in traffic in the Atlantic market of 10.2 per cent, we generated greater traffic in all markets Air Canada serves, with system wide growth of 4.8 per cent on a capacity increase of 2.2 per cent through higher utilization of our existing fleet.E I thank our customers for their ongoing loyalty to Air Canada, something which we do not take for granted.E I also thank those employees who have worked doubly hard to take care of our customers during this busy travel period marked by a range of operational challenges." Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents.E Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly toE60 Canadian cities, 57 destinations in the United States andE63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations inE189 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax. Apr 4, 2012

Air Canada Air Canada labor union challenges back-to-work law. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is launching a challenge against the Canadian government over a back-to-work law. The union represents mechanics, cargo agents and baggage handlers at Air Canada. "Removing free collective bargaining and the right to strike from workers in the federal sector will poison labor relations between our members and Air Canada for years to come," said Dave Ritchie, the union's Canadian general vice president, in a statement. Apr 3, 2012

Air Canada Air Canada Union To Fight Anti-Strike Bill In Court. The union representing 8,300 Air Canada machinists said on Monday it will take the Canadian government to court over a law preventing a strike or lockout at the airline, on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), which represents mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents at Canada's biggest airline, said the recently passed bill violates freedom of association, a fundamental right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "Removing free collective bargaining and the right to strike from workers in the federal sector will poison labour relations between our members and Air Canada for years to come," said IAMAW Canada vice president Dave Ritchie in a statement. "The government did not allow the free collective bargaining process to run its course." The government bill, passed March 15, prevents Air Canada locking out machinists and its pilots union, and it stops the two unions from striking. The legislation also sends contract disputes between the airline and the two unions to binding arbitration. The union representing Air Canada's pilots has already launched a similar court challenge to the legislation. Despite the bill, ground workers staged short-lived wildcat strikes on March 23 that disrupted dozens of Air Canada flights and created chaos at airports in Toronto and Montreal. The walkouts were triggered when the airline suspended three workers at Toronto's Pearson Airport for allegedly clapping derisively at Canada's labour minister as she walked through the airport. Unions are also angry that while the legislation was passing through Parliament, the government averted work stoppages by asking a federal tribunal to determine if the airline is an essential service. No labour action can be undertaken while the board is deliberating. At the time, Air Canada was prepared to lock out its 3,000 pilots at the same time that the machinists' union was poised to strike. Either work stoppage would have grounded the airline during the busy March Break travel period, when many schools across Canada are closed. Air Canada faces further pressure after its aircraft repair spin-off, Aveos, closed on March 20, laying off 2,600 workers. Unions and opposition Members of Parliament are pressing Ottawa to force Air Canada to maintain the aircraft overhaul facilities that were shut down. They say the bankruptcy puts Air Canada afoul of a law that requires it to keep fleet service stations open in three Canadian cities. Apr 2, 2012

Airbus High demand for A380 cabin reconfigurations. Airbus Upgrade Services has seen an unexpected number of cabin reconfigurations for the A380, and has so far served all but one of the carriers operating the aircraft type. OThe A380 has come on extremely fast for us in terms of cabin reconfigurations, more than anyone expected,O Airbus-VP Upgrade Services Valerie Manning told attendees at the Aviation Week MRO Americas Conference in Dallas. Manning cited program delays as a possible reason for the unexpected number, as well as overall concept changes, market changes and new innovations, such as connectivity. It has also seen a change of mind about capacity. OWeOve seen increased capacity in some of the cases,O she said. Apr 5, 2012

AirTran Airways Analyst's upgrade boosts Southwest shares. Barclays analyst David Fintzen has upgraded Southwest Airlines from "Equal Weight" to "Overweight." Fintzen said the market has undervalued the cost savings from Southwest's merger with AirTran Airways. After the upgrade, Southwest shares rose 2.3% on Wednesday afternoon. Apr 5, 2012

Allegiant Air Allegiant Announces New Base of Operations in Punta Gorda, Florida. Allegiant announces the establishment of a new base of operations at Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) as of June 27, 2012. The company will open the base with one 150 seat, MD-80 series jet aircraft at the airport and create local jobs for flight attendants and airport service personnel. In conjunction with the base, Allegiant will begin new, nonstop air service to Southwest Florida from four markets. The carrier will offer introductory fares as low as $74.99* one way, including taxes and fees, to the following cities from Punta Gorda Airport: "Southwest Florida has been a successful part of our vacation destination offerings for some time," said Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Company president. "Having a base at Punta Gorda Airport will allow us to give more of our markets access to the Southwest Florida coast and offer travelers more affordable vacation options. We are happy to partner with an airport that operates in a low-cost, efficient manner, which allows us to pass the savings on to our customer." "When I met recently with business leaders in the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, one of their top concerns was increasing direct flights into and out of Charlotte County," said Congressman Tom Rooney. "I'm very happy that Allegiant is helping to meet the need for low-cost, direct flights that will help boost our local economy and bring more jobs to the area." "We are very pleased with this expansion of service to Punta Gorda Airport by Allegiant," said Kathleen Coppola, Chair of the Charlotte County Airport Authority. "The economic impact of the visitors in our community from Allegiant is very much appreciated. Allegiant, which has been at Punta Gorda for over three years, has developed a strong following with its discount pricing." The Punta Gorda Airport is Allegiant's ninth base of operations, the fourth in Florida. Allegiant currently provides service to Southwest Florida, via Punta Gorda Airport, from three cities, including Greenville, S.C., Knoxville, Tenn. and Lexington, Ky. Reservations can be made on the company's website at allegiant.com or by calling the company's travel experts at 702-505-8888. Allegiant, travel is our deal. Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (Nasdaq:ALGT - News) is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline, and offers other travel-related products such as hotel rooms, rental cars, and attraction tickets through its website...

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