Delta Air Lines’ (Delta) share value increased as much as 4.5% with the announcement that fourth-quarter earnings had exceeded analysts’ highest profit estimate, according to Bloomberg data.

The carrier also posted a 2.4% uptick for revenue per available seat mile and beat all expectations for quarterly revenue. According to Delta CEO Ed Bastian: "2019 was a truly outstanding year on all fronts - the best in Delta's history operationally, financially and for our customers. As we enter 2020, demand for travel is healthy and our brand preference is growing, positioning Delta to deliver another year of strong results, including earnings per share of $6.75 to $7.75."

According to Markets Insider, Delta’s revenue and profit margin improved across all its domestic hubs and domestic revenue grew 7.7%, which was positive news after the carrier had invested heavily in several domestic travel hubs through new flightpaths and upgraded terminals.

Part of Delta’s recent success comes off the back of a lack of exposure to problems created by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX which has affected many of its competitors; it has no 737 MAX jets in its fleet of 907 commercial aircraft.


Alaska Air Group reports December 2019 load factor of 85.9%

Alaska Air Group has posted December operational results on a consolidated basis, for its mainline operations operated by subsidiary Alaska Airlines and for its regional flying operated by subsidiary Horizon Air Industries and third-party regional carriers.

On a combined basis for all operations, Air Group reported a 9.4% increase in traffic on a 4.7% increase in capacity compared to December 2018. Load factor increased 3.7 points to 85.9%.

Jet Aviation receives IS-BAH Stage 1 Registration for The Netherlands

Jet Aviation has received International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) Stage 1 Registration from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) for its Amsterdam and Rotterdam FBOs in The Netherlands.

Jet Aviation intends to achieve IS-BAH Stage 2 Registration for both FBOs by December 2021. As a safety management system, IS-BAH establishes criteria to ensure handling systems, processes and practices meet rigorous safety and security standards.

Jet Aviation has expanded its network to The Netherlands with the acquisition of the KLM Jet Center in October 2018. Together, the Amsterdam and Rotterdam FBOs support more than 7,500 movements per year.


Etihad Airways and easyJet enter into new partnership

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has become the most recent airline to partner with easyJet. This new partnership means customers can purchase tickets through the easyJet worldwide website connecting the two airlines’ networks and opening new and exciting possibilities for travel between Europe, Africa, the Azores and the UAE. The collaboration comes into effect immediately.

The partnership follows easyJet’s accelerated and successful roll out programme with leading flight comparison search engine, Dohop, which powers the easyJet worldwide website connecting its European network with longhaul flights. For Etihad, this has been achieved using the NDC (New Distribution Capability) platform providing technical capability for new partnerships previously not possible. The partnership with easyJet and Dohop is the UAE national airline’s first use of this technology and Etihad plans to add more airlines and travel partners to their NDC portfolio in 2020.

U.S. Department of Defense orders 32 TH-73A helicopters from Leonardo

Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia, has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract valued at US$176,472,608 for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A helicopters, initial spares, support and dedicated equipment, and specific pilot and maintenance training services.

This contract, as Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds, was competitively procured via a request for proposal of various offers. Work will be mainly performed at Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility and is expected to be completed in October 2021.


AEI receives CAAC certification for B737-800SF conversion

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has reported that the CAAC has issued a VSTC (VSTC0933) for the passenger-to-freighter conversion for B737-800 aircraft. The VSTC validates the original FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (ST02690LA) which was awarded to AEI at the beginning of 2019.

The AEI converted B737-800SF freighter offers a main deck payload of up to 52,700 lbs. (23,904 kg) and incorporates eleven full height 88” x 125” container positions, plus an additional position for an AEP/AEH. The conversion also incorporates new floor beams aft of the wing box, a large 86” x 137” Main Cargo Door with a single vent door system, and a flexible Ancra Cargo Loading System. Additionally, the AEI B737-800SF includes a rigid 9g barrier, up to five supernumerary seats, a galley and full lavatory.

ExpressJet chooses Sky-Tiles aircraft carpet for ERJ 145 fleet

Sky-Tiles™ by Interface and presented by SkyPaxxx Interior Repairs will be the exclusive aircraft carpet installed on the ExpressJet ERJ 145 fleet operated for United Express.

After two years of rigorous operational testing, Sky-Tiles has proven itself to be a far superior carpet with zero defects and discrepancies. Not only have Sky-Tiles provided an aesthetic upgrade to the cabin, but the switch has also eliminated shrinking, fraying, and edge curl. With an industry exclusive Appearance Guarantee, Sky-Tiles is also providing ExpressJet with significant cost reductions and maintenance efficiencies in a 100% recyclable carpet.

"We are excited to be upgrading our E145 aircraft interiors with Sky Tiles," says Matthew Parsons, Manager of Corporate Communications for ExpressJet Airlines. "The new carpet will contribute significantly to the updated aesthetic and overall comfort onboard for our passengers."

"This is a tremendous success story for innovation in aircraft interiors and the environment created by the dedication of the ExpressJet, United Express, and SkyPaxxx team," says Rick Lockhart,
President of SkyPaxxx.


JetBlue Airways' traffic up 5.7% in December

JetBlue Airways has announced its preliminary traffic results for December 2019. Traffic in December 2019 increased 5.7% from December 2018, on a capacity increase of 4.4%. Load factor for December 2019 was 82.4%, an increase of 1.0 point from December 2018. JetBlue’s preliminary completion factor for December 2019 was 99.3%.

All six COMAC C919 prototypes now flying with Nexcelle’s innovative jet engine nacelles

Nexcelle’s state-of-the-art nacelles on the COMAC C919 are being put through their paces as all six prototypes for this twin-engine commercial jetliner have now joined the aircraft manufacturer’s flight test program.

The no. 6 C919 performed its maiden takeoff in late December from Pudong International Airport, located adjacent to COMAC’s Shanghai’s final assembly line facility.

This reflects the further acceleration of C919 testing, as the initial flights of two other prototypes (aircraft no. 4 and no. 5) also were performed during 2019. The first three C919s took to the skies in 2017 and 2018.

With the test program in full swing, C919s are now flying from four locations in China: Pudong in the Shanghai region; the flight test center of Yanliang, situated in Shaanxi province; along with Dongying in Shandong province and Nanchang in Jiangxi Province.

The C919 has one of the world’s first truly integrated propulsion systems, resulting from the close cooperation of Nexcelle as the nacelle supplier and CFM International, manufacturer of the LEAP-1C

Nexcelle is supporting the accelerated flight test pace with the resources of its two parent companies: Safran Nacelles in France and U.S.-based Middle River Aerostructure Systems (MRAS). The Nexcelle joint venture has established a presence in China, with its primary team located at COMAC’s Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI) in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. For the build-up of nacelles and engines into complete integrated propulsion systems, Nexcelle and CFM International have an integration area located adjacent to the C919 final assembly line at COMAC’s Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. location near Pudong International Airport.


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