Major Events in 2014
86th Annual AAAE Annual Conference & Exposition
San Antonio, TX
American Airlines Group reported record earnings for the first quarter of $480 million. This represents a $777 million improvement versus the company’s combined first quarter 2013 net loss of $297 million.
Southwest Airlines reported a record profit of $152 million for the first quarter, compared to a profit of $59 million for the same quarter last year. “This outstanding performance was driven by record first quarter operating revenues of $4.2 billion, and a 1.2 percent year-over-year decline in total operating costs, excluding special items, driven largely by lower fuel prices and our ongoing fleet modernization,” CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement.
United Continental Holdings reported its first-quarter results, which were dampened by the severe effects of harsh winter weather. United estimated the weather cut profits by $200 million. “This quarter’s financial performance is well below what we can and should achieve,” said CEO Jeff Smisek in a statement. “We are taking the appropriate steps with our operations, network, service and product to deliver significantly better financial results.”
Delta Air Lines, which bought the former ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer, Del., to secure a steady source of discounted jet fuel, said the refinery lost $41 million in the first quarter, but is expected to be profitable in the current year. To bring Trainer to profitability in 2014, Delta is making infrastructure changes to increase refined production, and boost jet and diesel production to roughly 50 percent of the refinery’s total output, said Delta chief financial officer Paul Jacobson.
American Eagle officially changed its name to Envoy Air. But the American Eagle name is not going away. Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group, which owns the regional carrier, is now using several carriers to fly regional flights under the Eagle brand.
Shell launched its global marketing support program Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE), designed for FBOs) and small and medium size airports. The marketing support element includes joint promotional and marketing materials and Shell Fuel & Fly Card. Shell Aviation has already successfully implemented the ACE program at key European locations such as Gothenburg City Airport in Sweden, Gazipaca in Turkey, Zurich in Switzerland and Roskilde in Denmark.
Menzies Aviation said that an employee who died in a February accident was not wearing a seatbelt, a violation of company policy and federal guidelines. Cesar Valenzuela died Feb. 21 at LAX. Cal-OSHA is investigating Valenzuela’s death, but an early statement from the airport indicated he lost control on an airport service road. There were no other vehicles involved. At the time, a Coroner’s Department spokesman suggested Valenzuela, 51, may have then fallen out of the tug.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted to raise wages for workers at its New York and New Jersey airports. The agency operates JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports in addition to smaller airports in both states. In recent months it had expressed support for raising wages for low-wage contract workers who perform tasks such as cleaning planes, moving baggage and manning concession stands. The Port Authority’s board unanimously approved a policy to immediately require contractors and vendors at its airports to give workers a $1 hourly wage increase and a raise to $10.10 per hour next year.
In related news, workers at Philadelphia International Airport urged Philadelphia voters Friday to approve a question on the May 20 primary ballot that would increase the minimum wage for employees hired by airport subcontractors to $10.88 an hour. The workers earn an average of $7.85 an hour.
Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, signed a definitive agreement with dnata, to acquire a majority stake in mercator, a leading provider of software and technology-enabled outsourcing solutions to the global aviation industry. dnata will retain a minority stake. The company’s solutions are used by more than 125 airline clients in over 80 countries and six continents. Current clients include United Airlines, Thai Airways, Qantas, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, JetBlue, Westjet and South African Airways.
The government of Nepal extended Nepal Airlines’ contract for ground handling services of Tribhuvan International Airport for the next two years. Ground handling services include ramp services, passenger handling and cargo handling.
JBT AeroTech was awarded a contract valued in excess of $7 million for the supply of gate equipment at a North American international airport. The contract includes the supply of Jetway® passenger boarding bridges and walkways, JetAire® preconditioned air units, JetPower® ground power units and other auxiliary products. In other news, the company also has been awarded services contracts totaling more than $7 million by the United States Air Force to support their fleet of Halvorsen 25K cargo loaders.
Aviramp UK signed a contract with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to supply seven boarding ramps. The closing of this deal was subject to evaluation of previous purchases. DFW took delivery of two models of Aviramp’s Aircraft boarding ramps for evaluation last year. After expectations were exceeded, the airport awarded this year’s order for two of the smaller Domestic models which service smaller regional jets, four of the larger Continental models which service aircraft such as the Airbus A319 and Boeing 737’s mid-range jets which are expected to be delivered this month. Furthermore, the order included an International model which is to assist on aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.
Swissport International and Aviator signed a binding agreement regarding the divestment of four stations that were affected by the merger remedies the EU Commission imposed on Swissport in order to get merger clearance for Swissport’s acquisition of Servisair. The deal involved Aviator buying the former Servisair ground handling business in Helsinki, London Gatwick, as well as Newcastle and the former Swissport ground handling business in Birmingham. The acquisition of the three UK stations marks Aviator’s entry into the UK ground handling market and adds to its existing business in Finland.
Landmark Aviation will buy Ross Aviation, a network of FBOs that has 20 locations in high-profile cities and resort destinations in the United States, including Denver, Santa Fe, Miami and Hawaii. Under the deal, Landmark will increase its reach to 60 locations in the United States and 76 locations globally. The acquisition is slated to close later this year. In other news, Landmark also acquired RSS Jet Centre Limited, which operates FBO locations at London Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
CV International announced the addition of the following individuals to its staff: Dale Riggs, project design engineer; Bogdan Moyseowicz, quality manager; and Mike Stokes, product support manager.
Jon Beatty, former president and CEO of International Aero Engines, has been named the new president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation. Beatty comes to the foundation after a distinguished career as an aviation executive. Along with his recent experience with International Aero Engines, he spent time in several executive positions at Pratt & Whitney, BF Goodrich and Allied Signal Aerospace. He is also a member of the Wings Club and the Aerospace Industries Association.
Neil Bennett joined Somerset Capital Group, Ltd. as vice president and general manager of its GSE division. A 30-year GSE veteran, Bennett comes to Somerset with a deep background in all facets related to GSE including the experience of owning and managing GSE rental fleets and used units held for rental or sale.
Mark Johnstone was appointed managing director to BBA Aviation Flight Support’s EMEA region, which is comprised of Signature Flight Support with 25 locations supporting business and general aviation and Aircraft Service International Group servicing commercial airlines at 18 airports. Johnstone has been with BBA Aviation for six years and was most recently managing director of APPH, having previously spent three years as CFO of Signature Flight Support. Johnstone also served as BBA Group corporate development director.
Luzius Wirth will take over responsibility for Group Services of Swissport International from the retiring Erich Bodenmann, executive vice president. In his new role as senior vice president Group Services, Wirth will directly report to Per H. Utnegaard, group president & CEO of Swissport. Wirth started at Swissport International in January 2012 as vice president Swissport Formula and later on as vice president of corporate operations and quality focusing on standardizing Swissport’s global operation. In addition to his current scope he now will also lead the IT and corporate supply management teams and will focus on aligning them with the company´s business strategy and goals.