dagger

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Everything posted by dagger

  1. Airbus is adding two tonnes to each A220 model, extending their range by about 450 nm. It will take about a year before the first higher gross weight aircraft are built, so most of AC's order will likely be the HGW version. https://airwaysmag.com/manufacturer/a220-gets-capacity-range-increases/ TOULOUSE — Airbus has increased both the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of the A220 aircraft, as well as its range by an additional 450 nautical miles. This news was announced earlier today at the Airbus Innovation Days event in Toulouse, France. The A220 will see an increase of 2,268 kg (2.3 metric tonnes) in its MTOW, which Airbus says will now enhance the A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft with a new range of 3,400 and 3,350 nautical miles, respectively. (Credits: Bombardier) The new increase in both weight and rage will allow A220 customers to deploy the aircraft across more routes around the globe, giving them the flexibility to increase their route network to further destinations while offering better cost per seat. Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christan Scherer said today that “this new MTOW will allow operators to reach markets where they today cannot be served by other small single-aisle aircraft types.” While this remains speculation the new MTOW weight of the A220 could encourage British Airways to revive its ultra-premium London City – New York service with the A220-100. The increase in the MTOW has been brought to Airbus with their new innovation and new design models. The introduction of Virtual Reality for aircraft designers and engineers has allowed Airbus as with many other companies around the world to look and assess problems that the aircraft have to make them not only more efficient but increase their capability for their customers. Rob Dewar, Head of Engineering & Customer Support for the A220, noted that since the plane’s entry-into-service close to three years ago, “the A220 aircraft has proven that it is meeting or beating its initial performance target, bringing more flexibility and revenue potential to customers.” “Today, Airbus is reinforcing its confidence in the A220 platform and further enhancing its capabilities to meet upcoming market requirements,” Dewar added. The A220, formerly known as Bombardier CSeries, was a clean sheet aircraft designed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, from which Airbus purchased a 51% stake in the program last year. The acquisition of this aircraft program has allowed Airbus to close the market gap they were missing in their fleet range, right in between the Airbus A318 and A319. During a live Q&A with Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Scherer and associated members of the press, he was asked what the future plans where for Airbus in regards to the ramp up in production of the A320 and A220, and what future that the A319neo would have when the A220-300 is a slightly more efficient version of the aircraft, with similar ranges and passenger capacity. “Airbus will build what the customers want, we will continue with production of the A220 and A319neo and offer both aircraft to our customers around the globe,” Scherer responded. The CCO went on to talk about the A220 and A320 production increase to which he stated that the manufacturer is looking to increase the A320 production to 63 aircraft a month and that for now they were only looking at adding a second production line to the A220 aircraft and are not looking at increasing that in the immediate future.
  2. Talk about worthless CUPE press releases. Anyway, I wouldn't be shocked if another bid for Transat emerges, although I am inclined to think it would be from some ego-driven blowhard Quebec industrialist like PK Peladeau. Westjet is on credit watch now for a possible downgrade, and adding another $600 million in debt for AT would not be especially helpful. If AC reaches a formal deal with AT, I'd be interested to see what the Competition Bureau wants in terms of divestitures. Meanwhile, the A321neos are a nice get for Rouge, which presumably can operate them off the east coast against WS or any foreign operators.
  3. dagger

    Westjet

    Assuming he still has a lot of Westjet stock, the Bean is probably counting his profits today! He's still lurking here.
  4. dagger

    Westjet

    I'm figuring that someone might. Delta is the most logical from a US perspective.
  5. dagger

    Westjet

    I wonder if ONEX would have the stomach to add even more debt to Westjet's balance sheet to fight AC or others on Transat AC stock opening up 4%
  6. dagger

    Westjet

    Westjet did supposedly make an offer for Transat, and AC was invited to counter and supposedly did, and there may be other bids on the table. Obviously the Transat board would like a bidding war. As for the Onex story back from 1999, it would take too much time for me to give you the full story. Suffice it to say that pairing with AMR to take out AC and merge it with Canadian was probably a mistake - it rallied strong forces against it, which produced a highly leverage counter proposal that topped ONEX and eventually resulted in the latter to drop its bid. That triggered such a wild timeline for AC - Milton, merger, bankruptcy, ACE... I wonder how history would have unfolded if CP had simply gone under. Would AC have stumbled along the line somewhere, run afoul of governments and regulators in other ways... Who knows.
  7. dagger

    Westjet

    I'd guess that this will also be a big day for Air Canada shares
  8. dagger

    Westjet

    Here's he release https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/westjet-to-be-acquired-by-onex-847792523.html CALGARY, May 13, 2019 /CNW/ - WestJet Airlines Ltd. ("WestJet")(TSX: WJA) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement that provides for its acquisition in an all-cash transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Onex Corporation ("Onex")(TSX: ONEX) and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31.00 per share, after which WestJet will operate as a privately-held company. The purchase price represents a 67% premium to Friday's closing share price and a 63% premium to WestJet's 20-day volume-weighted average trading price. The transaction value is approximately $5 billion including assumed debt. "Since our first flight in 1996, WestJet has been singularly focused on providing better options for the Canadian travelling public and this transaction retains that commitment," said Clive Beddoe, WestJet's Founder and Chairman. "I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created. Onex' aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future." It's a fair bet Onex will turn around and sell part to a foreign investor - a lot neater than that foreign buyer operator being the largest shareholder in a diverse shareholder base.Yes, its 1999 all over again.
  9. It was suggested last week by LaPresse that Westjet made an unsolicited offer, Air Canada was asked to counter and did, and there might be other bidders like Sunwing/TUI. Beyond that I have heard nothing, and have no idea how the Competition Bureau would react. Transit got its first leased A321LR last week and is on the hook for a lot of new metal. Obviously, the Airbus aircraft are a better fit with AC/Rouge than with WS or any other Canadian operator, but you can undo those transactions since the airframe companies have huge order books. We might see a more complex transaction with multiple parties involved taking pieces of the carrier.
  10. AC is re-deploying some 737 MAX pilots, while putting them all through sim training of the particular conditions suspected in the two fatal crashes. I knew AC had a sim, but didn't realize it had the only two of any North American airline. Air Canada says it will reassign Max pilots as grounding of Boeing plane drags on Globe and Mail ERIC ATKINSTRANSPORTATION REPORTER Air Canada says it will redeploy some of its idled 420-odd 737 Max pilots to fly other planes as the grounding of the Boeing plane drags on. The global fleet of the 737 Max narrow-body planes remains parked as Boeing and aviation authorities work on a software fix and pilot training procedures after two fatal crashes of the aircraft since October. Boeing has halted deliveries of the planes and slowed production as it makes changes to the automated controls allegedly linked to the crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed a total of 346 people. Air Canada owns 24 of the 737 Max planes and was due to take delivery of another 12 by June. Transport Canada grounded the model domestically on March 13, forcing Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. to scramble to replace much of the lost capacity. Air Canada said on Monday the loss of 20 per cent of its narrow-body fleet that flew as many as 12,000 customers a day meant it had to cancel 1,600 mainline flights, but was able to retain 98-per-cent of its schedule. Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s chief executive officer, said the company has about 425 Max pilots who are spending their days training on a 737 Max simulator, but not flying customers. Some pilots who flew other planes in the past year – narrow-body Airbus or the Embraer 190 – will return to flying those models, Mr. Rovinescu said. Boeing has said the global groundings cost it US$1-billion so far but has not provided any timeline on when regulators will approve the 737 Max’s return. Air Canada and WestJet have retooled their schedules without the planes well into the busy summer travel season. Mr. Rovinescu said it could take several weeks to fully deploy the 737 Max once it is cleared by regulators. But because Air Canada is the only airline in Canada or the United States with a 737 Max simulator (it has two in Toronto), its pilots are “modelling some of the scenarios that occurred in the two accidents. So that has given us a leg up in terms of the readiness for the pilots to go back into flying these aircraft.” In the first quarter, Air Canada said it paid $920-million for six Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and one 787-9. “Our final decision on returning the Max to service will be based on our own safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and the approval of the software modification and training protocol,” Mr. Rovinescu said on a first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts on Monday. For the three months ending March 31, Air Canada beat market expectations and posted a profit of $345-million, or $1.26 a diluted share, compared with a loss of $203-million (74 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Profit on an adjusted basis was $17-million (6 cents), up from a loss of $26-million (10 cents) in the first quarter of 2018. Analysts expected an adjusted loss of 17 cents a share. The results were lifted by the recent purchase of the Aeroplan loyalty card company and a new agreement with Chorus Aviation for additional flight capacity. Air Canada’s cash liquidity hit a record of $6.9-billion at the quarter’s end. Passenger revenues rose by 9.4 per cent to $3.8-billion. “We achieved these results in a quarter where we faced extremely severe weather events early in the quarter, literally from coast to coast, and the first 18 days of the Max grounding at the end of the quarter,” Mr. Rovinescu said. Walter Spracklin, a stock analyst with Royal Bank of Canada, noted Air Canada provided no update to its 2019 guidance, which it suspended in March due to the 737 Max groundings. For his outlook purposes, he is assuming the planes will not return in 2019. But he said the good financial results despite the first quarter’s bad weather and 737 Max loss highlighted Air Canada’s operational and financial resiliency. The stock is rising as markets express relief the 737 Max problems are not “overly severe” and measures to mitigate the challenges are in place, he said in a note to clients.
  11. I found this preview of this week's AC and WS Q1 result interesting for what Ben Cherniavsky admitted. I don't know how they can advise clients when they admit they don't really know what they are doing. If WS beats the street by the same margin AC did, the analyst community might as well go off and cover the Bitcoin market. Then again, I've probably had less faith in Ben Cherniavsky than most. He's always preferred the simpler modelling he can do with Westjet - at least when it had a single fleet type and simple product design. But even WS is becoming a more complex business to model successfully. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-grounding-of-the-boeing-737-max-will-have-an-impact-on-first-quarter/ Montreal-based Air Canada, slated to report on Monday morning, is expected to post a loss of 17 cents a share and revenue of $4.4-billion, according to Refinitiv estimates. Air Canada’s share price has risen by 28 per cent this year on the Toronto Stock Exchange. WestJet of Calgary, which reports on Tuesday, is expected to post per-share profit of 31 cents and revenue of $1.28-billion, according to Refinitiv. WestJet’s share price has fallen by 11 per cent since March 1, but is up by 4 per cent this year. Ben Cherniavsky, an analyst with Raymond James, said forecasting airline financial results is a complex and difficult task that is rarely done accurately. As an example, he said Air Canada’s 2018 operating profit of $1.17-billion was 20 per cent less than his forecast and 30 per cent below the analyst consensus. Meanwhile, the stock price has almost doubled.“ Over the 20 years that we have covered Air Canada and WestJet, our models for these companies have morphed into highly complex, hugely sophisticated, data-rich predictive tools designed to facilitate an analysis of the countless variables that impact the business,” he said. “But with the massive number of inputs that we can drive into the model also comes a massive amount of forecast error that can get compounded in the process. “We must be honest with ourselves and our clients: We don’t have a tremendous amount of confidence in the precision of our forecasts,” he said. Even with the Max planes out of the picture till at least mid-summer, Mr. Cherniavsky sees a constant theme for Canadian airlines over the past five years: too many planes for too few travellers. This is the cause of both airlines’ lagging returns and margins, he said. “With the economy looking progressively tenuous and oil prices back on the rise, we expect this financial underperformance of Canada’s airlines will persist until this capacity issue is addressed,” he said.
  12. Only in a sense that Google places AC's headquarters at the end of Cote Vertu Blvd in St-Laurent. You have to appreciate that for many francophone nationalists, Air Canada is still Canadian, the old English speaking Crown corp. That's the only baggage AC can't ever lose in those circles. The image has mellowed a bit over the past five decades or so when top Air Canada executives - and some union leaders for that matter - couldn't speak a word of French, not even bonjour. I'm going back before Pierre Jeanniot. Of course, if Air Canada was ever allowed to move its HQ to Toronto, there would be howls of indignation...
  13. Probably, but the question is to what end. They already get best-customer pricing, they get configurations they want, swap rights, options, best of everything in fact. They have more parts commonality than most, and because of their size, they have all the fleet financing benefits of scale. I'm not saying they are buying the A220, maybe they just wanted to piss off Boeing executives. Sometimes, gestures like this are about next to nothing except to give a few people a junket. Now, if an A220-500 comes around, ask me again.
  14. Okay, not the aircraft but the sim, sharp looking. https://twitter.com/rvr600/status/1118580015447384064
  15. AC has a MAX simulator because it is an entirely new fleet type for it. Does WS? Sunwing? Or will they have to go elsewhere for sim time? Anyone?
  16. In comments to Reuters, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said computer-based training, which some pilots had received to transition from older versions of Boeing's 737 to the latest 737 MAX, would not go far enough to satisfy Canada. "It's not going to be a question of pulling out an iPad and spending an hour on it," he said in Montreal. "Simulators are the very best way, from a training point of view, to go over exactly what could happen in a real way and to react properly to it." Garneua's comments came after a draft report from a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) appointed board recommended additional training without requiring a simulator. Canada's call for obligatory training time illustrates the challenges faced by the FAA panel, which includes foreign regulators, in securing a common global blueprint for the ungrounding of the 737 MAX. The FAA declined to comment. Garneau said the training must include time in a simulator so pilots can rehearse the circumstances of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. In that crash as well as the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, pilots lost control of the planes soon after taking off. Investigators are focused in part on an anti-stall system called the MCAS, or maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, which can repeatedly push the plane's nose down. Canada already took measures on pilot training following the Lion Air crash, working with Canadian MAX operators WestJet Airlines, Air Canada and Sunwing to require a five-step memorized pilot checklist for runaway stabilizer. United Airlines, which owns 14 MAX, said it does not currently plan to add simulator training to its regime, which already requires pilots to memorize steps for runaway stabilizer. "But obviously, if federal - if the regulatory authorities request that as added training, we will comply with that request," United's Chief Operating Officer Gregory Hart said on a conference call on Wednesday.
  17. I can't answer that but I don't think they have to invest in the airline to add A330s. The questions about AC and Jet would be many, in fact more than I can even think of without wasting my time posting them. That's why I am highly skeptical about this and suspect someone is using AC's good financial standing to prod other investors.
  18. I don't know how this would even work. I wonder if the State Bank of India is using AC as a stalking horse to push Etihad. Makes much more sense for Etihad to take one Jet, assuming it's a worthwhile investment for anyone.
  19. I agree, and I wonder if there would be room in an Airbus order to be launch customer for the now somewhat likely to happen A220-500. With oil prices tracking up and in the view of some analysts likely to stabilize in the $60-70s, such a plane might be a better choice for the lower end of the narrow body fleet.
  20. Considering NavCan has been a big booster of and investor in this project, it's worth noting and claiming this as a Canadian achievement of sorts https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/aireon-sm-system-goes-live-trial-operations-begin-over-the-north-atlantic-marking-new-chapter-in-aviation-history-874011916.html MCLEAN, Va. and LONDON, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ -- Effective today, Aireon, the first ever real-time, global air traffic surveillance system, is fully operational and in trial use over the North Atlantic. This announcement marks a historic milestone for the aviation industry— ushering in a new era of safety and efficiency that will revolutionize the way people fly. Aireon's space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) system provides real-time air traffic surveillance and tracking to 100 percent of ADS-B equipped aircraft on the planet. Prior to Aireon's system coming on-line, traditional ground-based surveillance covered just 30 percent of the globe, meaning civil aviation authorities, commercial carriers and related industry stakeholders relied upon position updates from aircraft every 10-14 minutes to track aircraft outside of radar coverage, not the real-time updates that the Aireon service provides. "For the first time in history, we can surveil all ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere on earth," said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO. "Our air transportation system has operated with a safe but less than efficient system in the 70 percent of the world that does not have real-time surveillance. With the launch of our space-based ADS-B service, Aireon now provides a real-time solution to that challenge—one that will radically optimize flight safety and efficiency. The aviation industry has now joined the rest of the 21st century where real-time connectivity is relied upon for doing business." The Aireon system is expected to reduce overall flight safety risks by approximately 76 percent in the North Atlantic according to a joint analysis by NAV CANADA and NATS - the first Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to use the service. Improved visibility and control over previously un-surveilled airspace—especially across oceanic regions—will allow airlines to fly routes at optimal speeds and levels, delivering expected cost savings of up to US$300 per transatlantic flight, plus reducing carbon dioxide emissions by two tonnes per flight, based on an analysis conducted by NATS and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Use of the Aireon system over the Atlantic allows for air traffic controllers to trial the reduction of aircraft in-trail separation distances from 40 nautical miles (nm) to just as little as 14nm, making the airspace more flexible, predictable and able to accommodate the immense growth predicted in the coming years. "To know the position, speed and altitude of every ADS-B equipped aircraft in oceanic airspace – in real-time – is a transformational change to how our controllers manage air traffic," said Neil Wilson, president and CEO of NAV CANADA. "The Aireon system provides an immediate boost to aviation safety and airlines will benefit from more fuel-efficient routings and flight levels. Over 95 percent of the North Atlantic traffic is already ADS-B equipped so the fuel savings, along with the reduced carbon dioxide emissions will be attained very quickly." Regulations mandating ADS-B equipage on aircraft have already been implemented throughout the world, going into effect in the United States in January 2020 and in Europe in June 2020. Other countries are in the process of drafting mandates for implementation over the next few years. Martin Rolfe, NATS CEO, said, "The trial in the North Atlantic, the busiest oceanic airspace in the world, with over 500,000 flights every year and a forecasted 800,000 flights per year by 2030, will demonstrate to the entire aviation industry, that global, space-based ADS-B can revolutionize the service that we provide to our customers and the travelling public by transforming the way we perform air traffic management over remote regions." Eight years in the making, Aireon's ADS-B payloads are hosted on the Iridium® NEXT satellite constellation—the final deployment of which took place January 11, 2019. After receiving control of the final six ADS-B payloads from Iridium on February 7, 2019, Aireon completed payload testing, validation and calibration stages prior to launching the full system into operation to support current ANSP customers. "Improved safety and cost savings for all aviation stakeholders is just a start. The revolutionary impact of the real-time location data and historical tracking information of Aireon's space-based ADS-B data will create innovations that we have not even imagined. The opportunities for comprehensive and continuous benefits for the whole aviation community are at our fingertips. We would not be able to achieve this without our dedicated investors, NAV CANADA, Iridium Communications, NATS, Enav, The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Naviair, and our partners and launch customers. This is a great day for us all," Thoma concluded.
  21. The pension turnaround is all the more remarkable because it disproved the case put out by many companies that DB plans or hybrids with DB components are unsustainable. Yes, a long economic expansion helped, but those plans now stand AC well as both a plus for current employee satisfaction and a recruiting tool for future employees. If the stock markets are about to correct, as I expect they are, those plans are secure - since most of the assets are fixed now - and will do rather well against pure DC or employer-funded RRSP plans.
  22. I will be the first to admit that I didn't expect AC to be where it is today when I heard Calin was taking over as CEO. And I didn't expect it to work out as well as it has at the time of AC's pension crisis in 2010. So now with a $30 plus stock price, fully funded pension plans, a strong and still getting stronger balance sheet, decent labor relations, two new fleet types ordered since he took over (mind you, one is grounded and delivery on the other only begins next winter), I have to say he's been a positive force for AC and everyone associated with it. And he's undid the negative impact of the ACTS and Aeroplan spinoffs, and used AC's leverage to get progressively better terms out of Chorus. It's hard to think of many other CEOs of large Canadian corporations who have had such a positive impact. https://twitter.com/AirCanada/status/1112817174702379010
  23. I wonder if AC will be looking for more. The purchase price for the last four struck me as ridiculously low
  24. Okay, here's an interesting first - Harbour Air will be re-engining as the Canada's first commercial airline using electric propulsion of some kind. Sure, it's short-short-short haul, but it might open a new market for some older aircraft models. Top seaplane airline Harbour Air switching to battery-powered aircraft Greg McDougall, CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes, at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre in Vancouver, on March 25, 2019. Seaplane operator Harbour Air, which regularly shuttles B.C.'s political class to and from Victoria, is looking to become the first all-electric fleet of commercial planes in Canada – but the company head says passengers have nothing to fear. Greg McDougall, founder of the company that bills itself as North America’s largest seaplane airline, said Monday that “I’ll be the first guy to fly one. I’ll be the test pilot of it.” He was referring to an electric-powered prototype the company will test within months as a prelude to electrifying the fleet within about two years. By November, the company is planning to be testing a de Havilland Canada DHC 2 Beaver, a six-passenger aircraft equipped with an all-electric motor developed by magniX, a company based in Redmond, Wash. MagniX has been crafting the technology on the ground, but has yet to operate it in an aircraft. “I wouldn’t put myself in there if I thought there was a problem. I certainly wouldn’t put my loved ones in there if I thought there was a problem – or my passengers," Mr. McDougall said. “We have to prove a standard of safety that’s equal to or better than what we currently have.” Mr. McDougall, who founded Harbour Air in 1982 with a pair of small seaplanes, says he is making the shift to keep ahead of the electrification of transportation, and also to reduce the company’s environmental impact. He said his company is in a unique position to advance the concept of electric flight because its flights are relatively short, with average lengths of about 30 minutes in single-engine aircraft that don’t require as much power or battery capacity as other aircraft. The company also has flights to and from destinations such as Nanaimo, B.C., and Tofino, B.C., on Vancouver Island as well as Whistler, B.C., , Sechelt, B.C., and Salt Spring Island, B.C., among other locations. They carry about 500,000 passengers a year. Steve Holding, chief instructor for aviation technical programs at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, said electric flight is being developed but without breakthroughs on the scale Harbour Air is proposing. “Powering a larger aircraft with batteries is still really a huge technical challenge just because of the weight of batteries required to put out the power to allow a larger aircraft to take off and climb – one I wish we could overcome as quickly as possible,” he said.Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of magniX, agreed on the battery issue. “Battery density is not where we want it to be for long-range flying, similar to where automobiles were seven years ago,” he said in an interview. However, he said the company has been working on the technology, and electric makes sense for Harbour Air, which would not have to significantly change their operations for electric flight. Asked about whether he had ever heard of an airline anywhere executing the idea, Mr. Holding referred to a media report from late 2018 about an airline using small aircraft in the Orkney Islands, an archipelago off Scotland’s northeastern coast, looking at the idea. Like Alberta and Quebec, British Columbia’s legislature is not in the province’s largest city. While Vancouver is B.C’s urban centre, the legislature, and key offices of the civil service, are in Victoria more than 100 kilometres south across the Georgia Strait. That creates a need for movement between the two cities that is met by the ferries, commercial helicopter flights, and by Harbour Air. The airline, which has a fleet of about 40 aircraft, will eventually face a path of approval from Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency – flights to and from Seattle are among the dozen routes it offers. Mr. McDougall said the company has already been in touch with regulators in both countries. He said this shift is not a whim, but a mandate he handed to his executive team. It took off when he made a connection with magniX. “We were already on the pathway of trying to figure this out and then we met the magniX people, who had a common code with us, which was to pioneer this. They obviously have a commercial reason for doing that,” he said.
  25. American, according to reports, is looking to restart MAX flying in late April.