Virgin

Virgin Atlantic has launched its restructuring plan that, once approved, will keep Virgin Atlantic flying

Virgin

© Image Virgin

Virgin Atlantic has reached a major milestone towards securing its future by announcing plans for a private-only solvent recapitalisation of the airline following the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virgin Atlantic has launched its restructuring plan that, once approved, will keep Virgin Atlantic flying.

The Restructuring Plan is based on a five year business plan, and with the support of shareholders Virgin Group and Delta, new private investors and existing creditors, it paves the way for the airline to rebuild its balance sheet and return to profitability from 2022.

The recapitalisation will deliver a refinancing package worth c.£1.2bn over the next 18 months in addition to the self-help measures already taken:

  • Cost savings of c.£280m per year and c.£880m rephasing and financing of aircraft deliveries over the next five years.
  • Shareholders are providing c.£600m in support over the life of The Plan including a £200m investment from Virgin Group, and the deferral of c.£400m of shareholder deferrals and waivers
  • Virgin Atlantic welcomes new partner Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, a global institutional investment management firm which is providing £170m of secured financing
  • Creditors will support the airline with over £450m of deferrals
  • The airline continues to have the support of credit card acquirers (Merchant Service Providers) Lloyd’s Cardnet and First Data.

The plan will go through a court-sanctioned process and with support already secured from stakeholders, it’s expected that the plan will come into effect late Summer 2020.

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Few could have predicted the scale of the Covid-19 crisis we have witnessed and undoubtedly, the last six months have been the toughest we have faced in our 36-year history. We have taken painful measures, but we have accomplished what many thought impossible. The solvent recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic will ensure that we can continue to provide vital connectivity and competition to consumers and businesses in Britain and beyond. We greatly appreciate the support of our shareholders, creditors and new private investors and together, we will ensure that Virgin Atlantic can emerge a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.

“Once our plan is approved, we will continue to focus on providing our customers with the service they have come to expect. Despite the incredible efforts of our teams, through cancelled flights and delayed refunds we have not lived up to the high standards we set ourselves, but we will do everything in our power to earn back their trust.

“While we must not underestimate the challenges ahead and the need to continuously respond to this crisis, I know that now, more than ever before, our people are what sets us apart. I have been humbled by their support and unwavering solidarity throughout. The pursuit of our vision continues and that is down to each one of them.”

Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group, said: “The severe impact of COVID-19 on global aviation has meant Virgin Atlantic has had to reimagine its business and rebuild its finances to put together this £1.2bn solvent recapitalisation plan. We are grateful to the incredibly committed team at the airline who, under the leadership of Shai Weiss, has shown great resilience and unwavering spirit during this challenging time.

“We welcome the new investment from Davidson Kempner and ongoing support from our fellow shareholder Delta. This is the hardest challenge the airline has faced in its 36 years. However, strengthened by the refinancing, support of creditors and its outstanding employees, we are delighted that Virgin Atlantic will be able to continue flying customers to the destinations they most love and providing vital competition and connectivity to and from the UK.”

Global aviation was one of the first industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be one of the last to fully recover.

From the start, the airline took decisive action to ensure its survival. In March, its people elected to take eight weeks unpaid leave while the Leadership Team took voluntary pay cuts. Unpaid leave was superseded by the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and since April, more than 80% of the workforce has been on furlough, supporting efforts to preserve cash and minimise costs.

In Q2, flying fell by 98% and in the second half of 2020, capacity is expected to reduce by at least 60% compared to 2019, with pre-crisis levels of flying unlikely to return until 2023. With the suspension of passenger flying in April, the airline delivered an unparalleled network of cargo-only flying, operating more than 1400 cargo flights in April, May and June.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Virgin Atlantic’s path forward has dramatically changed, with a reduced fleet and workforce. In May, the difficult decision was taken to reshape and resize in order to emerge from the crisis sustainably profitable, but this came at a huge cost, as the airline sadly had to reduce the number of people it employs by 3,500*. As demand returns, it hopes to welcome back as many former colleagues as possible.

From 20 July Virgin Atlantic will restart passenger flying and has a vital role to play in supporting the UK economy as it recovers from the impact of the pandemic.

 

United

United Airlines launches touchless check-in at Heathrow

We know travel looks a little different these days, but rest assured that we’re here for you along every step of the way. Throughout your journey, we’re putting safety and cleanliness at the forefront of your travel experience.

At check-in

  • 1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports or line stations
  • 2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and launching bag delivery from the airport to your final destination

At the Gate

  • 6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7Providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • 8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 10Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in hub airports

On board

  • 11Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 12Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 13Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 14Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 15Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 16Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 17De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 18Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
  • 19Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles

Download the United app to take advantage of touchless support throughout your journey.

BA

British Airways says farewell to their Boeing 747 aircraft, fondly known as ‘The Queen of the Skies

BA

© Image British Airways

BA

Today (Friday July 17, 2020) British Airways announces, with great sadness, that its fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft, fondly known as ‘The Queen of the Skies’, are likely to have flown their last scheduled commercial service.

After nearly five decades of service and millions of miles flown around the globe, it is proposed that the airline’s remaining fleet of 31 747-400 aircraft will be retired with immediate effect as a result of the devasting impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the airline and the aviation sector, which is not predicted to recover to 2019 levels until 2023/24.

Just a year ago, British Airways lovingly re-painted four of its jumbo jets in heritage colours to mark the company’s centenary. The BOAC jet put in a guest appearance with the Red Arrows much to the delight of spectators at the Royal International Air Tattoo, and sadly the aircraft will shortly be heading towards its final resting place alongside 30 others.

The fuel-hungry aircraft were slowly being phased out by British Airways as they reached the end of their working life in order to help meet the company’s commitment to net zero by 2050. The airline has invested heavily in new, modern long-haul aircraft including six A350s and 32 787s which are around 25 per cent more fuel-efficient than the 747. As part of the airline’s £6.5 billion injection into customer experience in recent years, existing aircraft have been refurbished and the brand new arrivals have come into the British Airways’ fleet complete with a luxurious business class Club Suite product.

BA

© Image British Airways

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “This is not how we wanted or expected to have to say goodbye to our incredible fleet of 747 aircraft. It is a heart-breaking decision to have to make. So many people, including many thousands of our colleagues past and present, have spent countless hours on and with these wonderful planes – they have been at the centre of so many memories, including my very first long-haul flight. They will always hold a special place in our hearts at British Airways.

“We have committed to making our fleet more environmentally friendly as we look to reduce the size of our business to reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on aviation.  As painful as it is, this is the most logical thing for us to propose. The retirement of the jumbo jet will be felt by many people across Britain, as well as by all of us at British Airways.  It is sadly another difficult but necessary step as we prepare for a very different future.”

BOAC operated its first 747 London to New York service on 14th April 1971 and in July 1989 the first British Airways 747-400, the aircraft type the airline still flies today, took to the skies.

Plane spotters who lined Heathrow’s perimeter fences would watch as the magnificent 747-400 would typically take off at 180mph and reach cruising speeds in the sky of up to 565mph.

For the next decade the airline took delivery of 56 more of the aircraft, with its final plane delivered in April 1989. At the time, it was the largest commercial aircraft in the world, and it remained so until the Airbus A380 first took to the skies in 2007.

At one point British Airways operated 57 747-400 aircraft. The original aircraft featured 27 First Class seats and 292 Economy seats. Initially, the upper deck, widely described as the bubble, contained a lounge, with lounge chair seating. It was known as the ‘club in the sky’ and the aircraft also played host to the world’s very first flat bed seat which British Airways pioneered in 1999.

Today’s aircraft can seat up to 345 customers in four classes – First, Club World (Business), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and World Traveller (Economy).  British Airways recently refreshed the interiors of a number of its 747 aircraft which were expected to remain in service for several years to come.

The airline’s jumbo jets are currently grounded at various locations in the UK and are now only expected to reach heights of 35,000 feet as they make their final journeys.

BA

© Image British Airways

Facts and stats:

  • Boeing has been manufacturing 747 aircraft for more than 50 years
  • BOAC flew its first 747 flight on 14th April 1971
  • British Airways took delivery of its first 747-400 in July 1989 and its last in April 1999
  • At its height, the airline had a fleet of 57 747-400s
  • British Airways is currently the world’s biggest operator of 747-400 aircraft
  • The average age of British Airways’ fleet is 23 years old
  • The 747-400 has 6ft high winglets on the tips of its wings to improve efficiency
  • It has 16 main wheels and two landing nose wheels
  • The wings of a 747-400 span 213ft and are big enough to accommodate 50 parked cars
  • The tail height of 64ft is equivalent to a six-storey building
  • The 747-400 is 231ft long
Delta

Delta cuts summer flying as demand stalls due to coronavirus, posts $5.7 billion quarterly loss

Delta
© Image Delta

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today reported financial results for the June quarter 2020 and outlined its continued response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Detailed June quarter 2020 results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are on page four and are incorporated here.

“A $3.9 billion adjusted pre-tax loss for the June quarter on a more than $11 billion decline in revenue over last year, illustrates the truly staggering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business. In the face of this challenge, our people have acted quickly and decisively to protect our customers and our company, reducing our average daily cash burn by more than 70 percent since late March to $27 million in the month of June,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery. In this difficult environment, the strengths that are core to Delta’s business – our people, our brand, our network and our operational reliability – guide every decision we make, differentiating Delta with our customers and positioning us to succeed when demand returns.”

June Quarter Financial Results 

  • Adjusted pre-tax loss of $3.9 billion excludes $3.2 billion of items directly related to the impact of COVID-19 and the company’s response, including fleet-related restructuring charges, write-downs related to certain of Delta’s equity investments, and the benefit of the CARES Act grant recognized in the quarter
  • Total adjusted revenue of $1.2 billion, which excludes refinery sales, declined 91 percent versus prior year on system capacity reduction of 85 percent compared to the prior year
  • Total operating expense decreased $4.1 billion over prior year. Total adjusted operating expense decreased $5.5 billion or 53 percent in the June quarter compared to the prior year, driven by lower capacity- and revenue-related expenses and strong cost management throughout the business
  • At the end of the June quarter, the company had $15.7 billion in liquidity

Update on COVID-19 Response

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has prioritized the safety of customers and employees, the preservation of financial liquidity and ensuring it is well positioned for recovery. Actions under these priorities include:

Protecting the health and safety of employees and customers

  • Adoption of new cleaning procedures on all flights, including disinfectant electrostatic spraying on aircraft and sanitizing high-touch areas before each flight
  • Taking steps to help employees and customers practice social distancing and stay safe, including requiring employees and customers to wear masks, blocking middle seats and capping load factor at 60 percent and modifying boarding and deplaning process
  • Installing plexiglass shields at all Delta check-in counters, Delta Sky Clubs and gate counters, adding social distance markers in the check-in lobby, Delta Sky Clubs, at gate areas and in jet bridges
  • Launching a Global Cleanliness organization dedicated to evolving Delta’s already high cleanliness standards, seeking to bring the same focus and rigor that has underpinned Delta’s reputation for unmatched operational reliability
  • Providing COVID-19 testing for employees in partnership with the Mayo Clinic and Quest Diagnostics
  • Giving customers flexibility to plan, re-book and travel including extending expiration on travel credits through September 2022. Delta has provided more than $2.2 billion in cash refunds in 2020

Preserving financial liquidity

  • Raising nearly $15 billion in financing transactions since early March, at a blended average interest rate of 5.5 percent, including the unsecured loan portion received under the CARES Act payroll support program (“PSP”)
  • Reducing cash burn (see Note A) throughout the June quarter with target to achieve breakeven cash burn by year end
  • Amending credit facilities to replace all fixed charge coverage ratio covenants with liquidity-based covenants
  • Extending maturities of $1.3 billion of borrowings under revolving credit facilities from 2021 to 2022
  • Aggressively managing costs through lower capacity, reduced fuel expense and cost initiatives including reduced work schedules and voluntary employee leaves of absence, parking aircraft, consolidating facilities and eliminating nearly all discretionary spend
  • Obtaining $5.4 billion of grant funds and unsecured loans through the PSP of the CARES Act to be paid in installments through July 2020
  • Continuing to evaluate future financing opportunities by leveraging unencumbered assets. We are eligible and submitted a non-binding Letter of Intent to the U.S Treasury Department for $4.6 billion under the CARES Act secured loan program. The company has not yet decided whether it will participate and has the ability to elect participation until September 30, 2020

Defining Delta’s recovery path

  • Positioning Delta to be a smaller, more efficient airline over the next several years by accelerating fleet simplification with the retirement of entire MD-88, MD-90, 777 and 737-700 fleets and portions of the 767-300ER and A320 fleets in 2020
  • Taking advantage of reduced demand to accelerate airport construction projects in Los Angeles, New-York LaGuardia and Salt Lake City, in an effort to shorten timelines and lower the total cost for the projects
  • Launching voluntary separation and early retirement programs to proactively manage headcount and rescale operations. Programs provide cash severance, fully paid healthcare coverage, enhanced retiree healthcare for certain participants, and enhanced travel privileges to eligible employees who elect to participate

Revenue and Capacity Environment

Demand for air travel declined significantly in the June quarter as a result of COVID-19, with enplaned passengers down 93 percent year over year. As a result, Delta’s adjusted operating revenue of $1.2 billion for the June quarter was down 91 percent versus the June 2019 quarter. Passenger revenues declined 94 percent on 85 percent lower capacity. Non-ticket revenue declined 65 percent, as Cargo, MRO and Loyalty revenues declined at a lower rate than ticket revenue.

Cost Performance

Total adjusted operating expense for the June quarter decreased $5.5 billion or 53 percent versus the prior year quarter excluding a $1.3 billion CARES Act benefit, and $2.5 billion in restructuring charges from fleet-related decisions and other charges. This performance was driven by a $1.9 billion or 84 percent reduction in fuel expense, a 90 percent reduction in maintenance expense from parking over 700 aircraft and significantly lower volume- and revenue-related expenses. Salaries and benefits expense was down 24 percent, helped by more than 45,000 employees electing to take voluntary unpaid leaves.

“Our June quarter cost performance reflects extraordinary work by the entire Delta team, as we removed more than 50 percent from our adjusted cost base,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “We expect to achieve a similar 50 percent year-over-year reduction in the September quarter despite a sequential increase in capacity, reflecting the increased variability we have achieved in our cost structure.”

Balance Sheet, Cash and Liquidity

Delta ended the June quarter with $15.7 billion in liquidity. Cash used in operations during the quarter was $290 million. Daily cash burn averaged $43 million for the quarter with an average of $27 million for the month of June, a 70 percent decline from levels in late March.

At the end of the June quarter, the company had total debt and finance lease obligations of $24.6 billion with adjusted net debt of $13.9 billion. During the quarter, the company raised $11 billion in new liquidity at a blended average rate of 6.5 percent. New financing completed during the quarter included $5.0 billion in slots, gates and routes secured financing, $2.8 billion in sale-leaseback transactions, $1.4 billion of the PSP loan, $1.3 billion in unsecured notes, $243 million in B tranches of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (“EETCs”) and an additional $250 million on its 364-day secured term loan.

At the end of the June quarter, the company’s Air Traffic Liability totaled $5.0 billion including a current liability of $4.7 billion and a non-current liability of $0.3 billion. The noncurrent air traffic liability represents our current estimate of tickets to be flown, as well as credits to be used, beyond one year. Travel credits represent approximately 60 percent of the total Air Traffic Liability.

“Our average daily cash burn has improved sequentially each month since March and we remain committed to achieving breakeven cash burn by the end of the year,” Jacobson continued. “We successfully bolstered our liquidity to $15.7 billion at the end of June through new financings and CARES Act funding during the quarter, with adjusted net debt of $13.9 billion increasing by $3.4 billion since the beginning of the year. By raising cash early and aggressively managing costs, we are prepared to navigate what will be a volatile revenue period while making decisions that position Delta well for the eventual recovery.”

CARES Act Accounting, Restructuring Charges and Investment-Related Write Downs

In April 2020, Delta was granted $5.4 billion in emergency relief through the PSP of the CARES Act to be paid in installments through July 2020. In the June quarter, the company received $4.9 billion under the PSP, consisting of $3.5 billion in grant funds and a $1.4 billion low-interest, unsecured 10-year loan. The remaining $544 million will be received in July 2020. In the June quarter approximately $1.3 billion of the grant was recognized as a contra-expense, which is reflected as “CARES Act grant recognition” on the Consolidated Statements of Operations over the periods that the funds are intended to compensate. The remaining $2.2 billion of the grant was recorded as a deferred contra-expense in other accrued liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The company expects to use all the proceeds from the PSP by the end of 2020.

During the June quarter, the company made the decision to retire the entire MD-90, 777 and 737-700 fleets and portions of its 767-300ER and A320 fleets by late 2020. This is in addition to the decision in the March quarter to accelerate retirement of its MD-88 fleet from December 2020 to June 2020. The company also cancelled its purchase commitment for four A350 aircraft from LATAM. Primarily as a result of these decisions, the company recorded $2.5 billion in fleet-related and other charges, which are reflected in “Restructuring charges” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations.

During the June quarter the company recorded a write-down of $1.1 billion in its investment in LATAM Airlines and a $770 million write-down in its investment in AeroMexico following their financial losses and separate Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Delta also wrote down its investment in Virgin Atlantic during the quarter, resulting in a $200 million charge. Write-downs related to equity partners are reflected as “Impairments and equity method losses” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations.

June Quarter Results

 June quarter results have been adjusted primarily for the CARES Act accounting, restructuring charges, and investment-related write downs described above.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is setting sustainable goals to make flying matter

Alaska Airlines

© Photo by Ingrid Barrentine

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed many of your plans and ours. On top of the public health crisis, many around the country and world have lost their jobs and are experiencing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Our eyes have also been opened wider to the senseless race-related violence and painful experiences that our Black neighbors, friends and colleagues live with every day. In addition, the challenge of climate change remains critical to address. These are not easy times, but they do remind us how deeply we are connected, and how critical our individual and collective actions are.

At Alaska Airlines, we know something about connection: our top priority is to connect people safely, with fantastic travel experiences and a workplace our employees are proud of. Flying is – and will remain – an important part of how we see family, do business, learn about other cultures and explore the world. It’s up to us to keep it thriving for many years to come and to do so in a way that is responsible to all those who depend on us.

A few years ago, we began using the term “LIFT” for our long-time efforts around environmental and social impact, riffing on the physics principle at the root of aviation. And today, we released our 2019 LIFT Report, which includes data we use to hold ourselves accountable for goals set over the last decade to measure our performance and progress in these areas. The report shares progress in areas such as fuel emissions, waste management and reduction, employee engagement, and supplier labor practices – and 2020 goal attainment in areas such as safety and supporting education opportunity.

This year, to increase transparency, we are also reporting according to Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidelines including deeper commentary on safety and climate. We are proud of our industry leadership on aviation safety and have expanded that focus to the personal health and safety of our guests and employees in light of COVID-19. We also know that our greatest material impact is the carbon generated through burning fuel in our operation and that this has an impact on the climate. We hold ourselves accountable to continue to address that impact through ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency, use of sustainable aviation fuels and investment in carbon offsets.

This work is as imperative as ever to address racial equity, economic opportunity, and climate change. In the next year, we will roll out new five-year objectives to reflect our commitments in each of these areas, including our impact on carbon, waste and water. We’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic that our collective actions have impacts around the globe – and, that they can change a trend. These global challenges will require action from all of us. We are grateful for your support and partnership on this continued journey in creating “lift.”

Here are some of our sustainability efforts:

We’re reducing aircraft emissions by:

  • Investing in sustainable aviation fuels that are renewable and produce less emissions.
  • Purchasing more efficient aircraft and upgrading existing planes with advanced design features.
  • Using technology to fly safer routes that use less fuel.

We’re producing less waste by:

  • Running the most comprehensive in-flight recycling program of any U.S. airline.
  • Becoming the first airline to eliminate plastic straws and stir sticks and encouraging guests to reduce single-use plastic bottles by bringing their own water bottle with our #FillBeforeYouFly campaign.

We’re making flying matter by:

Many of these initiatives are truly employee-driven.

Our robust recycling program (which we’re itching to return to) began in the mid-80s from the passion of a Horizon Air flight attendant. Though inflight recycling is paused during Covid-19 to reduce risk for guests and employees alike, we look forward to restarting on all our flights.

Our business resource groups, such as the Green Team and Air Group Black Employees Allies & Advocates (ABEA) push us to learn and continue to improve. They’ve created training and education programs, connected employees to volunteer and mentor to support young people’s educational and career advancement, and helped galvanize installation of water bottle filling stations and a move to #FillBeforeYouFly away from plastic water bottles in our offices.

Our safety reporting systems are a top priority every day – and since 2014, Alaska Air Group has honored more than 1,200 employees with the Safe Operations Award & Recognition (SOAR) program, in which peers nominate their fellow employees who’ve gone above and beyond to keep our operation safe.

See the full 2019 report here

We can’t do it alone.

When it comes to making an impact, we all have a role to play. At Alaska Airlines we are building toward a more equitable and sustainable future. With your help, we can make flying matter and help our planet thrive.

Here’s what you can do:

#FillBeforeYouFly: We’re partnering with The Lonely Whale to reduce plastic bottles by making sure you fill up your reusable water bottle before you board. Every time you bring a prefilled water bottle on an Alaska flight and post it to social media with the hashtag #FillBeforeYouFly, we are planting a tree with help from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Learn more

Donate Charity Miles: Our Charity Miles program offers members a unique and meaningful way to support important causes and use travel for impact. In 2019, our passengers donated 73 million miles, valued at over $2 million, to [10 partners, including The Nature Conservancy and the National Forest Foundation]. Read more

Pack light, fly direct, and purchase carbon offsets: Every pound you bring on the plane and every mile you travel matters. We encourage every guest to take the least amount of luggage possible and to pick the most direct flights to reduce the amount of emissions it takes to get you and your luggage to your destination. If you want to do more, you can offset your travel by participating in our carbon offset program. More info

Learn more about our sustainability efforts at FlySustainably.com.

© All Images Alaska Airlines


Source: blog.alaskaair.com/alaska-airlines/2020-lift-report-sustainability/

Jetblue

JetBlue to leave Long Beach Airport, will move to LAX

Jetblue
© Image Jetblue
JetBlue Doubling the Number of Destinations Offered From LAX With More Than 30 Daily Flights This Fall, Opens Door to West Coast Growth Potential With 70 Daily Flights by 2025

JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) has announced it will make Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) its primary base of operations in greater Los Angeles, advancing its focus city strategy and building relevance for the airline in one of the busiest markets in the world. To enable the shift, the airline will move service currently operated at Long Beach Airport (LGB) to LAX, along with its Long Beach crew and maintenance bases, beginning in October.

The move consolidates JetBlue’s popular transcon and West Coast service into LAX, initially operating more than 30 daily flights with service between LAX and 13 destinations including four Mint routes – New York-JFK, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and new Mint service to Newark launching July 23. JetBlue flights at LAX will continue to operate from Terminal 5. New LAX markets will be available for purchase tomorrow, July 10.

“LAX is one of JetBlue’s most successful markets and offers the valuable opportunity to grow significantly both domestically and internationally while introducing our low fares on more routes,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. “The transition to LAX, serving as the anchor of our focus city strategy on the West Coast, sets JetBlue up for success in Southern California. We continue to seize on opportunities to emerge from this pandemic a stronger competitive force in the industry.”

With support from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), JetBlue plans to embark on a strategic expansion over the next five years with plans to reach roughly 70 flights per day by 2025. This will include multiple new markets, both domestic and international, some of which have never had nonstop service to and from LAX.

“Since it first touched down at LAX in 2009, JetBlue has continued to invest in and expand its presence at our airport, and we are excited that the airline has chosen to grow its LAX operation beginning in October,” said Justin Erbacci, CEO, LAWA. “With seven new routes and more than 30 daily flights, JetBlue will be an important part of LAX’s comeback from historic lows in passenger traffic, and our guests now will have even more choices.”

LAX is the busiest origin and destination (O&D) market in the world, meaning more people start or end their journey at LAX – versus connect through – than any other airport. Its 24/7 operations and customs and immigration facilities also allow JetBlue more flexibility in future flight and destination scheduling.

Effective October 7, 2020, JetBlue will operate nonstop service between LAX and seven new markets:

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) [seasonal]
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

New markets will complement existing nonstop service between LAX and:

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) *MINT*
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) *MINT*
  • New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) *MINT*
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) *MINT* [Launching July 23]
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)

JetBlue’s final day of operations in Long Beach will be October 6. Service to Portland International Airport (PDX) will not transition to LAX. JetBlue will continue to serve Portland, Ore. from New York-JFK, Boston and, starting in October, Fort Lauderdale.

All LAX, non-Mint routes will be operated using JetBlue’s Airbus A320 or all-Core A321 aircraft offering the airline’s award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (a); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (b); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat.

JetBlue began serving LAX in 2009 and launched its highly acclaimed Mint service in 2014. Currently, more than 150 JetBlue crewmembers are based at LAX. That number will grow substantially to nearly 700 with the added flights announced today and with the move of crew and maintenance bases from Long Beach to LAX.

Elsewhere in greater Los Angeles, JetBlue will continue to serve Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), which are key to the airline’s broader LA strategy. JetBlue is appreciative of the support received from airport leadership and elected officials in both Burbank and Ontario.