Embraer announced (13-Sep-2013) it delivered the 1000th E-Jet production aircraft on 13-Sep-2013. The E175 was handed over to Republic Airlines, which will operate the aircraft on behalf of American Eagle. The delivery is part of Republic’s order for 47 E175s that was announced at the beginning of 2013. The contract also includes options to buy another 47 aircraft. The E-Jets family entered revenue service in 2004 when the first aircraft was delivered to LOT Polish Airlines. Currently, E-Jets are flying with 65 airlines from 45 countries. In Jun-2013, Embraer launched the second generation of the E-Jets family – E-Jets E2 – the first of which is slated to enter service in 2018. Embraer E-Jets currently hold a 50% market share and account for 62% of deliveries in the segment of jets with capacity up to 130 seats. Since Jan-2013, Embraer has received more than 330 firm orders for both current-generation E-Jets and the E2s. [more - original PR]
Embraer delivers 1000th E-Jet to Republic Airlines
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United Airlines Part 2: Sustaining balance sheet strength while declaring ambitious margin targets
One area where United Airlines has made important strides during the last few years is in overhauling its balance sheet. Its efforts have gained some recognition from credit agencies for its progress in paring down debt and improving leverage ratios; but similarly to its rival American Airlines – attaining an investment-grade credit rating is not a huge priority for United. The airline believes it can achieve some benefits that investment-grade companies enjoy with the current state of its balance sheet.
In order to sustain the progress it has made in balance sheet repair United plans to amend its aircraft order book to slash capex commitments during the next couple of years, including the deferral of 61 Boeing narrowbodies. United is hinting that other fleet changes could be under consideration, including deals similar to the agreement it forged during 2015 to lease used Airbus A319s.
This is Part 2 in a two-part series reviewing United’s financial and revenue-generating opportunities.
LOT Polish Airlines: now restructured, and long haul focus is on 2020 growth. Partnerships critical
On 8-Sep-2016 LOT Polish Airlines announced its "2020 profitable growth strategy". This involves a goal to achieve "sustainable viability", after a restructuring programme which returned LOT to operating profit in 2014 after six loss-making years. Its privatisation may even be back on the agenda.
LOT currently ranks behind LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air by share of traffic in Poland, which offers superior traffic growth potential versus Europe as a whole. The airline aims to increase passenger numbers from 4.3 million in 2015 to 10 million in 2020, growing its fleet from 43 to 70 aircraft. LOT's expansion will focus on long haul, particularly North America and Asia, where it currently has only five routes and where competition is considerably lower than on short/medium haul. Initial plans include the launch of Warsaw-Seoul this winter and a return to Warsaw-New York Newark next summer.
According to data from LOT, its restructuring has left it with a fairly efficient cost base by legacy airline standards and this will be important in competing with LCCs (but there is still a cost gap with LCCs). LOT's growth will focus on long haul but will need short-haul European feed – and partnerships. Although LOT no longer appears to be considering leaving the Star Alliance, it remains excluded from American and Asian JVs. Further, those JVs preclude members from working with LOT. Partnership growth will be as critical as it will be challenging.