United Airlines reintroduced (20-May-2013) Boeing 787 service on domestic services starting with Houston Intercontinental-Chicago O’Hare on 20-May-2013. United also operated a one-time Houston Intercontinental-Newark service with 787 equipment on 20-May-2013. The carrier plans to resume international services with 787 equipment on 10-Jun-2013 operating Denver-Tokyo Narita. United will take delivery of two more 787s in 2H2013. [more - original PR United] [more - original PR Boeing]
United to resume 787 services on Houston Intercontinental-Chicago O’Hare
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Aeromexico: slightly higher 2017 capacity growth as confidence of Delta JV approval remains high
Mexico’s largest airline, Aeromexico, plans slightly higher capacity growth in 2016, mostly driven by added frequencies to its long haul markets in Asia and Europe. Its preliminary guidance shows an ASK increase in the low single digits versus 8% growth in 2016. Similarly to 2016, much of Aeromexico’s capacity should be deployed to international markets as the airline sheds three Boeing 777 widebodies and adds five 787-9s to its fleet.
Aeromexico and Delta continue to believe US regulators will approve their immunised cross-border joint venture by YE2016, and are planning to increase their combined daily flights between the two countries by 43% during the next two years. The joint venture is a major pillar of Aeromexico’s transborder strategy going forward as Delta prepares to exert more influence over Aeromexico’s strategy. Some of Aeromexico’s and Delta’s rivals are lobbying for the two airlines to relinquish more slots at Mexico City Juarez, which could become a factor in the government’s final decision.
In the near term Aeromexico’s outlook is relatively stable, despite continuing challenges from the depreciation of Mexico’s currency. The airline’s revenue generation for the 9M ending Sep-2016 was favourable, driven by increases in yields and load factors.
NOTE: This report was prepared before the DoT issued its decision in the Aeromexico-Delta joint venture
Delta Air Lines: reaping rewards, but building balance sheet strength has no set endpoint
Few would challenge the conclusion that Delta has one of the soundest balance sheets among US airlines. Its reductions in adjusted net debt and leverage ratios garnered their just rewards in 2016 when the company secured coveted investment-grade rating from Fitch and Moody’s.
During the time Delta has significantly improved its balance sheet metrics it has also steadily increased its shareholder rewards, and has reiterated its commitment to increasing dividends. The airline's position is that continuing to drive the importance of its dividend performance is a key component of the company’s valuation proposition.
Similarly to many other US airlines, Delta is facing unit cost inflation in 2017; but the company’s unit costs growth for the year should fall below 2016 levels. Those costs are inflated due to a new pilot contract that joins a number of new contracts that US airlines inked in 2016, which are resetting industry pay scales.