News for The Americas

LEVEL and Qatar Airways enter codeshare partnership

27 May, 2022

LEVEL and Qatar Airways entered (26-May-2022) a codeshare agreement to expand Qatar Airways' connectivity to the US via LEVEL's Barcelona hub. Through the agreement, Qatar Airways will codeshare on LEVEL's services from Barcelona to New York, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. The partnership will later be expanded to include LEVEL's Barcelona-Buenos Aires service. In addition, Qatar Airways' Privilege Club members will also be able to redeem Avios points on all codeshare services operated by LEVEL. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Air France-KLM launches EUR2.256bn capital increase to repay state aid

25 May, 2022

Air France-KLM launched (24-May-2022) a capital increase with preferential subscription rights to existing shareholders, to raise EUR2.256 billion through the issuance of 1928 million new shares. The measures aim to strengthen the group's balance sheet and accelerate its repayment of French state aid. Key details include:

  • Around EUR1.7 billion to be allocated to the repayment of the COVID-19 recapitalisation aid, granted by the French State. The remainder will be used to reduce the group's debt;
  • The group confirmed its objective to reduce its net debt to EBITDA ratio, to reach between 2.0x and 2.5x by 2023;
  • The French State, holding a stake of 28.6%, plans to participate in the rights issue to keep its shareholding unchanged; 
  • The Dutch State plans to maintain its 9.3% stake, provided it receives the necessary approvals from the Dutch Parliament in time;
  • CMA CGM will become a new reference shareholder and exclusive strategic partner for the cargo business. CMA CGM will invest up to EUR400 million to acquire a stake of up to 9%. China Eastern Airlines (9.6%) and Delta Air Lines (5.8%) will participate on a cash neutral basis through the sale of part of their rights to CMA CGM, representing EUR110.7 million;
  • The rights issue will occur between 27-May-2022 and 09-Jun-2022 at EUR1.17 per share, or three shares per existing share. 

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith stated as recovery continues the group wants "to be in a position to seize any opportunity in a changing aviation sector and to be able to accelerate our environmental commitments". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - KLM]

Condor launches Frankfurt-Los Angeles service

25 May, 2022

Condor commenced (24-May-2022) three times weekly Frankfurt-Los Angeles service on 24-May-2022. The carrier operates the route using Boeing 767 aircraft equipped with a three class cabin configuration. According to OAG, Lufthansa also operates the route and is scheduled to operate up to 13 weekly frequencies during the summer 2022 schedule. [more - original PR - German]

Air France and Delta Air Lines launch trans Atlantic shuttle service between New York and Paris

24 May, 2022

Air France and Delta Air Lines announced (23-May-2022) plans to launch a trans-Atlantic shuttle service from New York JFK to Paris Orly and Paris CDG, from Jun-2022. Under the agreement, the carriers will operate hourly frequencies from New York JFK from the late afternoon, and frequencies from both Paris airports every one to two hours during the day. Details include:

  • Air France:
    • Paris-CDG-New York JFK: Six times daily;
    • Paris Orly-New York-JFK: Daily;
    • Operated using Boeing 777-300 and A350 aircraft;
  • Delta Air Lines:
    • New York JFK-Paris CDG: Twice daily, using A330 aircraft;

Three daily Air France frequencies will feature its La Premiere cabin, while Delta's service will offer its Delta One and Delta Premium Select cabins. All nine frequencies will offer at least three classes of service. [more - original PR]

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launch partnership

24 May, 2022

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launched (24-May-2022) their partnership on 24-May-2022. The partnership for Virgin Australia will triple the airline's reach into the Americas. Virgin Australia recently announced a new partnership with Qatar Airways and will resume international services to Bali on 15-Jun-2022 and Queenstown in Dec-2022. The airline already operates daily to Fiji. United Airlines will expand its Australian services from 02-Jun-2022, with the return of the Melbourne-San Francisco route. [more - original PR]

Barbados removes COVID-19 testing requirements for entry

24 May, 2022

Barbados' Government announced (23-May-2022) plans to remove COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travellers, effective 25-May-2022. [more - original PR]

Air Canada launches Montreal-San Diego service

23 May, 2022

Air Canada launched (21-May-2022) three times weekly Montreal-San Diego service on 21-May-2022. The service is the first nonstop service between the cities. [more - original PR]

Delta launches A321neo operations with Boston-San Francisco service

23 May, 2022

Delta Air Lines operated (20-May-2022) Boston-San Francisco service with an A321neo aircraft on 20-May-2022, marking the equipment's entry into service. Features of Delta's A321neos include:

  • 194 seats (20 First Class, 42 Delta Comfort+ and 132 Main Cabin);
  • New domestic first class seat design including more space, sturdier tray table and more stowage space;
  • Enhanced memory foam seat cushions in all cabins;
  • 50% greater entertainment offering compared to other aircraft in fleet;
  • WiFi available for purchase;
  • Powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

Delta SVP fleet and techops supply chain Mahendra Nair said the introduction of the A321neo into its fleet is "an important commitment on our Flight to Net Zero, our journey to decarbonise aviation". The aircraft will also be used to operate Boston-San Diego and Boston-Denver services, effective 11-Jul-2022, and "select trips" to Seattle commencing 20-Jul-2022. As previously reported by CAPA, the carrier has purchase commitments for 155 A321neos, with delivery scheduled through 2027. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - Pratt & Whitney]

Northern Pacific Airways requests US DoT authorisation to operate international scheduled services

20 May, 2022

Northern Pacific Airways submitted (17-May-2022) an application to the US Department of Transportation requesting Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and exemption authority to operate scheduled passenger, freight and mail services between the US and all countries with which the US has an Open-Skies agreement. Northern Pacific, a proposed LCC to be based at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, is also requesting blanket route integration authority. The carrier plans to operate scheduled services to South Korea and Japan from Anchorage using Boeing 757 equipment. [more - original PR]

United Airlines opens new United Club at New York Newark Liberty International Airport

20 May, 2022

United Airlines opened (19-May-2022) its new United Club at Terminal C3 of New York Newark Liberty International Airport. The 30,000sqft lounge is the largest United Club in the US, offering 480 seats, modern shower suites and a barista-staffed cafe. The opening aligns with the upcoming Memorial Day long weekend, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in the US. [more - original PR]

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