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Frontier Airlines to expand in Cincinnati with five new destinations

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will expand its low fare service in the Cincinnati market to nine nonstop routes with the addition of five new destinations— Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada beginning on October 26 and Phoenix, Arizona and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida beginning on October 28.

Frontier Airlines will offer nine nonstop destinations from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Frontier also offers nonstop, low fare service to Cancun, Mexico; Denver, Colorado; Trenton, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. Frontier began its unique brand of low-fare service from the Cincinnati market in May 2013.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N949FR (msn 2857) with Emma, the Ermine, on the tail, touches down in Las Vegas.

Frontier Airlines:

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Silk Way Airlines takes delivery of its first two Boeing 747-800F freighters

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) today (August 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s two 747-83QF freighters. The first airplane (4K-SW881, msn 44444) was delivered last week and the second airplane (4K-SW882, msn 44937) was delivered today (August 28).

To date, Boeing has delivered 49 747-8 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-83QF VQ-BVC (4K-SW882) lands after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing a strike by its pilots tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement today:

Lufthansa regrets the announcement of strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) for tomorrow (Friday). This morning – and therefore just a few hours before the start of talks that had been agreed for today – the union announced that there would be a strike at Germanwings if agreement wasn’t reached today (Thursday) on the issue of transitional benefits for pilots.

In a letter on Monday, Lufthansa had proposed today’s talks in order to resume negotiations and had prepared a suggestion on what form further negotiations should take. As per Lufthansa’s invitation, the aim of these talks would primarily have been to specify an orderly process and a timetable for further negotiations.

Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: ‘We are very disappointed that we cannot avert strike action. The impression given is that the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union had already decided to strike. It is unrealistic to expect to reach agreement on a new model for sustainable transitional benefits in the course of a single day. The fact that an ultimatum for concluding a wage agreement was issued on the morning of negotiations – even though we made it clear that the talks would initially have to be about what form the further negotiation process should take – is very unusual and incomprehensible.’

Lufthansa and Germanwings will now be primarily focusing on limiting the impact of the strike. The strike action announced for Friday will coincide with the end of school holidays in Thuringia and Saxony. Dr Bettina Volkens says: ‘We will do everything to provide the best-possible service to Germanwings passengers and, if possible, to get them to their destination in spite of the strike.’

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already made an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April concerning future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit staff with the option of early retirement from flight service, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before 1 January 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after 1 January 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839) with the special 1500th Boeing 747 markings departs from Washington (Reagan).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

JAL signs a Letter of Intent for 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jets

Japan-J-Air MRJ (JAL)(LR)

JAL-Japan Airlines  (Tokyo) and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to order thirty-two Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, as the next-generation regional jet for the JAL Group. JAL plans to deploy the MRJ on domestic routes from 2021, operated by J-Air, the group’s 100% owned regional airline subsidiary.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has made steady progress on the development of the MRJ, Japan’s first passenger jet, which is scheduled first delivery in 2017. As a network carrier that also operates regional jets, the JAL aims to contribute to the birth of this passenger jet that Japan boasts to the world, by not just operating the MRJ, but also providing comprehensive support.

Equipped with newly-developed Geared Turbofan engine, the MRJ will achieve significantly lower operating costs than current regional jets. JAL will operate the MRJ as the core aircraft on its regional routes, and remains committed to improving products and service quality from the passengers’ point of view and developing more convenient networks. The MRJ will support JAL explore a new era of air travel.

Image: JAL.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

ABX Air to return four Boeing 767-200F freighters to DHL

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (Wilmington, Ohio) announced its airline subsidiary, ABX Air (Wilmington, Ohio), has received termination notices from DHL affecting four DHL-owned Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft that ABX Air leases and operates within the U.S. under terms of the Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (CMI) agreement between the companies. DHL sought bids to operate the aircraft from other vendors earlier this year.

The notices are effective in late December 2014 for two aircraft, and in January 2015 for the two remaining aircraft. This reduction in CMI operations for DHL will likely reduce ATSG’s earnings from continuing operations by less than one cent per share in 2015. Excluding those four aircraft, ATSG currently operates 21 freighter aircraft over scheduled routes for DHL, including 17 Boeing 767s and four Boeing 757s.

Related to this announcement, Atlas Air announced it will expand its service for DHL Express’ North American route network using four additional Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft owned by DHL. Atlas Air expects to start flying the first incremental aircraft in December 2014, and to operate all four by the end of January 2015.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. ABX Air’s Boeing 767-281 (F) N798AX (msn 23431) arrives in Miami in DHL colors.

ABX Air: AG Slide Show

DHL: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines struggles to fill its seats

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) continues to be in a crisis mode. Based on some recent online photos showing many open seats on its flights, The Mirror is reporting the airline is dispatching flights with rows of empty seats as it struggles in the wake of two highly-reported accidents.

Meanwhile a restructuring plan for the beleaguered company is expected to be announced soon.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Airbus and Boeing could suffer if the airline is downsized. Malaysia has been loyal to both manufacturers. Brand new Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSJ (msn 40152) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

The first delivery Airbus A350 is painted for Qatar Airways

Qatar A350-900 A7-ALA (06)(Grd)(Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways (Doha), which will receive its first A350 XWB before the end of 2014, has ordered 80 of the wide body jetliner. The first delivery aircraft has now been painted at Toulouse.

Copyright Photos: Airbus. The first Qatar A350 is the pictured A350-941 registered as A7-ALA (msn 006).

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar A350-900 A7-ALA (06)(Nose)(Airbus)(LRW)

Aegean Airlines orders two more Airbus A320s

Aegean Airlines (Athens) has signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320 (A320ceo) aircraft, adding to a previous order for five A320s aircraft placed in September 2007.

All aircraft will be equipped with Airbus “Sharklet” fuel saving wing tip devices and will be powered by IAE V2500 engines. The aircraft will also be the first A320s in Aegean’s fleet to feature the enhanced take-off weight capability of up to 78 tons, thus enabling the carrier to expand its route network with even longer range operations.

Aegean Airlines operates an all-Airbus single-aisle fleet of 36 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 17 directly purchased aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DGI (msn 3162) arrives in Munich with the special “Visit Greece” web address.

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bombardier delivers the first 86-seat Q400 to Nok Air

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Montreal and Toronto) and Nok Air (Bangkok, Thailand) announced the delivery of the carrier’s first 86-seat Q400 NextGen turboprop at Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the aircraft is manufactured. The milestone aircraft, the first Q400 NextGen airliner to be delivered in the new extra capacity seating configuration, is part of Nok Air’s purchase agreement for up to eight Q400 NextGen airliners that was announced on November 19, 2013. Following the exercise of options and purchase rights, Nok Air has firm orders for six Q400 NextGen aircraft and retains two purchase rights from the original contract.

Nok Air means Bird Air is the Thai language.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GWKW (msn 4455) became HS-DQA on the hand over yesterday (August 27).

Nok Air: AG Slide Show

 

JAL to add 15 Embraer E170s and E190s for J-Air

Embraer S.A. has signed a firm order with JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 jets models, as well as for an additional twelve E-Jets family options.

All aircraft will be operated by Japan Airlines’ wholly owned subsidiary, J-Air (Osaka-Itami Airport). This order is added to the existing 15 Embraer E170s that the airline currently flies. New deliveries of E-Jets are scheduled from 2015.

J-Air currently operates 176 daily flights across its network of 21 cities that include Osaka-Itami, Sapporo, Sendai, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Fukuoka.

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100ST JA218J (msn 17000314) completes its final approach at Tokyo (Haneda) in the old 2002 livery.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

J-Air: AG Slide Show

China Eastern to unveil a new “color” scheme on its first Boeing 777-300 ER

Airline color schemes (also known as airline liveries) have been getting simpler (i.e. cheaper to maintain) for several years. It started with the “Europe White” style which removed the traditional fuselage cheat line and replaced it with a basic (boring) white fuselage with a tail design (less area to maintain).

Unless there is more to come, apparently China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) will join this growing trend and has taken it a step further. The airline will only have its traditional fuselage titles and a simple (less colorful) tail logo. The traditional China Eastern cheat line will be retired adding to a growing list of airlines that have joined this club.

The new livery is seen for the first time on newly painted Boeing 777-39P ER B-2001 (msn 43269) (above) pictured arriving at Paine Field after being painted at Victorville, CA. B-2001 is the first Boeing 777-300 ER for the carrier and the airline felt it needed a new look for this new chapter in its history. It will replace the more colorful 1988 color scheme (below).

China Eastern will take delivery of its first 777-300 ER in late September and has 20 on order. It will become the third stretched Triple Seven operator in China following Air China and China Southern Airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com.

China Eastern Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-89P B-5086 (msn 32800) at Beijing displays the 1988 color scheme.

Poll: what do you think?

Emirates SkyCargo arrives in Los Angeles

Emirates SkyCargo (Dubai), the freight division of Emirates has added Los Angeles to its network of freighter destinations across the United States, with the start of a weekly service to the city.

Los Angeles recently joined Chicago (O’Hare), Atlanta and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) in Emirates SkyCargo’s US freighter network.

Emirates SkyCargo uses a Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft on the route, which is capable of carrying 103 tonnes of cargo, and with its main deck door being the widest of any freighter aircraft, it’s able to uplift outsized cargo and carry larger consignments. The top exports from Los Angeles are mainly perishables ranging from fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, chilled and frozen meat and seafood, foodstuffs, as well as personal effects, construction equipment and electrical products, while top imports range from textiles, to perishables, electronics and personal effects.

In 2013, Emirates SkyCargo transported a total of 49 000 tons of cargo from the United States, equalling a 134 tons a day, while it carries more than 940 tons of cargo from the US to various points across the world each week. The top three exports from the US are machinery, construction equipment and electrical products and its three top imports are apparel, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.

The LAX flight is routed Dubai – Zaragoza – Mexico City – Los Angeles – Copenhagen – Dubai.

In other news, parent Emirates and Arik Air (Lagos) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and expand their existing commercial relationship and explore further areas of co-operation.

Emirates and Arik Air currently have a one-way interline agreement, whereby Emirates passengers are connected throughout Nigeria and West Africa via Arik Air’s current domestic and regional network.
The MOU was signed by Adnan Kazim, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Planning, Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs, and Chris Ndlulue, Arik Air’s Managing Director, at Emirates Group Headquarters in Dubai.

Emirates and Arik Air will also explore other areas of cooperation for the future, including frequent flier programs, passenger and cargo handling.

Arik Air is the largest airline in Western and Central Africa and has developed and successfully operates an extensive domestic route network in Nigeria, and regionally across Western Africa from its twin hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and to Johannesburg in South Africa and intercontinentally to New York and to London from its Lagos hub.

Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft and Airbus A380s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-1F1H A6-BFI (msn 25609) approaches Dubai.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

JetBlue’s CEO Dave Barger fires back at Wall Street analysts

JetBlue Airways‘ (New York) current CEO, Dave Barger, who succeeded founder David Neeleman, is facing a possible firing by the company’s board of directors. According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Dave came out firing against the Wall Street analysts who have been calling for his ouster with this statement in an interview;

“You want to compare my track record to bankruptcies and layoffs?” asked Barger, referring to the Chapter 11 restructurings of Delta (DAL), United (UAL), and American (AAL) and the subsequent mergers that radically reshaped all three. “Go ahead. I’ll take that comparison.”

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Profile on David Barger (from JetBlue Airways):

David Barger is our Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. He joined our board in September 2001 and served as our President from August 1998-September 2007. Between 1998 and 2007, Mr. Barger also served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Barger served in various management positions with Continental Airlines, including Vice President, Newark hub. He held various director level positions at Continental Airlines from 1988 to 1995. From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Barger served in various positions with New York Air, including Director of Stations. Mr. Barger attended the University of Michigan.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N571JB (msn 2125) in the Blueberries motif lands at the focus city of Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Dave Barger.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger

Video: Dave Barger and Airlines of America calling for a national policy for airlines.

Atlas Air expands operations for DHL Express

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today (August 27) said that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York) unit will provide expanded operating service for DHL Express’ North American route network using four additional Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft owned by DHL. Atlas Air expects to start flying the first incremental aircraft in December 2014, and to operate all four by the end of January 2015.

The operation represents a continued expansion of Atlas Air’s non-asset-intensive CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) service solution, as well as its Boeing 767 platform. With the addition of the aircraft to Atlas Air’s operating certificate, the company’s fleet of Boeing 767s will increase to 15 aircraft, including nine operated for DHL in North America and two for DHL in the Asia-Pacific region.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air also operates Boeing 767-300F freighters for DHL. Atlas Air’s Boeing 767-3JHF N644GT (msn 37810) dressed in DHL’s well-known yellow and red livery arrives in Tokyo (Narita).

DHL-Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

American Airlines drops Orbitz in a fee dispute

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued this statement:

American Airlines has withdrawn its fares from consumer websites powered by Orbitz, effective immediately. American Airlines Group has notified Orbitz it also will withdraw US Airways fares on September 1, 2014. Corporate clients that use Orbitz for Business to book travel are not affected by this change.

“We have worked tirelessly with Orbitz to reach a deal with the economics that allow us to keep costs low and compete with low-cost carriers,” said Scott Kirby, President – American Airlines. “While our fares are no longer on Orbitz, there are a multitude of other options available for our customers, including brick and mortar agencies, online travel agencies, and our own websites.”

American expects these changes will have minimal disruptions for its customers. Customers can continue to purchase tickets and all options for travel on American and US Airways through aa.com and usairways.com. American and US Airways fares are also available through reservations agents and other travel agencies.

Tickets already purchased through Orbitz websites remain valid for travel, but changes to reservations must be made through each airline’s reservations department.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N350AN (msn 33089) lands in Zurich.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Royal Jordanian takes delivery of the first Boeing 787

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (August 26) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Royal Jordanian acquired this airplane through leasing company AerCap.

With this delivery, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787.

The airline will configure its Dreamliner to carry 24 passengers in business class and 246 in economy class.

To support Royal Jordanian’s Dreamliners, Boeing is providing a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Royal Jordanian has received flight and maintenance training and will be using Airplane Health Management, a diagnostic and predictive capability that evaluates airplane operations data while airplanes are in flight and notifies ground crews of potential maintenance issues; a Rotable Exchange Program that provides a dedicated pool of high-value, mission-critical parts and manages inventory at a reduced cost; and Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues.

Royal Jordanian currently flies a network of over 50 global destinations and plans to deploy the Dreamliner on services to North American destinations as well as to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

To date, more than 180 Dreamliners have been delivered to 20 customers worldwide.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JY-BAA (msn 37983) lands at Paine Field on a test flight.

Royal Jordanian: AG Slide Show

Norwegian Air International calls on the DOT to grant its application

Norwegian Air International (subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Dublin) today (August 26) filed its reply to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) notice of August 4, 2014 requesting comments on the meeting between the U.S. Government and the European Commission. Norwegian Air International urges the Department to grant its application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit without further delay.

Norwegian Air International is joined by many supporters, who have also filed in support of its application, including the Irish Aviation Authority, U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Travel Agents, European Low Fares Airline Association, the Oakland, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport authorities, Federal Express, and Atlas Air. The American public deserves more choice and lower fare options for flights between the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. economy will benefit from the increased tourism, and Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners—the largest of any European airline—represents thousands of jobs at Boeing and Boeing’s suppliers throughout the U.S.

In the Notice, the Department summarized the views of the European Commission that a party to the Open Skies Agreement cannot unilaterally deny an airline’s application based on the so-called “social dimension” article of the agreement. “The Commission’s position echoes what we have been saying from the beginning, and we trust that the clear views of the Commission answer once and for all our opponent’s objections in this regard,” said Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International. “We look forward to the Department approving our application so that we can enjoy the same rights afforded to every other European airline serving the U.S. market – rights guaranteed to us under the Open Skies Agreement.”

As described in its prior filings, Norwegian Air International promises to offer the American public competitive fares, award-winning service that is responsive to market preferences and demand, and increased service to previously-underserved markets. Norwegian Air International’s support for the U.S. aviation industry is evidenced by its multibillion-dollar commitment to Boeing, its hiring of hundreds of U.S.-based cabin crew, and its support for hundreds of jobs at U.S. airports and the communities it will serve. It will provide new competition for Americans flying to Europe in a market that is dominated by three immunized airline alliances that currently control nearly 90 percent of the market.

The public interest in promoting service authorized by the Open Skies Agreement strongly supports the grant of Norwegian Air International’s application. The grant of the application will enable the Department to protect the important opportunities made available to U.S. carriers by the European parties to the Open Skies Agreement. It will afford an airline of Ireland, one of America’s closest partners in Europe, access to route authority it fully deserves under the Open Skies Agreement.

Open Skies has succeeded beyond all expectations, and it has done so because America made a principled decision to focus on fostering competition and new opportunities, not on protecting the existing market shares of a small number of incumbent carriers that already dominate the market. Three former Secretaries of Transportation — Andrew Card, Norman Mineta, and Mary Peters — have confirmed that these guiding principles of breaking down barriers and increasing competition are the core values the U.S. has sought to promote in open skies agreements. “If the Department wishes to stay the successful course of Open Skies, and promote a pro-growth, pro-competition, pro-consumer policy, the Department should grant Norwegian Air International’s application without further delay,” Norwegian International stated in today’s filing.

Over six months after Norwegian Air International completed its application, and with a regulatory docket filled with hundreds of pages of pleadings, the Department must now make a decision. It is time to let Norwegian Air International fly, and give consumers the choice they deserve.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

IAM files for mediation at Southwest Airlines

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has issued this statement against Southwest Airlines (Dallas):

After more than two years of direct talks with Southwest Airlines, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced it will file for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that oversees contract negotiations in the airline industry.

“Southwest earned nearly a billion dollars last year, is on pace to report a larger profit for this year, has the most productive workforce in the airline industry and yet refuses to offer any real improvements,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “Management is hell-bent to move to a risky variable compensation system as opposed to offering guaranteed wage increases. It’s clear this is a numbers oriented airline instead of a people oriented airline.”

Coupled with Southwest’s deteriorating labor relations, the carrier’s operational performance has plummeted. The carrier has among the worst on-time arrival rate in the airline industry, it ranks among the bottom in mishandled baggage and hovers at the top of the airline industry in denied boardings.

“Southwest has merged its way to super-profits and is doing everything it can to stonewall its employees from sharing fairly in the success they’ve worked so hard to create,” continued Higginbotham. “This is greed, pure and simple and the IAM will not stand for it.”

If the IAM’s application for federal mediation is granted by the NMB, the agency then begins the process of attempting to resolve the differences between the parties via mediated discussions. If no agreement can be reached through mediation, the Railway Labor Act (RLA)—the federal law that governs collective bargaining in the airline industry—has several mechanisms to bring both sides together, including arbitration and a possible strike.

The IAM represents approximately 6,000 passenger service and reservation agents at the carrier and has never before had to utilize the NMB’s mediation services to achieve an agreement with Southwest.

The IAM represents over 100,000 workers in the airline and railroad sectors and is the largest transportation union in North America.

Meanwhile Southwest issued this statement about “listening” to its internal and external customers through a new “Listening Center”:

On August 26 Southwest Airlines unveiled a Listening Center devoted to engaging with Employees and Customers in real time. Located at Southwest Airlines Headquarters in Dallas, the Listening Center is the first of its kind in the domestic airline industry. It serves as the airline’s nerve center, integrating traditional media, social media, and operational data to allow various functions to move quickly and efficiently from insight to action.

The Listening Center is staffed seven days a week with Southwest Employees from the Customer Relations, Communication, and Marketing departments. The Employees are available around the clock to answer questions, engage with Customers, and share feedback across the organization to enhance the Customer experience.

“The Listening Center symbolizes our commitment to listening to our internal and external Customers, and taking that feedback to make smarter business decisions,” said Linda Rutherford, Vice President Communication & Outreach at Southwest Airlines. “As we continue to evolve as a social business, we’ll connect with our Employees and Customers in ways that are meaningful to them.”

The Listening Center works closely with Southwest’s Network Operations Control center (NOC), and has staffed a satellite Listening Center within the heart of the NOC to relay real-time feedback from Customers as operational challenges arise. The satellite Listening Center allows Employees on the Social Media Team to proactively communicate with Customers as operational updates become available.

“The best companies are innovating at the speed of the customer,” said Scott McCorkle, chief executive officer, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. “Utilizing our technology, Southwest Airlines is connecting with their customers to deliver a phenomenal customer experience.”

Southwest Airlines is regarded as a pioneer in the social media space and has been recognized in many ways for embracing social technologies. The Nuts About Southwest Blog is a PR News Hall of Fame inductee, and many social media campaigns and Social Media Team members have been awarded best-in-class recognitions.

The Listening center was designed by Corgan and built by Structure Tone. The visualizations displayed within the facility are powered by Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s Radian6 Command Center and Crowd Reactive. The technology allows Southwest to quickly identify hot topics, influencers, trends, and consumer-generated media.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8305E (msn 36683) touches down in Las Vgeas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines to offer Newark-Sarasota/Bradenton flights this winter and spring

United Airlines (Chicago) will offer seasonal service to Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (SRQ) this winter and spring from February 12 through May 15 from its Newark hub. The temporary route will be operated with 154-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft according to News 13. United currently serves SRQ with year-round daily service to Chicago (O’Hare).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N78509 (msn 31638) arrives in Toronto (Pearson).

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

PEOPLExpress is coming to Orlando on October 16

PEOPLExpress (Vision Airlines) 737-400 N745VA (14)(Apr)(Peoplexpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress Airlines (2nd) (Vision Airlines) (Newport News/Williamsburg) has announced new, nonstop service between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Orlando International Airport effective on October 16.

The popular Florida destination will be the eighth city served from its Newport News base and the first new city since PEOPLExpress announced its initial destinations in May.

PEOPLExpress launched service June 30 to Newark, New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh from Newport News and has since added West Palm Beach, Florida, and Atlanta. Service to New Orleans starts on August 28 with St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, on August 29 to complete its initial growth.

Since its inaugural flights, PEOPLExpress has carried nearly 40,000 customers on more than 450 flights.

Service to Orlando begins on October 16 with flights on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Introductory fares start at $89 each way. Reservations are now open for the new route.

Copyright Photo: PEOPLExpress. Operated by Vision Airlines, Boeing 737-405 N745VA (msn 24271) is now being operated in PEOPLExpress (2nd) colors.

Expanded Route Map:

PEOPLExpress (2nd) 8.2014 Route Map

 

Frontier Airlines adds more routes from Chicago O’Hare and more service from Cleveland

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will again expand its flights from Chicago O’Hare to Phoenix, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah as well as between Memphis, Tennessee and Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas effective October 26.

Frontier Airlines will now 12 cities from Chicago O’Hare and three destinations from Memphis International Airport.

Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service (all effective October 26):

Chicago-O’Hare to Phoenix is daily with Airbus A320s

Chicago-O’Hare to Salt Lake is daily with A320s

Dallas/Ft. Worth to Memphis is operated except Saturdays with Airbus A319s

Additionally Frontier Airlines is again expanding its service to and from Cleveland with more flights to recently launched including Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Orlando, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida beginning on October 26.

Beginning October 26, service from Cleveland will increase as follows:

Las Vegas – increase from flights twice weekly to daily service

Phoenix – increase from twice weekly to four flights a week

Orlando – increase from daily flights to twelve times per a week

Fort Myers – increase from four flights per week to six times per week, and in December increase to daily service

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N204FR (msn 2325) with Freedom, the Bald Eagle, on the tail taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

QANTAS’ passengers will be able to use personal electronic devices starting tomorrow

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) today issued this statement:

From tomorrow afternoon QANTAS customers will be able to use their personal electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and music players in flight mode, for the duration of each flight, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment.

QANTAS was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority today following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight.

Advice for customers:

Devices can be used whether passengers are boarding via aerobridge or transiting across tarmac.

Once aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in ‘flight mode’.

Customers are required to secure handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seat pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger items such as laptops will still need to be stowed.

Customers are still required to listen to all inflight safety briefings and comply with cabin crew instructions.

Mobile and smart phones will still not be able to be used to make calls or send texts from the air.

QANTAS plans to lift restrictions on electronic devices across the entire QANTAS Group for regional, domestic and international flights.

QANTAS Link and Jetstar Airways are in the final stages of preparing their submission to CASA for the extended use of personal electronic devices.

The changes to CASA’s ruling on personal electronic devices inflight follows an announcement by the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October last year that it would allow passengers to leave their electronic devices on through all phases of flight if individual airlines could prove that it did not interfere with the operation of the aircraft.

Experts from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, passenger groups, pilot associations, flight attendants, and mobile services have since been investigating the impact of personal electronic devices inflight.

Until today, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the aircraft was taxiing to the runway or through much of the climb or descent.

In addition, QANTAS is working towards enabling customers to use their own devices to access 350 hours of on-demand entertainment from gate to gate on selected Domestic and International aircraft. Initially this functionality would encompass Apple devices including iPads and iPhones, followed by laptops and Android devices at a later stage.

Customers would only need to download a Q Streaming app to their device, or connect via their browser to the Q Streaming Inflight Entertainment network to access movies, TV shows and music. Qantas will continue to offer complimentary tablets for customers to access Q Streaming on a number of aircraft types.

The new policy will apply to all QANTAS Domestic and QANTAS International flights from 3:00pm tomorrow (August 26).

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-VXS (msn 33725) prepares to taxi from the gate at Denpasar on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Pegasus Airlines slips into the red for the first half of 2014

Pegasus Airlines (flypgs.com) (Istanbul) slipped into the red, reporting a net loss of TL 17.9 million ($8.2 million) for the first half of 2014. This unfavorably compares to a net profit of TL 44.1 million ($20.2 million) for the same period a year ago.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com (others by Pegasus). Boeing 737-82R TC-CPG (msn 40880) approaches the runway at EuroAirport.

Pegasus logo

 

Pegasus 737-800 Tails (Pegasus)(LR)

Pegasus Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Aeroflot to return to Tbilisi, Georgia

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) on October 26 will resume service to Tbilisi, Georgia from Moscow (Sheremetyevo). The resumed route will be operated on a daily basis with Airbus A320 aircraft per Airline Route.

On the financial side, Aeroflot has reported on its first half results: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BWH (msn 2151) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Aeroflot: AG Slide Show

 

EuroLOT to start four new routes from Warsaw

EuroLOT (eurolot.com) (Warsaw) will start four new routes from Warsaw on October 26; Chisinau, Cluj/Napoca (October 27), Stuttgart and Zagreb per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) SP-EQI (msn 4442) arrives in Zurich.

EuroLOT: AG Slide Show

eurolot.com logo

Routes from Warsaw:

EuroLOT 8.2014 WAW Route Map

 

BOC Aviation orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs

BOC Aviation logo

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced today an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’s 20-year history and part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel-efficient airplanes.

 

Swiss to drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1. It currently operates five flights a week with Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The airline issued this short statement:

Swiss will be withdrawing its present Zurich-Kiev service with effect from October 1. The service is being terminated for economic reasons, as business on the route has failed to develop in line with expectations. The service was introduced in the 2013/14 winter schedules.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close action. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets touches down on the runway at the Zurich hub.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

LAN Airlines continues to expand Boeing 787 operations

LAN Airlines (Santiago) continues to expand its 247-seat Boeing 787 operations. As previously reported, daily Santiago-Miami service was inaugurated on August 9 as well as weekly 787 flights to Cancun and Punta Cana also on August 9.

Santiago-Mexico City 787 service will start now on December 11 (delayed from November 15) on alternating days.

Santiago-Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) flights start on October 1 (three days a week) and daily starting in November).

Finally daily Santiago-Los Angeles service starts on October 1.

The company continues to operate the 787 to Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt as well as New York (JFK).

In financial news, the LATAM Airlines Group reported a net loss of $58.9 million for the second quarter, reduced from a net loss of $329.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. According to the group, “results this quarter were negatively affected by reduced passenger and cargo demand during the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Brazil, as well as by very week seed exports in the cargo business.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBB (msn 38466) taxies at Paine Field near Everett before the hand over to the carrier.

LAN Airlines (Chile): AG Slide Show

 

Jay Selman’s An Inside Look: Farewell to 406

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Farewell to 406

by Guest Editor Jay Selman

In over 50 years, I have lost count of how many airplane flights I have taken. I’ve flown on airliners, military airplanes, corporate jets, private aircraft, and helicopters. I’ve flown in just about every airliner from the Comet to the Concorde. I’ve flown from Greensboro, North Carolina to Winston-Salem, a 7-minute (maybe) hop, and I’ve flown from New York to Hong Kong. I’m saying this to say that I have taken some memorable flights, but the vast majority of the airplanes I’ve flown in don’t stick in my mind.

One flight that I do vividly remember occurred on September 15, 1988, when I flew on N406US (man 23876), from Boeing Field in Seattle to Greensboro, North Carolina. 406 was a Piedmont Airlines Boeing 737-401, just one of well over 12,000 737s that have been built or are on order. What made it special was the fact that it was the first 737-400 in the world to be delivered to a customer, and I was privileged to be on that delivery flight, 26 years ago.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88-1st 737-400)(Grd) BFI (JET)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jim “Jet” Thompson. Boeing 737-401 N406US is towed out at Boeing Field on a cloudy Seattle day with a special “First Boeing 737-400″ banner.

Piedmont was one of the early operators of the 737-300, a vastly-upgraded version of the venerable 737-200. Powered by a pair of CFM-56 engines, the 737-300 represented a tremendous advantage in terms of economy, power, and lowered noise levels inside and outside the cabin. The -300 was an immediate hit with airlines and passengers. A year after the first -300 entered service, Boeing offered the -400, featuring a 10-foot fuselage stretch over the -300. Needing a replacement for its fleet of aging 727-200s, Piedmont became the launch customer for the -400, with an initial order for 25. In 1987, USAir announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Piedmont. 20 737-400s of Piedmont’s original order were delivered, and USAir ordered an additional 35 of the type and, in all, the company eventually operated 55 737-400s.

By the time that 406, named the Thomas H Davis Pacemaker in honor of the founder of Piedmont Airlines, was ready to leave her nest in Seattle, Piedmont was heading toward a merger with USAir, and she was delivered in a hybrid color scheme of a bare metal fuselage and a Piedmont blue cheat line. As a useless bit of trivia, only four Piedmont 737-400s were delivered with a blue stripe: 406, 407, 408, and 409. The rest came on property with the red USAir cheat line.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88)(Ldg) CLT (JS)(LRW) 10.88

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US wears the Piedmont metal transition livery as it lands in Charlotte.

Boeing did a nice job of catering the first-ever delivery of a -400, and there was cause for celebration. It was, indeed, an historic event. Yet, the mood among most of the Piedmont people was a bit subdued, as reality set in that the company we loved was on its way toward non-existence. William Howard had recently stepped down as President and CEO of Piedmont, and his replacement, Tom Schick, was onboard, along with a number of other airline dignitaries, most of whom were, for all practical purposes, in a lame-duck environment. 406 was even delivered with a USAir registration, rather than its originally-allocated N404P. While it was still an historic and exciting moment, there was not complete joy.

For me, the highlight of the entire flight was after we landed in Greensboro. As we came to a stop, I looked out the window and saw Piedmont founder Tom Davis himself standing at the bottom of the airstairs. Not only was he a legend, but also a true gentleman. He also had a gift for remembering faces and names, and as I reached the bottom of the steps, he shook my hand and, without hesitation, told me, “Jay, I expect to see some good pictures of our new plane from you.” (He got some!)

On August 5, 1989, Piedmont Airlines ceased to exist, as everything Piedmont became USAir. Altogether, USAir operated 55 out of the 482 737-400s that Boeing built. Still, I always found myself smiling when I would see 406. I knew she was special. Fast forward 25 years. Years ago, under the leadership of Stephen Wolfe and Rakesh Gangwal, US Airways (as the company had since rebranded itself) elected to hitch its wagon to the Airbus narrow-body product. Slowly but surely, 737s were being replaced with a mix of Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s.

US Airways 737-400 Patches (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Metal patch on N406US.

During her time in service with Piedmont/USAir/US Airways, 406 served the company well. She was not involved with any significant incidents, although the number of patches on the fuselage suggests there may have been more than a couple of minor issues throughout her life. She did suffer some minor damage when a loading bridge came in contact with the pitot tubes and angle-of-attack indicator located just in front of the forward entry door. This was not an uncommon problem with the 737 Classics, and a loading bridge operator always has to take extra care with these model 737s. Altogether, seven different engines hung on each wing of 406, and a total of 17 auxiliary power units (APUs) were installed in the tail of 406, and over its lifetime, she underwent many B-Checks and C-Checks. These numbers are fairly consistent with the average maintenance activities of a 737 of this age. For the record, 406 was the first 737-400 to wear the final US Airways color scheme.

US Airways 737-400 N406US (05)(Apr) CLT (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice flying portrait of N406US in the final (2005) US Airways color scheme.

Her last revenue flight occurred on August 1, when she arrived from Pittsburgh at Charlotte. Maintenance personnel worked on her for three days, getting 406 ready for her last flight. Finally, early in the morning of August 5, 25 years to the day of the Piedmont/USAir merger, 406 was ready for her last flight as a US Airways-operated trip.

US Airways 737-400 Data Plate (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The original Boeing data plate.

I met Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen, who were going to do the honors of flying “Cactus 9240” from Charlotte to Tucson, Arizona. Each of them had several thousand hours in the 737, and although both of them had plenty of seniority to hold positions on the company’s “big iron”, they elected to stay on the 737 until the very end because of their love of the aircraft. Captain Thomas retired shortly after ferrying 406 to Tucson, and Captain Christen has moved on to the Boeing 757/767. They both praised the 737 as being a real “pilot’s airplane”, and will miss flying them. They were both struck by the historic significance of both aircraft 406 and the date, August 5.

US Airways 737-400 N406US pilots for final flight (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen.

As the pilots cranked the engines, it felt a little strange sitting in Row 2 of an empty airplane. Brakes were released at 9:20 am local, and Captain Thomas guided 406 to the end of Runway 36C at Charlotte. A few minutes later, Cactus 9240 was given takeoff clearance. With no passengers or cargo onboard, we were airborne in around 3000 feet at 9:27 am. 406’s final flight had begun.

US Airways 737-400 Jay in cabin (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay in the empty cabin of N406US en route to the desert.

Since this flight was operated under Part 91 rules, the pilots were permitted to leave the door of the flight deck open, and I was able to enjoy a view not only of the cockpit, but the world beyond the cockpit windows. The pilots were kind enough to take time to explain to me a lot about what goes on behind those perpetually-closed doors. They both talked about their love for the 737. Along with both of them agreeing that it is a plane that pilots fly, rather than program, they both commented on the robustness of the 737 airframe. As one of them noted, “Quite a few of our old 737s have been converted to cargo carriers, and will continue to fly for quite a few years. How many A320s have been converted to freight dogs?”

US Airways 737-400 N406US cockpit (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The cockpit of N406US.

Unlike the nicely-catered delivery flight 26 years ago, I sat alone in 406’s cabin, eating a Jersey Mike’s sub that I brought along, and drinking a bottle of water that catering left onboard after stripping the interior of any equipment that could be used on other aircraft. It gave me a chance to wander around this historic airplane and savor this one last flight in her. Truth be told, I was probably one of handful of people who really appreciated the significance of 406, but that’s okay. I was given the chance to fly on her this one last time. I am not one who keeps a log of all the planes I have flown in, but I do know that I’d flown in 406 at least a dozen times over the years.

US Airways N406US final approach TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The final “Final Approach” as US Airways for N406US.

Captain Thomas said that during her final flight, 406 performed flawlessly. She did not produce a single squawk during the flight, and every flight parameter was met or exceeded. Sooner than I would have wanted, we began our descent into Tucson, where we followed an Air Force KC-135 on visual approach to Runway 11L. Captain Thomas greased the lightly-laden 406 onto the runway at 10:09 am local time, and we then taxied back to the facilities of Ascent Aviation Services. Ascent is a premiere narrow body maintenance and storage center located at Tucson International Airport. Several ex-US Airways 737s are stored there, where they will either be readied for a new operator, or broken up and sold for parts. The fate of 406 is uncertain as of this writing. Captain Christen said that typically, a plane will sit for two or three months as their owners look for another operator. After a certain point, it will be scrapped. I would certainly like to see her fly again, as she has plenty of life left in her, but the fate of 406 has yet to be determined as of this writing.

US Airways 737-400 N406US aircraft in storage TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Aircraft in storage at Ascent Aviation Services in Tucson awaiting their fates.

At 10:15 am, Captain Thomas shut down the engines of 406 for the last time as a US Airways flight. Over nearly 26 years, she had accumulated 69967.4 total flight hours, and 47032 cycles. We climbed down the airstairs, and posed for a couple of final pictures. And that was it. The Ascent technicians hooked 406 up to a tug and towed her to a spot in between two other 737s awaiting their fates. I took one last photo of an historic plane, and a special airliner to me, and then I hopped into a truck to take me to the terminal for my flights home. This had been one flight I won’t forget.

US Airways 737-400 N406US towed into position at TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US is pushed into its storage spot at Tucson (TUS) next to a Solaseed Air Boeing 737-400 which was just retired.

Boeing 737 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Solaseed Air to retire the last Boeing 737-400 on September 30

Solaseed Air (formerly SNA-Skynet Asia Airways) (Miyazaki) is planning to retire its last Boeing 737-400 on September 30, becoming an all Boeing 737-800 operator according to Airline Route. The 737-400 is currently being operated on the Tokyo (Haneda) to Kumamoto, Nagasaki and Oita routes.

Read more from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 JA737E (msn 26069) taxies at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in Tokyo.

Solaseed Air: AG Slide Show

Solaseed Air Logo

Estonian Air narrows its first half loss to $6.6 million

Estonian Air (Tallinn) reported a first half net loss of €5 million ($6.6 million), down from a net loss of €6.1 million ($8.0 million) in the same period a year ago.

The airline issued this full financial statement:

Despite tougher competition Estonian Air improved its half year net result by 18%. In the first half of 2014, Estonian Air’s revenue amounted to EUR 32.9 million, which is 8% less compared to the same period last year but net result of the company improved by 18%, which amounted to EUR 5.0 million loss.

During the first six months, Estonian Air carried 260 thousand passengers, of which 251 thousand on regular flights. This is 8% less than in the same period last year but less than the decrease in roundtrips (10%) in the same period 2013.

“The result of the second quarter is on the same level as in the same period last year, but nevertheless we expected to see more positive results,” said Jan Palmér, CEO of Estonian Air. “During the second quarter Estonian Air has continued to perform in line with the restructuring plan, but in addition we must now intensify measures in response to harsher market. Competition in Tallinn airport has become tougher as new carriers have entered the market and we have been influenced by continuing uncertain situation in Ukraine resulting in lower passenger volumes on Kiev route and lower transit passengers volumes flying from Europe to Russia,” continued Palmér.

The pressure on airlines’ yield has increased in the whole Europe, forcing airlines to adapt to the changing market conditions. “In the first half of the year, the total number of passengers fell slightly behind our forecast. This is mainly due to less number of operated flights compared to last year, which is due to demanding market situation. However, in June and July we have seen the passenger volumes coming back. Positively surprising high demand for our summer offers and two more summer destinations helped us to turn the number of passengers into growth again,” added Palmer.

In addition to direct flights, Estonian Air is providing more than 280 destinations around the world together with partner airlines with minimum connecting time. For instance, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam airports act as important hubs for connecting flights around the whole world.

Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, is the biggest operator at Tallinn Airport. The airline flies regular routes to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Oslo, Moscow, Munich, St Petersburg, Kiev, Vilnius, Trondheim and Bromma. In addition, from May to September, Estonian Air will fly to Nice and Split, from June to August to Paris and from June to 1st of November to Berlin. From December 2014 to March 2015, Estonian Air will add seasonal flights to Munich.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEA (msn 17000093) arrives in Moscow (Sheremetyevo).

Estonian Air: AG Slide Show

Air Dolomiti to start Bologna-Munich flights on December 8

Air Dolomiti (Lufthansa Group) has announced the start of Bologna-Munich operations from December 8, 2014. The route will be operated as an Air Dolomiti flight.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Dolomiti’s Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) I-ADJM (msn 19000258) arrives in Zurich.

Air Dolomiti: AG Slide Show

Jet2 to add four new routes from Leeds/Bradford for the summer of 2015

Jet2 (Leeds/Bradford) has announced four new destinations for the summer of 2015 for Leeds/Bradford: Antalya, Kefalonia, Malta and Enfidha Airport in Tunisia starting on May 27, 2015..

The company is also adding new services from its key Northern airports; East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

In other news, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have announced further expansion plans at Glasgow Airport, including new routes, an additional aircraft (the sixth at GLA) plus even more seats for summer 2015. The new routes include Prague – a brand new route for Glasgow airport – plus Antalya, Larnaca and Malta.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-377 G-CELB (msn 23664) wears the special Yorkshire livery.

Jet2: AG Slide Show

Flybe to add two new routes to Amsterdam

Flybe (Exeter) has announced new year-round routes from Manchester and London City to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

The airline will operate daily flights between Manchester and Amsterdam using 88-seat Embraer 175 jet aircraft from October 26, 2014.

Weekend flights are the order of the day from London City with the airline offering Saturday morning and Sunday evening flights on 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, conveniently timed for weekend leisure travel from November 1.

The two new routes complement those already featured in Flybe’s existing 2014-15 Winter schedule to Amsterdam. It also enhances the airline’s debut schedule out of London City, adding to those routes already announced to Aberdeen, Belfast City, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200STD (ERJ 175) G-FBJC (msn 17000328) taxies at Amsterdam.

Flybe: AG Slide Show

Red Status: Update on the Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland

Iceland Volcano Status

From the Icelandic Met Office:

Two M5 earthquakes took place in Bárðarbunga caldera during the night:

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred at 5 km depth just after midnight, at 00:09. Its origin was at the northern rim of the caldera. Another earthquake, magnitude about 5, occurred at 05:33 and originated at the southern rim. These are the strongest events measured since the onset of the seismic crisis at Bárðarbunga and the strongest since 1996 (the Gjálp eruption). The magnitude is already confirmed by the European EMSC network and the GEOFON network of GFZ Potsdam in Germany.

Probably, earthquakes near the Bárðarbunga caldera are a consequence of adjustment to changes in pressure because of the flow of magma from under the caldera into the dyke which stretches to Dyngjujökull, more than 25 km away.

Great seismic activity is also near the intrusive dyke in Dyngjujökull. The activity is concentrated at the section which advanced northwards yesterday morning. Analysis shows that the origin of the quakes, there, has migrated a little towards north. Their depth is mainly in the range of 8-13 km. The largest earthquake in the Dyngjujökull area was 3.5 at 04:39.

No signs of tremor, indicative of eruption, were detected during the night.

Map: Icelandic Met Office.

Ryanair launches daily Dublin-Brussels flights, wants to acquire Cyprus Airways

Ryanair (Dublin) on August 21 launched new daily Dublin-Brussels (Zaventem) service (three roundtrips daily) as part of an extended Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with nine new routes and increased flights on 21 existing routes to/from Dublin Airport. This new Brussels Zaventem route complements Ryanair’s existing Dublin-Charleroi (near Brussels) route.

The nine new routes from Dublin are to Basel, Brussels (Zaventem), Bucharest, Cologne, Glasgow, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Nice and Prague.

In other news, Ryanair will soon be in talks with the government of Cyprus about a possible takeover of loss-making Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) according to this report by Reuters. Ryanair believes it can turn around the failing carrier. Nearly 20 companies have submitted non-binding expressions of interest about Cyprus Airways.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHN (msn 33577) touches down at EuroAirport near Basel.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

VivaAerobus to add two new routes to Houston

VivaAerobus (Monterrey) has announced it will add two new routes to Houston (Bush Intercontinental) from Cancun (starting on December 3) and Guadalajara (starting on November 20) per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Livingston Airbus A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157) arrives in Dublin before the delivery to the Mexican carrier.

VivaAerobus: AG Slide Show

Route Map:

VivaAerobus 8.2014 Route Map

AeroMexico restores the Monterrey-Houston route on November 3

AeroMexico (Mexico City) is resuming two routes from Monterrey on November 3; to both Torreon and Houston. The Monterrey-Houston route was last operated in January 2011 per Airline Route.

In other news, AeroMexico previously announced a fourth weekly flight between Merida and Miami effective on November 8. This new service will operate on Saturdays and, as the current three frequencies, will be operated with a 99-seat Embraer 190.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. AeroMexico Connect‘s (Aerolitoral) Embraer ERJ 190-100LR XA-ACJ (msn 19000531) arrives in Los Angeles.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico Connect: AG Slide Show

United Airlines to drop the Newark-Edmonton route on October 25

United Airlines (Chicago) will end the Newark-Edmonton route on October 25. The Airbus A320 nonstop route was inaugurated on May 13, 2013.

The route was not meeting the airline’s expectations.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N423UA (msn 504) arrives in Las Vegas.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Envoy Air’s pilots fail to reach an agreement with the American Airlines Group

Envoy Air’s (American Eagle) (Dallas/Fort Worth) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), failed to reach a new agreement with the American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) for a new contract. The group had approached the union about reopening discussions on a new contract. Discussions broke down on August 21. According to the union in a message to its members by Bill Sprague, “The effort began with informal discussions to identify and attempt to resolve the areas of the failed TA that were unacceptable to our group. We focused on finding solutions to guarantee that the company would re-fleet our carrier while respecting the value we provide as professionals. Identifying the core issues was easy. Finding mutually acceptable solutions was extremely difficult. The MEC met three times and spent countless hours on conference calls to eventually arrive at a proposal that satisfied those requirements.

On Wednesday, company executives rejected that proposal. Their stated intent is to continue seeking lower feed costs at other Fee for Departure carriers, as they did with Compass.”

The union chairman continued, “The state of our current daily operation shows an inability to attract a sufficient number of recruits, but it also shows that many Envoy pilots are moving onwards and upwards in their aviation careers. In their efforts to operate an airline of our size while lacking the necessary tools to safely do so, the company has found many ways to violate the current collective bargaining agreement. The MEC and leadership are dedicated to protecting and defending the contract. Our contract remains in place. We will enforce it and continue to pursue every opportunity to improve it.

The pilots of Envoy have made it clear: now is time to make this airline an attractive place to work and that responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of upper management. This action is essential to ensure the long-term success of our company.”

Envoy Air currently operates more than the 220 aircraft on about 1,300 daily flights to more than 170 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The company’s more than 14,000 employees provide regional flight service to American Airlines under the American Eagle brand and livery as well as ground handling services for approximately 15 airlines, including American.

Envoy Air is headquartered in North Texas with hubs in New York, Chicago, Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. The company was founded in 1998 as American Eagle Airlines, Inc. following the merger of several smaller regional carriers to create one the largest regional airlines in the world. On April 15, 2014 the company changed its name to Envoy Air to distinguish the company for the American Eagle brand, under which several carriers operate regional flight service for American.

American Airlines Group is likely to continue to assign new aircraft to other American Eagle carriers as Envoy Air reduces in size unless the two parties resolve their differences.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N668HH (msn 145785) prepares to touch down at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

American Eagle-Envoy: AG Slide Show

Urumqi Air to launch operations now on August 29 in northwest China

Google Maps - Urumqi Air

Urumqi Air (Urumqi, Xinjiang) is a new airline in China. The new airline is a joint venture between the HNA Group and the state-owned Urumqi Urban Construction Investment Company Limited.

Urumqi Air will be based at Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport, in the capital of Xinjiang in the remote northwest part of China (please see map above).

Urumqi Air took delivery of Boeing 737-84P B-2157 (msn 32600) from Hainan Airlines on August 20 which will provide the technical support and three leased Boeing 737 aircraft for the new carrier. The parent HNA Group will control 70 percent of the stock. Operations are due to start now on August 29, delayed from August 15.

Read the full report from Travel Daily Asia: CLICK HERE

The logo “integrates the three-color Adlai silk and flying dove, which highlights the geographical reputation of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, symbolizing peace and friendship” according to wcarn.com.

Map: Google Maps.

Saurya Airlines to launch operations in Nepal with Bombardier CRJ200s

Saurya Airlines logo

Saurya Airlines (Kathmandu) is a new airline in Nepal that has taken delivery of its first aircraft (Bombardier CRJ200 9N-ALE, msn 7493 according to ch-aviation). The company issued this statement

Saurya Airlines Pvt. Ltd. is a newly established company with a primary objective of engaging in the business of commercial air transportation operation in Nepal. Saurya Airlines is established by young, efficient, enterprising and experienced professionals with proven track record in business, aviation, and travel & tourism. Saurya Airlines will operate schedule passenger flights and chartered flights.

The company intends to fly the following routes: Kathmandu-Dhangadi-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Biratnagar-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Kathmandu and Kathmandu-Bhadrapur-Kathmandu

 

Germania to create a Swiss subsidiary to fly for Hotelplan

Germania Fluggesellschaft (Berlin) will create a new Swiss subsidiary to be based in Zurich. Operations will commence in March 2015 with one Airbus A319 for tour operator Hotelplan according to Aero.de.  The new unnamed subsidiary is currently going through the AOC process as a Swiss airline.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTZ (msn 3019) departs from the lunar landscape of Tenerife Sur in the the Canary Islands.

Germania: AG Slide Show

Airberlin returns to the black, posts a 2Q net profit of $11.4 million, will work closer with Alitalia

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) reported a net profit of €8.6 million ($11.4 million) for the second quarter, reversing a net loss of €38 million ($50.4 million) for the same quarter a year ago.

The company issued this full report:

In a difficult market environment, Airberlin achieved a slightly improved operating result (EBIT) in the second quarter of the year with turnover up by 2,9% to 1,146.4 million euros. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Airberlin was able to improve EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Tax) to -6.9 million euros from -8.1 million euros in the previous year. Taking into account other operating income of 4.8 million euros (previous year 39.2 million euros) the annual comparison on operating level shows an improvement of more than 35 million euros. Net profit was with 8.6 million euros, an increase of 46.6 million euros on the previous year (-38.0 million euros).

In particular, Airberlin was able to increase the yield by 3.0% to 120.52 euros (previous year 116.97 euros). Offering increased by 2.9% flights and 3.5% available seat kilometers (ASK). In line with market conditions, load factor was with 82.4%, 1.3% percentage points below that of the same quarter the previous year. However, higher yield revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) was nearly stable with 7.16 cents (previous year 7.20 cents).

The cost reduction initiatives launched under Turbine last year are on track and are also showing effects in the second quarter. Year on year, airberlin managed to lower the costs per available seat kilometre excluding fuel (CASK) by 2.8% to 5.50 cents (previous year 5.66 cents). Including fuel, CASK fell by 3.7% to 7.24 cents (previous year 7.51 cents). The cost reduction was achieved despite a rise of 8.3% in expenditure for aviation tax, as well as an increase in personnel cost of 13.9% driven by wage increases and one-off costs.

A high level of liquidity

Following a successful recapitalization program, Airberlin has liquid assets in the amount of 600 million euros cash on hand and nearly 300 million undrawn cash facilities available. Compared to year-end 2013, available cash increased by 378 million euros. Following the injection of the subordinated perpetual convertible bonds equity, increased by nearly 130 million euros compared to the end of the first quarter 2014 and stood at -270 million euros at the end of the second quarter. As a reporting date under IFRS, the equity capital has no effect on the financial operation of the company.

Airberlin’s partnerships with Etihad Airways and its network partners and oneworld® have developed very well in the second quarter. The number of passengers on the shared route network with Etihad Airways continued to grow at 7% in the first half year, with approximately 270,000 guests in absolute numbers. Additional routes from Stuttgart, Berlin and Vienna will contribute to future growth. Also the number of passengers on codeshares within the oneworld alliance rose by 7% in the first half year.

First elements of restructuring program announced

When presenting the results for Q2 2014, Airberlin’s CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said: “We were able to improve the net result and our operating result is looking better than it did a year ago, but this is not sufficient. We are determined to restructure Airberlin to ensure the airline moves back to a sustainable profitability within three years. Over the last few months we have been intensively working on the restructuring program. After diligently weighing and validating all of our options in the past months, we decided that airberlin will continue to serve the three core segments, namely Europe, touristic and long haul. We substantially change the way we do business and the way we serve our market. We are able to share some first elements today.”

First elements of the program include:

Focused network:

Airberlin will focus on the largest travel markets in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) as well as Palma de Mallorca and connect these high volume routes with high frequencies in point-to-point traffic. The new network design will lead to a more stable operation throughout the year, reducing the effects of traditional high seasonality. The more focussed network design could equate to a capacity reduction in the region of 10% and will lead to a significantly more efficient operation.

Closer cooperation: closer cooperation with Etihad Airways and its network partners: Airberlin and Etihad Airways are in a process of exploiting synergy potentials in all areas in a win-win-situation for both airlines and other network partners. As a next important step Airberlin is in a process of putting together a framework for a close bilateral cooperation with Alitalia, subject to regulatory approvals.
Narrow body fleet harmonization: In order to achieve a more efficient operation airberlin will strive for narrow body jet fleet harmonization in its entire network.

Streamlining operating platforms: Airberlin is in a process of streamlining and restructuring the operational platforms it uses (AOCs). In line with network adjustments, it intends to reduce its fleet by approximately 10 aircraft. Combined with the new network approach this will enable us to eliminate underperforming elements of our business.

Close down of crew stations: Airberlin has decided and agreed after negotiations to close down five of its smaller crew bases, which will result in higher efficiency and productivity of crew resources. This measure affects the work location of pilots. This does not mean that these airports are not served by Airberlin anymore.

Enhanced commercial capabilities: Airberlin will drive commercial effectiveness with state-of-the-art commercial capabilities by optimizing our overall market approach. This includes a dedicated distribution approach in the segments we serve including our tour operator business.

Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. Airberlin and the official marketing organization for the United States of America, Brand USA, are strengthening their collaboration and jointly unveiled this Airbus A320-214 registered as D-ABNB (man 5246) with this special USA livery at Dusseldorf Airport.

For Airberlin, the USA is a strategically important core market. Airberlin flies nonstop from Germany to five destinations in the USA and this summer has also increased the frequency of five different routes. There is now a daily flight from Berlin (Tegel) to Chicago (O’Hare) and the connection between the German capital and New York (JFK) has been topped up by three flights to make ten weekly connections. From Dusseldorf, Airberlin also offers ten flights a week to the Big Apple, as it did last summer. This summer there are also flights four times a week from Berlin and daily from Dusseldorf to Miami, as well as several times a week from the North Rhine Westphalian capital to Fort Myers and Los Angeles. Recently there were celebrations to mark 20 years of the connection (previously by LTU) between Dusseldorf and Fort Myers: Airberlin is the only airline to serve this destination nonstop from Europe. There are feeder flights to Berlin and Dusseldorf from numerous German and European cities. In the USA, Airberlin also offers its flight guests around 60 additional destinations through the codeshare agreement with oneworld® partner American Airlines.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

 

Azul to introduce the new Airbus A330 on domestic routes

Azul A330-200 PR-AIV (14-Brazilian flag)(Nose)(Azul)(LR)

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras (Campinas-Viracopos) as previously reported, has filed with the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for its approval for flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Orlando (MCO). If approved, FLL service will start on December 1 and MCO service on December 15 with its new Airbus A330-200s.

In the meantime, the carrier will start operating the new type on domestic routes from Campinas to Brasilia, Manaus, Recife and Rio de Janeiro (Galeao), also subject to approval by ANAC. The new type will be operated on domestic routes from September 1 through November 30.

Copyright Photo: Azul. Airbus A330-243 PR-AIV (msn 532) is painted in the special Brazilian flag motif and was delivered on August 20, 2014 from AerCap. The wide body airliner has previously been operated by MEA (F-OMEC), Gulf Air (A9C-KI) and Turkish Airlines (TC-JNY).

Azul: AG Slide Show

PAL Airlines stops flying mining charters

PAL Airlines (Santiago) has ceased flying mining charters. In early August, sources inside the airline said they will no longer fly domestic charters, becoming a ground services provider and possibly, operating the southern hemisphere charters to tropical destinations, blaming the current economic situation in Chile, the open skies policy and the stop in mining investments.

This happened after losing its AOC for the second time in the year.

A mining charter flight was operated on August 4. This is likely the last flight.

The airline has shut down its website.

The Chilean airline started operations in 2003 as Principal Airlines-Aerolinea Principal de Chile.

Thanks to Alvaro Romero, reporting from Chile.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-2K9 CC-ACD 9msn 23404) is pictured in the past at the Santiago base.

PAL Airlines: AG Slide Show

QANTAS to boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and between Sydney and Santiago, from early 2015, and introduce a new schedule providing the flexibility of morning, midday and evening departures between Australia and the US.

From January 21, 2015, QANTAS will increase its Melbourne to Los Angeles service from a daily service to ten per week and from February 20 will increase its Sydney to Santiago service from three to four per week.

The new services are the result of some schedule adjustments across the Pacific allowing for increased Boeing 747-400 flying time, one of the key elements of the QANTAS Transformation Program announced earlier this year.

“As part of our strategy to build a stronger QANTAS, we’ve introduced a new approach to aircraft utilization so we can take advantage of opportunities in the market. It means adjusting our schedules across the network to ensure our fleet spend less time on the ground and more time in the air, as we have done with our new Airbus A380 Dallas/Fort Worth service starting next month,” added Mr Hickey.

“This new schedule also builds on 25 supplementary services to the US and South America over the Christmas holiday period. The new schedule also enhances connections for our customers right across the US,” added Mr Hickey.

Customers connecting through to destinations across central and eastern parts of the United States will now have three options from Sydney – a morning and evening service to Los Angeles, and afternoon service to Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We recently announced new codeshare services with our partner LAN from Santiago to six destinations across South America and will now operate A380 services to both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, connecting with codeshare partner American Airlines to more than 100 destinations across North America.

Adjustments will be made to the timing of some of our flights across the Pacific in order to facilitate the improved schedule options for our customers.

Fleet and network adjustments are earmarked to save up to $600 million over three years for the QANTAS Group from the overall $2 billion cost reduction target that is at the centre of the airline’s turnaround plans. Increased aircraft utilisation and accelerated retirement of older, non-reconfigured Boeing 747s form part of this.

These changes come in a year of the 60th anniversary of QANTAS services to the US. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.

Summary of Schedule and Network Changes:

QANTAS Summary of Changes

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 747-400 is gradually leaving the QANTAS passenger fleet. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJS (man 25564) in the special Socceroos color scheme arrives in London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Great Boeing 737 cockpit videos from the 737Channel

As the news is light during the “dog days” of the late summer in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought you would appreciate a diversion. We are always looking for great airline oriented videos (please send us your recommendations). Here is a new one. The 737Channel brings aviation enthusiasts an insight to the airline world from a pilot’s perspective. You can now see what pilots see, as HD footage is captured in real life operations. The above Episode 2 video is a nighttime approach. Below are a few more of the episodes.

Episode 1 video above.  De-icing as seen from the flight deck of a Boeing 737-800.

Episode 3 video above.

Episode 4 video above. Boeing 737-800 ILS CAT II approach to minimums with Autoland.

Episode 5 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 from a Caribbean airport to a Canadian snowstorm.

Episode 7 video above. A Boeing 737-800 landing in Jamaica.

Episode 8 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 across North America and the Caribbean.

Cathay Pacific is coming to Boston starting on May 3, 2015

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has announced at a joint press conference at the Massachusetts State House with Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, Richard Davey, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Paul Guzzi, and Thomas P. Glynn, CEO, Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), that it will commence a new four-times-weekly nonstop service from Boston Logan International Airport to Hong Kong on May 3, 2015, subject to government approval.

The new service will link New England and Hong Kong directly for the first time, and marks Cathay Pacific’s sixth gateway in the United States, and eighth in North America. The airline, which was recently named “World’s Best Airline” in the 2014 annual Skytrax World Airline Awards™, currently serves Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. 2014 saw a huge increase in capacity, with the launch of a daily Newark service, the addition of a fourth daily flight from Los Angeles, and three additional flights per week from Chicago.

The total origin-destination market between Boston and Hong Kong, plus the 44 Asian cities accessed via Cathay Pacific / Dragonair’s Hong Kong hub, represented over 331,000 passengers and $332 million revenue annually in 2013. Boston is the largest U.S. – Hong Kong market without nonstop service. More than 53,000 passengers flew between Logan and Hong Kong in 2013.

The Boston service will be operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft featuring Cathay Pacific’s renowned cabin products, including the newly-refreshed First Class; awarding-winning Business Class; the newest cabin class, Premium Economy; and the new long-haul Economy Class. Together with the exceptional service provided by Cathay Pacific’s award-winning cabin crew and a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system in all classes, passengers will be provided with the best possible travel experience when they fly between Boston and Hong Kong.

The flight schedule for Cathay Pacific’s Boston (BOS) service, effective May 3, 2015 will operate four days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays).

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPI (msn 36833) arrives in New York (JFK).

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Airlines for America projects 2 percent more passengers to fly during Labor Day travel period, net profits up for nine U.S. airlines for the first half of 2014

Airlines for America logo

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has delivered its Labor Day air travel forecast and first half 2014 results for U.S. passenger airlines, which reported improving profitability, enabling carriers to invest in their workforce, reduce debt and enhance the customer experience for airline passengers.

“Airlines are key drivers of jobs and economic growth, and improving finances have further accelerated their investments in people, products and technology to enhance the travel experience for customers”

A4A projects a 2 percent year-over-year increase in the number of passengers flying on U.S. airlines during the seven-day Labor Day travel period. From Wednesday August 27 through Tuesday, September 2, A4A expects 14 million air travelers will take to the skies, up from an estimated 13.8 million in 2013, with the busiest day of the period occurring on Friday, Aug. 29. Airlines are adding seats to the marketplace to accommodate the expected increase in demand.

First Half 2014 Financial Performance

Nine U.S. passenger airlines – Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United – collectively reported a net profit of approximately $3.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion during the same period last year. This translated to a net margin of 5 percent, or 5 cents on every dollar of revenue, an improvement from the 2.1 percent margin reported in the first half of 2013.

The year-over-year improvement was driven by a 6 percent increase in operating revenues, which outpaced the 2.2 percent increase in operating expenses, including rising wages and benefits, airport landing fees, terminal rents and aircraft ownership costs. Despite remaining their largest and most volatile cost, fuel costs dipped 2.4 percent. Airlines also saw modest relief in maintenance expenses and aircraft rents.

“Airlines are key drivers of jobs and economic growth, and improving finances have further accelerated their investments in people, products and technology to enhance the travel experience for customers,” said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. “With U.S. personal incomes continuing to outpace airfares, air travel is far more accessible to customers than it was in the past.”

While airfare remains affordable, airlines and their customers continue to pay more than their fair share in federally imposed taxes. From 2000 to 2013, adjusted for inflation, base fares dropped 8 percent while taxes rose 49 percent. Four decades ago, taxes and fees accounted for less than one-tenth of the price of an airline ticket. Today, the amount has skyrocketed to 21 percent of the price or $62 on a typical $300 roundtrip domestic ticket. That amount further increased in July to $63 when the passenger tax more than doubled to $5.60 on a one-way trip. It could go even higher if other taxes proposed by the White House become law.

In the first half of 2014, these nine airlines invested $7 billion – more than $1 billion per month – to benefit customers. New and refurbished aircraft are being delivered at a rate of nearly one per day, including 149 received in the first six months and 168 additional units slated for delivery in the remainder of the year. Additional investments include route expansion, development of mobile technology, enhanced airport check-in areas, lounges and gates. Additionally, airlines were able to further reduce gross debt by $1.8 billion.

First Half 2014 Operational Performance

U.S. airlines overcame numerous extreme weather events, such as the polar vortex and severe thunderstorms, to post a completion factor of 96.9 percent and an on-time arrival rate of 74.2 percent. According to the Department of Transportation, 99.6 percent of passengers had their bags properly handled and complaints remained low at 1.49 per 100,000 passengers.

“Customers continue to benefit from the proactive approach airlines are taking to cope with extreme weather and minimize travel disruptions,” said Heimlich. “Despite some of the worst winter weather conditions in recent memory, airlines continued to meet the needs of their customers, while connecting communities and economies and creating jobs.”

Airlines of America 27,000 Flts a Day banner

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