Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:
The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.
Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:
This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.
In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.
In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.
Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.
In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.
FedEx is forecasting another record holiday season with an 8.8% increase and December 15 as the busiest day
FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) is forecasting another record holiday. The company expects to move more than 290 million shipments between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, an 8.8 percent increase in overall year-over-year Peak seasonal volume.
The season is expected to be bolstered by three volume spikes throughout December, occurring the first three Mondays of the month and each expected to surpass 20 million in volume.
December 15 is projected to be the busiest day in company history, with a forecasted 22.6 million shipments moving around the world. Peak projections are included in FedEx earnings guidance for FY15.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. An upgraded McDonnell Douglas MD-10-30F (DC-10-30F) registered as N321FE (msn 47836) arrives in Las Vegas.
The Boeing Company (Chicago and Seattle) today reported third quarter revenue increased 7 percent to $23.8 billion on higher deliveries (Table 1). Core earnings per share (non-GAAP) increased 19 percent* to $2.14, driven by strong performance across the company’s businesses. Third-quarter core operating earnings (non-GAAP) increased 13 percent* to $2.4 billion from the same period of the prior year.
GAAP earnings per share was $1.86 and GAAP earnings from operations was $2.1 billion.
Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $8.10 and $8.30, from $7.90 to $8.10 on continued strong operating performance. GAAP earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $6.90 and $7.10, from $6.85 to $7.05. Operating cash flow before pension contributions* guidance increased to greater than $7 billion. Commercial Airplanes operating margin guidance increased to approximately 10.5 percent.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) launched a new service between Quito, Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on October 17, 2014.
The new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood increases the connectivity between Ecuador and key U.S. markets, including Miami and Orlando. With more than 70,000 Ecuadorians living in Florida, TAME’s flight service provides easy and accessible options.
The new route takes only four hours and will be offered daily from Quito at 2:15 a.m. and arriving to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 7:15 a.m. The return flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood departs at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Quito at 12:00 p.m. An Airbus A320 with a capacity for 162 passengers and an Airbus A319 for up to 140 passengers will be used.
Copyright Photo: Stefano Rota/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-CID (msn 934) departs from Guayaquil.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).
Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.
Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.
Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced that it will be recommencing flights to Shiraz. Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the capital of Fars Province in Iran, will be served with 3 weekly flights, starting on December 15, 2014.
Gulf Air is further strengthening and supplementing its Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014).
Gulf Air will be operating one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft on this short-haul route.
In other news, Gulf Air has also announced that, following its successful resumption of operations to Thiruvananthapuram last year, it will be recommencing flights to Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, with 5 weekly flights, starting from December 15, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Gulf Air. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AC (msn 4059) taxies to the runway.
Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show:
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is bringing more Hawaii to its customers in San Diego with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Starting March 5, 2015, the new flights will operate three times weekly.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N593AS (msn 35107) completes the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Expo 2015 will be held in Milan from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to attend the event of which more than a third will travel to the northern Italian city by air.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways held joint simultaneous events at Malpensa Airport in Milan and Abu Dhabi Airport to unveil the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to audiences gathered in both locations as well as thousands watching online around the world.
The Alitalia A330-200 and the Etihad Airways A330-200, both in the eye-catching special livery, operated their first flights on Tuesday, October 21, between Rome and Abu Dhabi and will carry the Expo Milano 2015 “feeding the planet, energy for life” message worldwide.
Flight frequencies to and from Milan are set to increase during Expo 2015 when Alitalia will commence daily flights to Milan Malpensa from Abu Dhabi and from Shanghai, that will be introduced in the next months, after approval by European authorities, and Alitalia will also increase domestic and international flights. These flights will connect with Etihad Airways’ services throughout the Middle East and with markets in the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will link Milan with 560 unique online and codeshare destinations across the globe.
The new Alitalia service to Abu Dhabi will complement Etihad Airways’ successful daily passenger flights and regular freight flights between Milan and Abu Dhabi and contribute to the two airlines’ commitment to develop Malpensa as a global air cargo hub.
In addition to the joint liveried aircraft, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are offering a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people for Expo Milano 2015.
The two air carriers are also implementing an integrated marketing and communication plan including onboard and ground announcements for their flights, as well as offers to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social media activities.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will have a pavilion throughout Expo 2015 with an interactive social hub that will enable guests to enjoy activities in Milan whether in the city or around the world.
All images by Alitalia and Etihad Airways.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) today (October 22) opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as “gutter oil” in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. The two companies estimate that 500 million gallons (1.8 billion liters) of biofuel could be made annually in China from used cooking oil.
Boeing and COMAC are sponsoring the facility, which is called the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project. It will use a technology developed by Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. (HEET) to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gallons (650 liters) per day. The project’s goal is to assess the technical feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes of biofuel.
Sustainably produced biofuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum through its lifecycle, is expected to play a key role in supporting aviation’s growth while meeting environmental goals. The Boeing Current Market Outlook has forecast that China will require more than 6,000 new airplanes by 2033 to meet fast-growing passenger demand for domestic and international air travel.
Boeing and COMAC have been collaborating since 2012 to support the growth of China’s commercial aviation industry. Their Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center in Beijing works with Chinese universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas that improve aviation’s efficiency, such as aviation biofuel and air traffic management.
Biofuel produced by the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project will meet international specifications approved in 2011 for jet fuel made from plant oils and animal fats. This type of biofuel has already been used for more than 1,600 commercial flights.
COMAC is also the builder of the new C919 jetliner.
In other news, Boeing yesterday (October 21) celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the Everett, Washington, campus. Permitting for the new 1-million-square-foot facility was completed approximately seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.
Boeing is investing more than $1 billion in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new building.
Once completed, the facility located on the north side of the main final assembly building will help usher in composite wing fabrication for the company’s newest commercial jetliner and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.
Completion of the new building, which is expected in May 2016, will require approximately 3.5 million hours of work. At its peak, there will be approximately 1,200 contract employees working on the project. By the numbers, the new building will require:
31,000 tons (28,000 metric tons) of steel
480 miles (770 kilometers) of electrical cable
80,000 linear feet (24,384 meters ) of process piping
530,000 cubic yards (405,210 cubic meters) of fill material
170,000 tons (154,000 metric tons) of concrete
To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments. Two models will comprise the 777X family – the 777-8X, with approximately 350 seats and a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles; and the 777-9X, with approximately 400 seats and a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles. The 777-8X competes directly with the Airbus A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself, serving a market segment that no other airplane can. First delivery of the 777X is targeted for 2020.
Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2014.
GAAP net income in the third quarter of $35.6 million or $0.56 per diluted share.
Adjusted net income, reflecting economic fuel expense, in the third quarter of $49.5 million or $0.79 per diluted share, an increase of $12.7 million or $0.10 cents per diluted share year-over-year.
Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increase of 4.6% and passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increase of 2.2%.
Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $582 million.
Announced new service from San Francisco to Maui beginning November 2014.
Operated Los Angeles to Kona, three-times-weekly, and Los Angeles to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Operated Oakland to Kona, three-times-weekly and Oakland to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Operated Los Angeles to Maui second daily summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N393HA (msn 1422) arrives in Las Vgeas.
Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Casablanca-Paris (Orly) route on January 8, 2015 per Airline Route. Casablanca-New York (JFK) 787 service is due to start on February 22, 2015. The new type will also operate to Montreal (Trudeau) starting on March 29, 2015, Algiers (June 14, 2015) and Jeddah (June 16, 2015).
Royal Air Maroc has four 787-8s on order.
Image: Royal Air Maroc.
AirEuropa (Palma de Mallorca and Madrid) on March 30, 2015 will add the Madrid-Tel Aviv route with Boeing 737-800s. The new route will be operated three days a week per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85P EC-LVR (msn 36593) taxies to the gate at Palma de Mallorca.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has unveiled and introduced its new Airbus A330 international Business Class product. The airline issued this statement and photos:
QANTAS customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.
Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of QANTAS’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing.* The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.
The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.
The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat (above), an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with QANTAS customers on the Airbus A380 and refurbished Boeing 747 aircraft. Economy seats on the A330-200s for QANTAS Domestic will also be refreshed.
Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.
Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by QANTAS in every seat.
The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at QANTAS’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will commence flying in January 2015.
International and domestic routes currently serviced by QANTAS A330s:
· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth
· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
· Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
* Subject to final CASA certification.
Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced Frankfurt will be the first destination for its new Airbus A350-900. The fast-growing airline issued this statement:
Qatar Airways has announced Frankfurt as the first route for its highly anticipated A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB) aircraft.
As the Global Launch operator of the A350 XWB, the program will achieve another major milestone once the airline receives its first aircraft before the end of this year.
Upon delivery, following several weeks of induction preparation, Qatar Airways will then be set to introduce its first commercial service to the German business hub city of Frankfurt.
Frankfurt will be operated nonstop daily with an A350 starting from January of next year.
Qatar Airways currently flies twice-daily to Frankfurt, and the double pairings will both be operated by an A350 on the route.
Initially flights QR 067/068 will be the first pairing with the A350, followed shortly by flights QR 069/70.
The 283 seats are divided across a dual cabin layout, configured in Business Class and Economy Class; 36 seats and 247 seats respectively.
Qatar Airways has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to induct the first eight production aircraft into its fleet before 2015 year-end.
Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti, in the Republic of Djibouti, on October 26 and Asmara, in Eritrea on December 4.
Qatar Airways presently flies to 144 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and operates a modern mixed fleet of narrow and wide-body aircraft.
Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.
In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo has announced the launch of freighters to Stavanger in Norway, effective November 3, 2014.
Stavanger will be served once a week by an Airbus A330F freighter, with the freighter making a stop at Brussels before heading to Stavanger Airport and then returning to Doha.
Stavanger is known as the European oil and gas capital, with many of the major oil and gas companies and supplier companies having their Norwegian headquarters located in Stavanger. Other areas of activity and business include fishing, shipping, finance, culture, food and renewable energy. There is also great demand for Norwegian salmon worldwide, while imports include considerable quantities of motor vehicles and other transport equipment, raw materials, and industrial equipment.
With the introduction of scheduled freighter services, Qatar Airways Cargo will provide air transportation to these growing industries through the Doha hub, to and from more than 140 destinations worldwide.
The airline received its seventh Boeing 777 freighter on October 2, 2014, bringing up the total freighter fleet to 10.
Copyright Photo: Airbus/Qatar Airways. The pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WZFA (msn 006) will become A7-ALA on the official handover.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) has made this announcement:
On November 11, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate three McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Farewell Flights. These popular roundtrips sold out within minutes of going on sale. But you still have a chance to win the last two available seats onboard this special flight!
Take part in the MD-11 quiz from today, Monday October 20, to Thursday October 30 at http://byebyeMD11.klm.com. KLM is also commemorating the MD-11 on this website in an historical overview of photos, films, facts and figures relating to this unique aircraft.
About the quiz
The campaign consists of two parts: a quiz with 11 questions and a timeline. The timeline gives an overview of MD-11 milestones and memories in photos, videos and words.
Anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can take part in the quiz and stands to win various unique daily prizes, including an MD flight simulator session. If you don’t know an answer, the timeline will help you find it. Readers will discover how many tons of kerosene a KLM MD-11 can carry, which famous ladies KLM’s MD-11s are named after, and how many passenger seats there are aboard a KLM MD-11. Get all 11 questions right and you stand a chance to win the main prize.
The site will remain online for the rest of the year.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is one of the answers. The pictured MD-11 PH-KCE (msn 48559) with the special 95 Years emblem is also named after actress Audrey Hepburn.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) has issued this statement on its on-going growth strategy:
Emirates will continue with its growth trajectory, in spite of global challenges like regional political instability, pandemic health issues in Africa and softening economic demand from dropping oil prices.
Speaking today at the Aviation Festival Middle East, Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice President Route Planning and Economics said: “Countries recognize the importance of seamless global traffic flows and the multiplier effect to their own economies, and this has been instrumental in our own growth as an airline that attracts business and tourism opportunities. We will not deviate from our hub strategy and our future aircraft deliveries and orders are predicated on our non-stop services, connecting city pairs around the globe.”
Emirates expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline together with its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.
The Aviation Festival Middle East is a platform for airlines, airports and the aviation industry to address strategies for growth and development. On behalf of Emirates, Lakshminarayanan discussed profitable network growth, aero-political access, airport constraints and commercial partnerships. The core of Emirates network strategy and Dubai hub were also discussed, in addition to Emirates’ view on alliances and strategic partnerships.
He cited India as an example where Emirates services have brought positive economic benefits, where the 185 weekly frequencies allotted to the airline directly contribute $825 million to the local economy, according to a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
Emirates has also been able to capitalize on strategic alliances with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), which has helped spur tourism into Dubai through the partnership. Over 250,000 Australians visited Dubai last year, largely reflecting the convergence of both airlines’ networks. Another mutually beneficial partnership that has supported Emirates’ growing United States network has been with JetBlue Airways (New York), which has grown to a bilateral codeshare agreement, enabling Emirates passengers to connect to over 60 cities served by JetBlue beyond its US gateways.
The airline continues to work on various initiatives, in partnership with Dubai International Airport, to help ease slot congestion. Terminal 4, set to open in 2015, will also help to address overall capacity requirements at the airport.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates is also not afraid of its large and growing Airbus A380 fleet. The airline is also not concerned with the resale market for its A380s. It is happy to have single operator A380s. Emirates is an unique airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) with Expo 2020 markings departs from London (Heathrow).
American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo today are now using the same air waybill, another step in the merger process
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have reached a significant milestone in their merger today as the cargo divisions combined under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800 million each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually.
The cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Another step in the repainting process at US Airways is the pictured Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) in the legacy 1966 Allegheny Airlines markings now has American titles.
Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is dropping the Berlin (Tegel)-Miami route on May 4, 2015 per Airline Route. The airline was planning to continue the route through next summer but this has now apparently changed. It is uncertain if the route will be added back for the following prime winter season. Airberlin was also feeding Oneworld partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) at the Miami hub.
Airberlin is adding frequencies to the New York (JFK) and Los Angeles routes.
Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 D-ABXA (msn 288) in the Oneworld motif arrives at Miami International Airport (MIA).
Aigle Azur (2nd) (Paris-Orly) is dropping the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route on October 26 per Airline Route. The route was an important connecting route with partner Transaero Airlines (Moscow) (see map below).
Since July 2012, Aigle Azur has been serving the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route in partnership with Transaero Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HBIB (msn 3289) touches down at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.
Current Route Map:
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced two new destinations from Leeds/Bradford for the coming summer. The summer 2015 schedule from Leeds Bradford Airport will offer two new routes during the summer months to Alicante (starting on March 29) and Naples (March 30), in addition to eight routes continued from summer 2014, making a total of 28 flights per week. Flights to the increasingly popular destinations of Dalaman and Faro will see a rise in frequencies and holiday makers will enjoy more convenient flight times to Barcelona, Faro and Mahon. The airline will have 10 routes from LBA for the next summer season.
In July, Monarch Airlines announced that Boeing had been chosen as the preferred bidder for its anticipated fleet renewal project. The airline is currently working towards agreeing to terms which will see 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft joining the Monarch fleet from April 2018, with options to add up to an additional 15 to the order.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. If the Boeing deal is finalized, the Airbus A320 family fleet is expected to be reduced. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAA (msn 5526) with Sharklets departs from Palma de Mallorca.
British Airways (London) is taking each of its eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners out of service one at a time for routine warranty service work by Boeing at Victorville, California. Starting with the pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJA (msn 38609), each aircraft from the first four deliveries (JA-JD), is expected to take around 10 days for the service work. The last four 787s to be delivered (JE-JH) are expected to take less time since they are closer to the new 787s being delivered. Each of the eight aircraft, when finished, will be the same as new production 787s currently being delivered. This is normal procedure for a new aircraft type as the manufacturer often makes some changes as aircraft roll off the production line.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJA departs from London (Heathrow).
Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) is coming to Havana, Cuba. The airline will operate twice-weekly Boeing 737-800 services on the Buenos Aires-Caracas-Havana extended route starting on January 4, 2015 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86J LV-FQC (msn 37744) is pictured at downtown Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires.
LAN Airlines (Santiago) is planning to assign the Boeing 787-8 to the unique Santiago-Easter Island route. The 787 will operate on the remote route starting on October 1, 2015 three days a week per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner CC-BBG (msn 38477) arrives at the Santiago hub.
LAN Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Volaris (Mexico City) has announced the launch of two new routes to connect Mexico City and Guadalajara with Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Mexico City flights will start operating on December 1 and Guadalajara flights on December 4. Mexico City flights will operate four days a week and Guadalajara flights two days a week. FLL is the second destination in Florida after Orlando. FLL will serve the Miami area (see map below).
The carrier is also adding the following routes this winter:
Morelia-Oakland (twice-weekly, effective November 3)
Guadalajara-Orlando (twice-weekly, effective November 17)
Guadalajara-Chicago (O’Hare) (twice-weekly, effective November 19)
Cancun-Las Vegas (twice-weekly, effective December 18)
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-133 XA-VOC (msn 2997) lands in Las Vegas.
Updated Route Map for routes from Mexico City:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement concerning strike action against the carrier today and tomorrow:
Lufthansa is working flat out to devise special timetables for the next two days in response to planned strike action by its Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. The union has called for a nationwide strike affecting all Lufthansa flights operated with Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft from 13:00 CEST on Monday October 20 to 23:59 CEST on Tuesday October 21.
A first special timetable, valid for the first 24 hours of the strike, was placed on the http://www.LH.com website around 19:00 this evening. A second special timetable for the remaining strike period should be published tomorrow (Monday 20 October) around 13:00. The special timetables are also intended to ensure that Lufthansa services can be returned to normal once the strike is over.
In view of the length of the strike action called, Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul services are likely to suffer substantial disruption during the strike period. But as part of its special timetable preparations, the company is currently determining which flights can still be operated. Lufthansa’s long-haul services will operate normally tomorrow (Monday); but travellers are still asked to check the status of their flight prior to their departure. The company’s http://www.LH.com website is the best place to do so: since the strike action has been announced on a Sunday, it will be some time before the call centres can be brought up to maximum capacity.
Travellers whose flight is cancelled as a result of the strike action have the options of rebooking or cancelling their ticket free of charge. Customers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for 20 or 21 October can also rebook their ticket once free of charge even if their original flight is expected to operate. Tickets for travel within Germany can also be exchanged for a rail ticket on http://www.LH.com or at any Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine.
The flights of sister Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX and EN) will operate normally during the strike period. Lufthansa Cargo, too, remains largely unaffected. Germanwings is currently studying whether it can operate up to four Lufthansa flights that would otherwise be cancelled as a result of the strike action. And Lufthansa’s personnel are doing their utmost to ensure that travellers – and connecting passengers in particular – can be rerouted via the Lufthansa Group’s Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs wherever possible to get them to their destination on time despite the strike action. Customers who have provided contact details will also be informed by email or SMS text message of any changes to their flights.
Lufthansa views the Vereinigung Cockpit’s announcement of its latest strike action as totally incomprehensible and disproportionate. The company also feels that the continuing series of strikes here only confirms that urgent action is needed to review the current strike laws in Germany for companies providing critical infrastructural facilities.
The transitional benefits offered by Lufthansa are still among the best (if not the best) in the world and therefore a significant privilege, the company maintains, and are thus exactly the opposite of the “social slashing” that the Vereinigung Cockpit claims. The company’s concrete offer to redesign these transitional benefits includes a comprehensive retention of current status and privileges and a gradual transition to a sustainable model for all current pilots.
Lufthansa also aims to offer pilots who have joined (or will join) the company since 1 January 2014 the option of early retirement from flight duties. And the company has offered the Vereinigung Cockpit further talks to discuss the financing of the transitional benefits for these newer staff. In response, the company has received no proposals for redesigning the present transitional benefits to date from the Vereinigung Cockpit itself.
Around half of the just under 10,000 pilots within the Lufthansa Group currently work under transitional benefit provisions that only allow them to retire from flight duties at age 60 or over, if at all. Indeed, the Vereinigung Cockpit itself has concluded collective labour agreements incorporating such provisions within the Lufthansa Group. But, Lufthansa maintains, the union is now insisting on provisions for the pilots it represents that would give them benefits which would be exceptionally generous in the aviation industry worldwide.
Lufthansa’s remaining 115,000 employees have made their contribution to ensuring the company’s long-term future and competitiveness in a harsh and unfair global market arena. So Lufthansa does not see the slightest reason why this particular employee group should be solely determined to retain its present status and privileges for decades to come, and to do so even for pilots who are yet to join the company.
Read the analysis from Business Insider: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” arrives at London (Heathrow).
Porter Airlines (Toronto-Billy Bishop Toronto City) is resuming seasonal service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Burlington, Vermont mainly for the upcoming ski season.
Flights begin this year on December 14, continuing until April 5, 2015. The schedule peaks with five weekly flights during the March Break, and ranges from two to four weekly flights during the rest of the season. Porter continues to be the only airline offering direct scheduled flights to Vermont from Toronto.
Top Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GKQA (msn 4357) arrives in Chicago (Midway).
All images below from Porter Airlines.
Air Transat (Montreal) has announced it is adding a new destination, Budapest, Hungary, to its trans-Atlantic program for 2015, as well as increasing seats and frequencies on many of its European routes, including Paris, London, Barcelona, Athens, Lisbon, Marseille, Nantes, Rome and Venice.
The new route will be routed from Toronto (Pearson) to Montreal (Trudeau) and finally to Budapest with Airbus A330s from June 17 through October 8, 2015.
Besides service to secondary cities in France, the carrier is now offering twice-daily flights to Paris from Montreal and six a week from Toronto. Air Transat also remains the only airline offering direct flights to Paris from Quebec City, Calgary and Vancouver.
In addition, Air Transat announced a new connection between Halifax, Nova Scotia) to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and finally to London (Gatwick), with two weekly Boeing 737-800 flights in the high season, in response to strong demand from travellers in the region. The route will be operated from June 17 through September 3, 2015.
Elsewhere in Canada, the carrier will increase flight frequencies on its London routes as well, offering 10 weekly departures from Toronto, two each from Montreal and Halifax, six from Vancouver, and three from Calgary.
Flights will also be added to Athens and Barcelona from Montreal and Toronto, and to Lisbon from Montreal.
In 2015, Air Transat will no longer offer flights to Germany from Western Canada, and will no longer fly to Turkey. Although the airline is eliminating service between Montreal and Istanbul, Air Transat will continue to market that destination, with land tours sold under the Transat Holidays and Transat Discoveries brands.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 C-GTSZ (msn 971) of Air Transat departs from Toronto (Pearson).
Air Transat Aircraft Slide Show:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continues to expand Boeing 717 operations as more aircraft are released from AirTran Airways. As previously reported, AirTran will operate its last flight on December 28.
Delta will introduce the 717 to the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub starting on January 6, 2015 with a route to Charlotte. Kansas City, Madison and Philadelphia will be added on February 13 followed by Detroit on March 2 per Airline Route.
Delta is also assigning the 717 to two new routes from the Atlanta hub to both Georgetown (December 20) and Nassau (January 12) in the Bahamas.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-231 N929AT (msn 55075) arrives at Washington (Dulles).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will introduce the Bombardier CRJ900 to the Dallas/Fort Worth hub starting on November 6. Mesa Airlines (Phoenix) will operate the type initially on American Eagle services to Albuquerque, El Paso, Fayetteville and Greenville/Spartanburg per Airline Route. On November 16 this operation will expand with a Huntsville, AL route. Colorado Springs, Little Rock, Louisville, Lubbock, Oklahoma City and Wichita will be added from DFW on December 2. Finally Montrose, CO will be added on December 18.
In May 2014 Mesa Airlines announced they had reached an agreement with American Airlines to operate six more CRJ900s for American bringing the total CRJ900s to 51 aircraft.
In other news, American is also introducing the Embraer ERJ 175 on additional routes. Effective November 6 the Embraer 175 will be operated from the Chicago (O’Hare) hub to Columbus, OH. On the same date from the Miami hub, the E175 will operate to Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. From New York (JFK) the E175 will be assigned to the Pittsburgh route also starting on November 6.
Finally on December 18, the Embraer 175 will be added on additional routes from the Miami hub to Cleveland, Key West and Nassau.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Mesa Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N944LR (msn 15075) is pictured at Long Beach, California.
British Airways (London) will resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London (Heathrow)-Denver route on March 29, 2015, replacing a Boeing 777-200 ER according to Airline Route. BA last operated the Jumbo on the route in 2003.
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways announced that customers in Denver will soon be able to enjoy British Airways’ new First class cabin. From March 2015 the Denver to London service will be operated by a four class Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
British Airways began flying to Denver 16 years ago and the airline now offers a daily service to London Heathrow. The Boeing 747 aircraft will provide customers with a choice of World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and the airline’s flagship brand, First.
Premium First Experience
The First class cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury. Features include:
Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft. 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button
Signature turn down service includes a luxurious quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.
A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table
A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together
A 15” in-flight entertainment screen with extensive TV, movie and audio selections
Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day
All British Airways long haul flights include benefits such as free meals and all beverages, as well as free baggage allowance and seat allocation. The airline also provides a “Feed Kids First” service ensures that children are served first, allowing parents to enjoy their own meal.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLS (msn 24629) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.
Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul) has been unable to resume flights to London (Gatwick) according to Proactive Investors. The west African airline had been planning to resume operations to London on October 17. The UK government through the Department of Transport did not renew its permit to operate to the UK due to the on-going Ebola crisis. The airline has been hit hard by the outbreak.
Previously Gambia Bird had extended the suspension of all flights to and from Monrovia, in Liberia, and to and from Freetown, in Sierra Leone, until September 28. 2014, due to the current public health situation in both countries.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Germania’s Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) is seen in action at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Gambia Bird’s operating area is ground zero for the Ebola affected areas:
Gambia Bird Aircraft Slide Show:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has announced it will drop its daily route from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi, the home of Etihad Airways. The route will be dropped on March 29, 2015. The German airline has been getting increased price competition from Etihad and its partner Airberlin (Berlin) on the route.
The route is operated with Airbus A330-300s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKJ (msn 701) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) today (October 18) inaugurated Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Geneva.
Above: Twitter photo by IATA. The arrival was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute.
In other news, RJ announced a new policy for checked luggage, based on the piece concept instead of the weight concept. The new policy will be effective for ticketing on October 15, 2014, for travel as of November 2, 2014 to all RJ destinations.
Checked baggage allowance to all destinations except North America
Two pieces, the weight of the first is up to 30kg and the weight of the second is up to 23kg.The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm/62 inches
One piece, with a weight up to 30kg.
The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm (62 inches).
One piece with a maximum weight of 10 kg/22 lbs the sum of the 3 dimensions must not exceed 115cm/45 inches, and a carry-on fully-collapsible child stroller/push-chair, or infant carrying basket or infant car seat, which may be carried in the passenger cabin subject to the availability of space.
The same baggage allowance as passengers paying full adult fare.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA (msn 37983) arrives at London (Heathrow).
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation today (October 18) held a rollout ceremony for the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), a next-generation regional jet, at the Komaki Minami Plant of MHI’s Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Aichi Prefecture. After unveiling Japan’s first jet aircraft, MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft are now ready to proceed toward the MRJ’s first flight scheduled for the April-June quarter of 2015.
The rollout ceremony was attended by numerous distinguished guests, including Akihiro Nishimura, State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); Hideki Niwa, State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); Atsuo Kuroda, Director-General, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA Holdings Inc., the launch customer. From MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft, respectively, chairman Hideaki Omiya and president and COO Teruaki Kawai, as well as executives of the two companies, were present.
In welcoming his guests Mr. Omiya spoke of his pride on the momentous occasion. “A product ‘Made in Japan’ – a product offering the highest levels of both operating economy and cabin comfort – is at long last about to leave the realm of dreams and become a reality,” he said. “It’s with utmost confidence and pride that we will soon be sending the MRJ out into the world.”
Going forward MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft will continue to dedicate their full efforts to ensuring the success of the MRJ project while at the same time playing a core role in the development of the aviation industry. The two companies presently look for the MRJ’s first flight to take place in 2015 and for first delivery in 2017.
Mitsubishi Regional Jet is a family of 70~90-seat next-generation aircraft featuring the Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary PurePower® engine and state-of-the-art aerodynamics to drastically reduce fuel consumption, noise, and emissions, while offering top-class operational benefits, an outstanding cabin designed for heightened passenger flying comfort, and large overhead bins.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), the world’s largest Flight Attendant union representing nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 19 carriers, has notified Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain and key federal agencies overseeing aviation safety and health of protective and response measures needed to support aviation’s first responders and safe air travel.
AFA’s checklist includes responsible actions for managing and containing communicable diseases. By focusing efforts on prevention for all crewmembers, aircraft cleaning, and a collaborative response plan with airline management in the event of an Ebola exposure in-flight, AFA is leading efforts to minimize, contain, and eradicate the risk of Ebola from being further spread through civil aviation.
Here is the checklist demands:
Ebola and Other Communicable Disease Incident Response Checklists
AFA calls for the federal agencies overseeing aviation safety and health to require that all airlines comply with the following measures.
Prevention for All Crew Members
- Provide an adequate supply for every Flight Attendant on all flights of non- allergenic gloves and masks that are determined appropriate protection by the CDC and/or WHO.
- Provide an adequate supply of medical gloves and masks that are determined appropriate protection by the CDC and/or WHO for any volunteer medical personnel assisting with medical situations.
- Ensure each flight has one universal precaution kit for every Flight Attendant on duty plus two additional kits for intervening healthcare personnel. Universal precaution kits should include all items specified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as follows:
Universal precaution kit:
— Dry powder that can convert small liquid spills into a sterile granulated gel — Germicidal disinfectant for surface cleaning
— Skin wipes
— Face/eye mask (separate or combined)
— Gloves (disposable)
— Protective apron
- Permit Flight Attendants working on flights to wear gloves anytime during the flight without any discriminatory or disciplinary actions being taken against them.
- Issue guidance to all crew in the event that a passenger exhibits signs or symptoms of infectious disease during a flight.
- Require pre-flight briefings to communicate the use of universal precaution procedures and equipment to prevent exposure on a flight and to review guidance in the event that a passenger exhibits signs or symptoms of infectious disease during a flight.
- Provide an adequate supply of masks and sick bags for any passengers who exhibit symptoms on a flight.
- Provide an airsick bag that is immediately available for each passenger.
- Ensure all aircraft meet the federal requirements for access to soap and running
- Provide on all flights equipment necessary to take temperatures of potentially
infected persons without requiring physical contact with those individuals.
- It is a federal requirement to have running water, soap and clean towels on every
flight – but if a flight is scheduled to leave in violation of this regulation then the airline should ensure Flight Attendant(s) has the ability to wash hands with running water and soap prior to departure of every flight and provision a sufficient quantity of sanitary alcohol-based wipes.
- Make all of the above stated supplies a no-go item (required for aircraft dispatch).
Require airlines to follow CDC recommended guidelines for cleaning aircraft and any contaminated areas after a flight with a sick traveler who may have Ebola or other communicable diseases, including protection and training for the aircraft cleaners.
Crew Members on a Flight with Infected Passenger
- Immediately lock-down crew names, similar to an airline incident/accident.
- Immediately contact the union leadership with the names, cell phone numbers,
current locations, and in-sheltering locations of impacted crewmembers.
- Coordinate with the crewmembers union leadership around any issues related to
care and protection of the crew.
- Immediately remove crew with pay and benefits for the entire disease incubation
- Provide all resources necessary to safely in-shelter the crewmembers during the
incubation period; for example, safe and secure location with meals and medical supplies provided, including, but not limited to, thermometers for self-monitoring and protective masks.
- Cover all medical costs related to potential exposure, including, but not limited to, tests, doctor visits, and medications.
- Once the in-sheltering period is over, provide transportation to the crewmember’s choice of base or home.
- Provide an external (non-airline employee) mental health professional who can make daily confidential telephonic wellness calls to the in-sheltering crewmember. Crewmembers may accept or decline calls at their own discretion.
- Within 8 hours of knowledge of the incident, the company and union will implement the communications plan.
Management Plan Checklist
- Establish an unrestricted, transparent, and confidential on-going communication flow plan between the company, union(s), and managing public health authorities.
- The company and the union(s) will develop a joint communications plan, including message templates, to be used in the event of a communicable disease related incident aboard an aircraft.
- Establish a plan for in-sheltering of crewmembers following a communicable disease related incident aboard an aircraft.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) (Brisbane) issued this proposal today.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) today (October 17) announced a transaction which would see Virgin Australia acquire the remaining 40 percent of shares in Tiger Australia Airways Pty Ltd (Tigerair Australia) from Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tiger Holdings) for a price of A$1.
The transaction, once completed, will see Virgin Australia secure 100 per cent ownership and full control of Tigerair Australia and brings to a conclusion the joint venture between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings which commenced on July 8, 2013.
As part of the proposed acquisition, Virgin Australia will secure the brand rights to fly Tigerair Australia to a number of short-haul international destinations, providing new growth opportunities for the business.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer, John Borghetti said: “This proposed transaction marks an important milestone for Tigerair Australia and forms part of the Virgin Australia Group’s Virgin Vision strategy to 2017.
“Given the ongoing subdued consumer demand in the Australian domestic market, the growth of the Tigerair Australia domestic fleet is likely to be reduced. Under this proposed transaction, we will benefit from the economies of scale and achieve profitability ahead of schedule by the end of 2016, by leveraging the resources of the wider Virgin Australia Group.
“Tiger Holdings and Virgin Australia have worked well together over the past 14 months on building a strong operating platform for Tigerair Australia. The joint venture has strengthened systems and processes, increased aircraft utilisation, established a Brisbane base and leveraged synergies across a range of areas.
“We remain committed to maintaining the airline’s low cost business model and the separate Tigerair brand, ensuring that we can continue to deliver the most competitive pricing in Australian budget travel”, Mr Borghetti said.
The partnership between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings will continue into the future through brand licencing and certain services which will continue to be provided by Tiger Holdings direct to Tiger Australia.
The transaction is also subject to conditions precedent, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Tiger Holdings shareholder approval and entering into long-form licensing agreements, services agreements and other ancillary transaction documents. It is expected that Virgin Australia will consolidate Tigerair Australia’s financial results going forward as result of the transaction.
Virgin Australia anticipates that completion will occur by the end of 2014 and will keep the market updated on the timing of completion of the transaction.
Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Australia will retain the Tigerair brand but the Airbus A320 fleet clashes with Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s and the pictured Embraer 190s.
Air France reaches a tentative agreement with the pilot’s union concerning the expansion of Transavia France
Air France and the representative pilot unions have just reached a draft agreement concerning the development of Transavia France.
This text will be presented on Friday, October 17 at the Special Board Meeting of SNPL Air France ALPA. Then it will be submitted to a referendum of its members for a signature in mid-November. The SNPL Transavia has also taken part in the talks.
The terms are as follows:
The development of Transavia France beyond 14 Boeing 737s will be assured as from summer 2015 in order to accelerate the Group’s development on the rapidly-expanding leisure market;
Pilots flying for Transavia France will be employed under Transavia France operating and remuneration conditions to ensure the company’s competitiveness and its development as a complement to the Air France network. Moreover, two co-existing contracts (Transavia France and Air France) will be implemented for Air France pilots flying for Transavia France;
These terms will provide pilots with dynamic and integrated career development, including a single seniority list, in response to high expectations on the part of pilots.
Any future changes in working conditions and remuneration at Transavia France will seek the agreement of the SNPL Air France ALPA and SNPL Transavia, again in response to clear demands expressed by pilots.
Air France considers that this balanced solution, the result of a responsible and peaceful social dialogue, will lead to the rapid development of Transavia France and an increased value added for the benefit of its customers and staff.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Transavia France’s Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHD (msn 29650) taxies at the leisure destination of Palma de Mallorca.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has announced its schedule changes for its winter schedule valid until March 28, 2015:
During winter season 2014/2015 Aeroflot plans to fly to 52 countries including 8 CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine).
Aeroflot will operate its own flights to 121 destinations — 69 of which are abroad — including 46 destinations in Europe, 13 in Asia, 5 in the USA, 5 in the Middle East and Africa. The winter CIS network covers 11 destinations: Baku, Bishkek, Yerevan, Minsk, Tashkent, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, Karaganda, Chisinau.
Starting from February 1, 2015 Aeroflot will add two new destinations, twice daily to the Russian cities of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.
During the winter season Aeroflot will fly daily to Tbilisi and Chisinau.
Aeroflot will continue operating on the routes which were opened last summer season: Moscow — Karaganda, Moscow — Rostov-on-Don, Moscow — Novy Urengoy.
Aeroflot domestic network includes 41 destinations: Abakan, Anapa, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Barnaul, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Magnitogorsk, Murmansk, Mineralnye Vody, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhnekamsk, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, Novy Urengoy, Orenburg, Omsk, Perm, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Simferopol, Sochi, Surgut, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ufa, Khabarovsk, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk.
Aeroflot will also introduce additional frequencies on already existing routes from Moscow to the following destinations (flights per week): Saint Petersburg (from 98 to 108), Krasnodar (from 39 to 48), Mineralnye Vody (from 7 to 21), Orenburg (from 7 to 14), Simferopol (from 14 to 35), Ekaterinburg (from 35 to 42), Volgograd (from 21 to 28), Irkutsk (from 10 to 21), Novosibirsk (from 21 to 28), Tyumen (from 14 to 21), Rostov-on-Don (from 7 to 21), Yakutsk (from 5 to 6), Minsk (from 21 to 28), Vilnius (from 7 to 14), Dusseldorf (from 21 to 28), Bucharest (from 4 to 7), Amsterdam (from 14 to 21), Helsinki (from 7 to 14), Bangkok (from 10 to 14), Los-Angeles (from 6 to 7), Miami (from 3 to 4).
Instead of the flights to Gelendzik, Heraklion, Dubrovnik and Split operated only during the summer season, Aeroflot will fly to Phuket. Two traditional summer destinations — Thessaloniki and Tivat — will become year-round for the first time.
In total Aeroflot Group and its code sharing partners will fly to 333 unique destinations in 68 countries including Russia.
In other news, Aeroflot is transferring the assets of grounded Dobrolet (2nd) (Moscow) to its new subsidiary called Byudzhetny Perevozchik, (translated as Budgetary Carrier).
The new subsidiary will operate low fare Boeing 737-800 flights from Moscow (Sheremetyevo) to Belgorod, Kazan, Surgut, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Samara, Volgograd and Tyumen according to Russian News.
Aeroflot Fleet Information: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9LJ VP-BZA (msn 41198) of Aeroflot arrives at the Moscow (Sheremetyevo) hub.
American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) CEO Doug Parker announced the airline would restore the Miami-Frankfurt route in the first half of 2015 according to the Miami Herald. The route is expected to be operated with Boeing 767-300 ERs.
American is expanding the Miami hub as it celebrates 25 years of expansion at Miami International Airport. American Airlines started serving MIA with a single DFW-MIA route. However with the acquisition of the Latin American routes from Eastern Airlines (1st), the hub started to grow to the 341 daily flights today.
Lufthansa operates its Airbus A380s on the route.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
MIA Hub Terminal Map: With the recent expansion American Airlines has expanded from the North Terminal (Concourse D) back into the older Concourse E.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N343AN (msn 33082) with Oneworld titles arrives at the Miami hub.
American Airlines Historical Liveries Slide Show:
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is again expanding its network. The carrier will add daily nonstop flight between Denver and San Diego starting on January 6, 2015 according to The Denver Post.
Spirit returned to Denver in 2012 and has been adding routes since then.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Reflecting the new “Bare Fare” advertising campaign, Airbus A319-132 N502NK (msn 2433) arrives in Las Vegas in the bright new canary yellow 2014 color scheme.
Spirit Airlines has taken the “Bare Fare” concept (i.e. charging for all extras) to the extreme, even now charging for carry-ons. They provide this “Pro Tips” guidance to avoid some of the extra charges:
Spirit Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: The Bare Fare explained by Spirit:
Tigerair’s quarterly loss widens to $143.3 million, Singapore Airlines jumps in and takes a majority 55% stake, will sublease 12 A320s to IndiGo
Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tigerair) (Singapore) has reported an operating loss of S$25.3 million ($19.8 million US) for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 (Fiscal Second Quarter), compared to an operating loss of S$12.8 million ($10.0 million US) recorded in the previous corresponding quarter last year
Tigerair Singapore recorded an operating loss of S$31.3 million ($24.5 million US) for the quarter compared to S$18.1 million $14.2 million US) a year ago. Revenue decreased by 4.9% to S$143.9 million ($113 million US) on the back of a rationalization of Tigerair Singapore’s network. The resulting improvement in load factor (+4 percentage point), was nevertheless offset by lower yields (-10.4%). Expenses increased by 3.4% to $175.2 million on higher unit cost (+3.1%).
The Group recorded loss after tax of S$182.4 million ($143.3 million US) in the Fiscal Second Quarter, compared to profit after tax of S$23.8 million $18.7 million US) a year ago. In total, the Group recorded one-off accounting provisions aggregating S$161.1 million in 2QFY15, mainly comprising S$99.3 million $126.6 million US) relating to the sublease of surplus aircraft and S$59.8 million ($46.9 million) for the divestment of Tigerair Australia.
According to the airline, “Tigerair’s largest shareholder, Singapore Airlines Limited (Singapore), has undertaken to subscribe for its pro rata entitlement, and also subscribe for excess Rights Shares, up to a total of S$140 million. Prior to the Rights Issue, SIA will convert its perpetual convertible capital securities (PCCS) holdings into Shares. The conversion will raise SIA’s stake in Tigerair from 40% to approximately 55% before the Rights Issue, effectively making Tigerair a subsidiary of SIA. SIA will not be making a general offer as Tigerair’s minority shareholders had approved a whitewash resolution in March 2013 to waive their rights to receive a general offer as a result of the PCCS conversion.”
In other news, Tiger Airways Holdings group (Tigerair) has reached an agreement with InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) relating to the subleasing of 12 of Tigerair’s surplus aircraft by the Indian budget carrier. This sublease arrangement enables the Group to reduce excess capacity significantly and hence lower related leasing cost.
Most of these aircraft were previously operated by Tigerair Philippines and Tigerair Mandala, and had been returned to the Group upon its divestment of Tigerair Philippines in March 2014 and Tigerair Mandala’s cessation of operations in July 2014.
These 12 aircraft will be progressively delivered to IndiGo over a period of six months commencing in October 2014. Each aircraft will be subleased for between three and four years. With the lease of one of the 12 aircraft expiring in 2018, only 11 of the aircraft will be returned to the Group at the end of their respective sublease periods. Following their return, seven of the 11 aircraft are expected to re-join the operating fleet, while the remaining four may be progressively re-introduced back to the service network within two years.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 9V-TRI (msn 5596) of Tigerair (Singapore) arrives in Bangkok.
Tigerair (Singapore) Aircraft Slide Show:
Airbus to cut the monthly A330 production rate from 10 to 9 aircraft as it transitions to the new A330neo
Airbus (Toulouse) has decided to adjust the production rate for its A330 Family from the current rate 10 to 9 aircraft a month in the fourth quarter of 2015 as it transitions towards the A330neo.
Since 2013, Airbus has been building 10 A330 Family aircraft each month, the industry’s highest ever production rate for this aircraft size category.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Demonstration aircraft Airbus A330-223F F-WWYE (msn 1004) became TC-JDO with Turkish Airlines.
Airbus A330s from around the world Slide Show:
British Airways (London) today announced that from March 29, 2015, Montreal will be served by the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, marking the first scheduled Dreamliner service between Montreal and London.
British Airways operates a daily service between the two cities and provides connections to more than 130 cities beyond London. The first Dreamliner received by British Airways made its inaugural flight to Toronto one year ago and last month Calgary became the second Canadian city to receive the most modern aircraft in the airline’s new fleet.
The new aircraft accommodates 214 passengers: 35 in Club World (business class), 25 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and 154 in World Traveller (economy). The three newly designed cabins feature high quality materials, comfortable seats and increased bag storage. Customers in British Airways Club World cabin can take advantage of wide, full-flat beds and Club Kitchen, a snack bar open throughout the flight.
The 787 also has the largest windows of any commercial airliner, offering customers views of the horizon from every seat. Instead of pull down blinds, each one has its own dimmer switch.
British Airways’ 787 features the airline’s new Thales entertainment system. Each seat has a television screen and customers can choose from more than 700 hours of content, including 230 TV programs, 70 movies and 400 music albums and interactive games. Travelers can also chat and play games with friends elsewhere on the aircraft using an in-seat chat system.
Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close taxiway action of BA’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-ZBJD (msn 38619).
British Airways Aircraft Slide Show:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is bringing its “Taste of America” food truck to its key U.S. destinations to showcase its onboard dining services. The airline issued this short statement, photos and video:
At the halfway mark of our cross country tour, sharing samples of the regionalized menus served on board Lufthansa flights from the US. Next up Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Lufthansa Aircraft Slide Show:
Virgin America (San Francisco) has issued this new video with this explanation:
Take a look inside BLAH Airlines Flight 101 from Newark to San Francisco. Witness the harsh reality of nearly six hours of flying at its worst, from takeoff to landing. Unfortunately, this is a familiar experience for far too many travelers.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the September 2014 fourth quarter. Key points include:
Delta’s pre-tax income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.6 billion, excluding special items, an increase of $431 million over the September 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 15.8 percent, excluding special items.
On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $579 million, operating margin was 7.5 percent and net income was $357 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.
Results include $384 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals, which makes a year-to-date profit sharing accrual of $823 million.
Delta generated $910 million of free cash flow during the September 2014 quarter. The company used its strong cash generation in the quarter to reduce its adjusted net debt to $7.4 billion and return $325 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
Delta’s operating revenue improved 7 percent, or $688 million, in the September 2014 quarter compared to the September 2013 quarter, driven by continued strength in corporate and domestic revenues. Traffic increased 3.7 percent on a 3.2 percent increase in capacity.
Passenger revenue increased 6 percent, or $522 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 2.4 percent year-over-year with a 1.9 percent improvement in yield. Seat-related products and other merchandising initiatives increased revenues by nearly $50 million versus the prior year period.
Cargo revenue increased 7 percent, or $15 million, on higher freight yields and volumes.
Other revenue increased 15 percent, or $151 million, driven by joint venture, SkyMiles revenues, and third-party refinery sales.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was up 0.3 percent in the September 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis as the benefits of Delta’s domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives offset the company’s investments in its employees, products and operations.
Excluding special items, total operating expense in the quarter increased $320 million year-over-year driven by higher revenue- and volume-related expenses and $135 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense and savings from Delta’s cost initiatives.
Excluding mark-to-market adjustments,3 fuel expense declined $23 million driven by lower market prices and higher refinery profits. Delta’s average fuel price was $2.90 per gallon for the September quarter, which includes $63 million in settled hedge gains. Operations at the refinery produced a $19 million profit for the September quarter, a $16 million improvement year-over-year.
Non-operating expense declined by $63 million excluding special items as a result of lower interest expense and a $23 million increased contribution associated with Delta’s 49 percent ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic.
Tax expense, excluding special items, increased $629 million compared to the prior year quarter, as the company now recognizes tax expense for financial reporting purposes following the reversal of its tax valuation allowance at the end of 2013. Delta’s net operating loss carryforwards of more than $13 billion largely offset cash taxes due on future earnings.
On a GAAP basis, consolidated CASM increased 12 percent and total operating expense was up $1.4 billion compared to the September 2013 quarter primarily due to special items associated with fleet restructuring and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods. GAAP fuel expense increased $609 million on a year-over-year basis primarily driven by the hedge performance including mark-to-market adjustments. GAAP fuel cost per gallon for the quarter was $3.23. Non-operating expenses for the quarter increased by $56 million as a result of a $134 million special item for loss on extinguishment of debt resulting from Delta’s debt reduction initiatives. On a GAAP basis, tax expense was $222 million in the quarter.
Adjusted cash from operations during the September 2014 quarter was $1.3 billion, driven by the company’s September quarter profit, partially offset by the normal seasonal decline in advance ticket sales. The company generated $910 million of free cash flow. Adjusted capital expenditures during the September 2014 quarter were $411 million, including $322 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $301 million. On a GAAP basis, cash from operations for the September 2014 quarter was $1.4 billion and capital expenditures were $457 million.
With its strong cash generation in the September 2014 quarter, the company returned $325 million to shareholders through $75 million of cash dividends and $250 million of share repurchases. For the first nine months of 2014, the company has returned a total of $776 million to shareholders, including $176 million in quarterly dividends and $600 million in share repurchases.
Delta ended the quarter with $6.4 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $7.4 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $10 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.
December 2014 Fourth Quarter Guidance
Following are Delta’s projections for the December 2014 fourth quarter:
10% – 12%
Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact
$2.69 – $2.74
Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing
(compared to 4Q13)
Up 0 – 2%
Profit sharing expense
$200 – $250 million
$175 – $200 million
System capacity (compared to 4Q13)
Delta recorded a $657 million special items charge, net of taxes, in the September 2014 quarter, including:
a $397 million charge for fleet and other items, primarily associated with the decision to accelerate the retirement of Delta’s 747 fleet as part of its Pacific network restructuring;
a $215 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
an $87 million charge for debt extinguishment and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s debt reduction initiative; and
a $42 million gain related to a litigation settlement.
Delta recorded a net $157 million special items gain in the September 2013 quarter, including:
a $285 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
a $128 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta will hold a conference call at 1000 am EDT today.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N707DN (msn 39091) departs from London (Heathrow).
Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show (current livery):
United Airlines (Chicago) announced plans to outfit more than 200 two-cabin United Express regional jets with Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment, with the first Wi-Fi-enabled flights expected later this year.
The airline intends to install Gogo’s ATG-4 advanced air-to-ground Wi-Fi product on Embraer 170, 175 and Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft and to complete planned installations by next summer.
Early next year, United expects to expand personal device entertainment to these aircraft, enabling customers to select from a wide range of movies and television shows to view on their Wi-Fi-enabled iOS and Android devices using United’s mobile app, as well as on laptop computers.
Regional Jet Investments
United has announced significant investments in its United Express service, including:
A fleet of 120 brand new Embraer 175 regional jets (above), which offer 12 seats in United First with in-seat power, 16 United Economy Plus seats, and larger overhead bins throughout the aircraft;
New, modern seats with a signature seat design on more than 100 CRJ700 aircraft and on the E175 fleet; and
Freshly prepared food for premium-cabin customers on United Express flights beginning in 2015.
Wi-Fi and Entertainment Investments
The launch of regional jet Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment is United’s latest investment in its customers’ in-flight connectivity. The airline also offers:
More than 340 aircraft with Wi-Fi, including nearly two-thirds of its mainline domestic fleet, with plans to install Wi-Fi on the entire mainline fleet by mid-2015; and
More than 180 mainline aircraft with personal device entertainment, including all Boeing 747s and Airbus aircraft and nine Boeing 777s that primarily fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii. United plans to offer personal device entertainment on more than 200 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by SkyWest Airlines, Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N118SY (msn 17000420) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
United Express-SkyWest Aircraft Slide Show:
Frontier Airlines places six crew members on paid 21-day leave after flying a nurse who later tested positive with Ebola
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has placed six crew members on a paid 21-day leave after a second Dallas nurse was diagnosed with Ebola the following day. The crew operated flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 carrying nurse Amber Vinson, 29, the second Texas nurse to test positive for the Ebola virus. Nurse Vinson was put into isolation the following day when she tested positive. Vinson had been caring for Thomas Duncan who arrived from West Africa with the deadly virus.
The pictured Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) was cleaned and returned to service the next day according to Frontier Airlines and this report by ABC News.
Meanwhile the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reaching out to the 132 passengers who were on the same flight.
Read the full story from ABC: CLICK HERE
The CDC issued this statement in cooperation with Frontier Airlines:
CDC and Frontier Airlines Announce Passenger Notification Underway
On the morning of October 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air October 13, the day before she reported symptoms.
Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth October 13.
CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). After 1 p.m. ET, public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions, and arranging follow up. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored.
The healthcare worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier is working closely with CDC to identify and notify passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 on October 13. Passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 should contact CDC at 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).
Frontier Airlines Statement
“At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10.
Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.
Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO.
The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed.”
Meanwhile the Association of Flight Attendants applauded the swift actions of Frontier Airlines and issued this statement:
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), representing Frontier Airlines Flight Attendants, applauds Frontier Airlines management for responding immediately to the concerns of frontline workers and taking decisive action to safeguard the health and safety of Flight Attendants affected by transport of the confirmed Ebola patient.
“We applaud Frontier Airlines management for working with AFA and not only following CDC guidance, but exceeding recommendations in an abundance of caution,” stated Sara Nelson, AFA International President. “Management quickly and affirmatively responded to advocacy to remove directly affected crew from schedule and pay protect them for 21 days. We continue to work with management to provide necessary support for these crewmembers.”
“Frontier management’s actions should serve as a good template for the industry should other airlines encounter a similar incident. Their actions to communicate fully with Flight Attendants all of the actions taken to address cleaning of the aircraft and addressing other concerns. We will continue to work with Frontier management on communicating procedures for Flight Attendants and providing tools to manage any potential future incident,” added Nelson.
AFA is adamant that all airlines need to provide specific briefings for crews on what the procedures are to contain any blood borne pathogens, report and manage a potential onboard detection of Ebola, and provide universal precaution kits and other resources for all crew and potential healthcare responders on each flight.
The CDC issued this overview of the Ebola cases in the United States:
CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the United States.
The person sought medical care at Texas Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas laboratory. Local public health officials have identified all close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure. He died of Ebola on October 8 and was cremated.
On October 10, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient reported a low-grade fever and was referred for testing. The healthcare worker has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever. CDC confirms that the healthcare worker is positive for Ebola.
CDC recognizes that any case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns, and any death is too many. Medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who had close personal contact with the patient and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.
October 12, 2014 Update
CDC did not recommend that people on the same flights as the index patient undergo monitoring because the index patient did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa. Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms.
A healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever and remains so now.
The hospital and healthcare worker were notified of the preliminary positive result. In addition, CDC has interviewed the healthcare worker to identify any contacts or potential exposures in the community.
Meanwhile Airports Council International (ACI) issued this statement:
The Airports Council International (ACI) World Governing Board met this past Sunday, 12 October in Durban during the 23rd Annual ACI Africa Assembly, Conference and Exhibition and discussed how best ACI can assist airports in their response to the Ebola outbreak.
The focus of international efforts remains on providing the medical response to contain and prevent the spread of the disease in affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and on the exit screening controls in those countries. Although isolated cases have been reported in four other countries (Nigeria, Senegal, the US and Spain), transmission has been limited and prompt containment action has been taken.
The Board provided its full support to ACI’s ongoing collaborative efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other stakeholders in the travel and transportation sectors.
Since the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in August of this year, ICAO has convened a special Travel and Transportation Task Force comprising ICAO, the WHO and international organizations from the aviation, maritime and travel sectors. ACI represents the global airport community in this task force, which coordinates the dissemination of information and technical guidance to these sectors.
ACI is also a founding partner in the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) programme, which brings together countries and industry stakeholders under a collaborative framework to build the capacity of public health agencies, airports and airlines to handle public health emergencies.
“The CAPSCA programme has been running for more than a decade, and there is a high degree of preparedness within the industry,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “Furthermore, the air transport industry has successfully responded to other Public Health Emergencies of International Concern in the past, including Swine Flu, Avian Influenza and SARS. As such, the industry has well established contingency plans developed with public health agencies and emergency services at international, national and local levels to respond to such events.”
The Board recognized that the current Ebola outbreak is having a very serious impact on the three affected countries and that it will take time for the international response to bring it under control. There is therefore a risk that some cases will emerge elsewhere. ACI stresses that these cases are isolated and appropriate and quick action has been taken to protect the public.
As recently communicated by ACI EUROPE, the WHO and the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) have expressed reservations about the effectiveness of temperature screening of passengers on arrival, implemented in some US and Canadian airports and currently being contemplated by some EU countries. Indeed, the WHO does not currently recommend screening passengers at entry points. Conversely, the WHO and ECDC support exit screening of departing passengers, which has been implemented at airports in the three main affected African countries over the last two months.
“The fear of contracting Ebola greatly exceeds the actual risk, and providing factual and scientific information to the travelling public and employees in the aviation sector is vitally important,” Gittens added. “The scientific fact is that to contract Ebola one has to have direct contact with the body fluids, blood, secretions or articles contaminated with these fluids from an infected person. As a result, unless an individual has been to one of the three affected countries in West Africa and/or has been in contact with persons infected with Ebola, the risk of contracting the disease is very, very small.”
To this end, ACI has committed to providing guidance to its members on how to proactively communicate factual information on Ebola to airport workers and to suggest ways to lessen the anxiety they may have in carrying out their duties. ACI will also continue to share guidance on the contingency procedures for responding to events of this nature so that staff can gain confidence in their ability to respond properly.
Related to this event, Planefinder.net (above) has come up with a new topical feature that allows you track airliners that have visited an Ebola affected area in west Africa. Enter the aircraft registration to find out if the aircraft has recently visited one of these affected areas. The website uses Google Maps as its platform.
The website explains how it all works:
1) Plane positional data is broadcast by aircraft and received by our massive network of land based receivers around the world.
2) We match this to tons of other data like aircraft details and photographs, arrivals and departures information to bring everything to your fingertips.
Planefinder.net also allows you to track any flight outside of this affected area.
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets at Washington (Reagan National) prior to the incident.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show: