AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) today announced the completion of their merger to officially form American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) and begin building the new American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
According to the new airline group, “The new American has a robust global network with nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. The combined airline has the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace. Customers will soon enjoy access to more benefits and increased service across the combined company’s larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance. US Airways will exit Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 and will immediately enteroneworld on March 31, 2014. With an expanded global network and a strong financial foundation, American will deliver significant benefits to consumers, communities, employees and stakeholders.”
Although American and US Airways have come together as one company, the process to achieve a Single Operating Certificate is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months. In the meantime, customers should continue to do business with the airline from which travel was purchased just as they did before the merger. In short, it is “business as usual.” The airlines’ separate websites, aa.com and usairways.com, as well as the two airlines’ reservations systems and loyalty programs, will continue to operate separately until further in the integration process.
Customer benefits of the transaction to be rolled out over time include:
- A codeshare agreement between American and US Airways, creating more convenient access to the combined company’s global network
- More choices and connectivity, with nine hub airports across the U.S.
- Global access to a stronger oneworld alliance – including joint businesses with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific – creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally
- Reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits and reciprocal elite recognition
- Upgrade reciprocity
- Consolidation of loyalty programs and expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network
- Full integration of policies, websites, kiosks and customer-facing technology to ensure a consistent worldwide travel experience
- Co-location of ticket counters and gates in key markets
- With firm orders for more than 600 new mainline aircraft, American will have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, and a solid foundation for continued investment in technology, products, and services
Customers will begin to see enhancements to their experience in early January, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when traveling on either American Airlines or US Airways, reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits, and reciprocal elite recognition. The combined airline expects to share more details around these key customer benefits early next year.
As the integration process is underway, American’s new Find Your Way site, aa.com/findyourway, will connect customers to key information throughout the merger integration process. Additionally, customers should visit aa.com and usairways.com, which will continue to be regularly updated with news on any fee, policy and procedure changes.
Employees of the new American will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stronger financial foundation, which will create greater career opportunities over the long term. The completed merger also provides the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees.
Alignment of pay, benefits, work rules and other guidelines for employees of both airlines will be phased in over time so that all changes can be carefully considered. Represented employees will continue to work under their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements, with the modifications provided under the negotiated Memoranda of Understanding for certain groups. American’s non-represented Agents, Representatives and Planners will operate under their current terms and conditions of employment with merger-related adjustments.
The combination is expected to deliver enhanced value to American Airlines’ stakeholders and US Airways’ investors. The transaction is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies by 2015.
The common and preferred stock of American Airlines Group will trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols “AAL” and “AALCP,” respectively.
Rothschild is serving as financial advisor to American Airlines, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Jones Day, Paul Hastings, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and K&L Gates LLP are serving as legal counsel. Barclays and Millstein & Co. are serving as financial advisors to US Airways, and Latham & Watkins LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Dechert LLP and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP are serving as legal counsel to US Airways. Moelis & Company and Mesirow Financial are serving as financial advisors to the Unsecured Creditors Committee. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Togut, Segal & Segal LLP are serving as the Unsecured Creditors Committee’s legal counsel.
Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Repainted with the new tail markings, Boeing 777-223 ER N791AN (msn 30254) departs from the DFW Hub in the “new look” AA Oneworld livery. N791AN is the first American aircraft to appear in the updated Oneworld color scheme.
Video: A “Thank You” from outgoing CEO Tom Horton of the American Airlines:
US Airways (Phoenix) as we mentioned yesterday, it is still technically two separate airlines – East and West operating under the US Airways name with separate contracts, crews and assigned aircraft. As the US Airways management led by CEO Doug Parker gets ready to take over the “new” merged American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has reminded US Airways management that not all is well in the current US Airways, let alone a new larger airline. The IAM today issued this statement:
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it declined management’s invitation to participate in the “new” American Airlines’ opening bell ceremony in New York City celebrating the carrier’s first day of stock trading on the NASDAQ.
“Make no mistake, this airline has ignored and disrespected IAM members at US Airways by its shameless refusal to settle a fair contract,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “To stand there with American’s management and pretend there are no labor problems and celebrate ‘one airline’ would be an outright lie.”
IAM members at US Airways have been in contract negotiations for almost three years. The carrier’s management, headed by Doug Parker, who will assume the reins at the “new” American, has refused to settle new accords with IAM members at pre-merger US Airways. Earlier this year, the IAM requested a release from contract talks from the National Mediation Board (NMB), a federal agency, which, if granted, could lead to a strike.
“This is a merger in name only,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “As long as this management team refuses to settle a fair contract, approximately 32,000 employees will remain separated and the merger’s synergies will not be realized.”
The IAM and Transport Workers Union (TWU) formed an alliance earlier this year, the TWU-IAM Employee Association, to jointly represent mechanic & related, fleet service and stockroom employees at the new airline. The agreement stipulates the TWU-IAM Association will request a single carrier determination from the NMB, a pre-requisite to integrating unionized workforces. This request will only occur once contracts are settled for IAM-represented workers at pre-merger US Airways. Workforce integration will be delayed for approximately 32,000 workers at the carrier, by far the largest percentage of the combined workforce, until the airline settles agreements with the IAM.
The IAM represents approximately 14,000 mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stockroom employees at US Airways.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A321-231 N552UW (msn 4957) with the “7000th Airbus” sticker by the L1 front door arrives at Los Angeles.
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City), the National airline of Kuwait, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to buy ten Airbus A350-900 and fifteen A320neo Family aircraft. The order is part of Kuwait Airways’ fleet renewal strategy. The carrier already operates three Airbus A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340s.
Air Seychelles (Mahe), the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has announced, subject to regulatory approval, it will launch flights to Paris-Orly as part of a significant expansion to its international schedule.
The island carrier use to operate an extensive nonstop Boeing 767 nonstop network to Europe before its new partnership with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi).
Starting in February 2014, Air Seychelles will operate two roundtrip services per week between Seychelles and Paris-Orly via Abu Dhabi with its Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured with 18 flat-bed Business Class seats and 236 Economy seats.
The new Paris-Orly services complements Etihad Airways’ existing double-daily services to Paris-Charles De Gaulle.
Currently, the island carrier code shares on 14 flights per week to Paris-Charles De Gaulle with equity partner Etihad Airways, offering a daily service between the archipelago and the French capital. The new flights will increase the connections to 18 per week.
The airline also unveiled a new regional network plan, subject to approvals, which will see significant expansion of its operations in the Indian Ocean in the fourth quarter of 2014, following the delivery of an Airbus A319.
Highlights of the plan include:
• The launch of regional services to Antananarivo, Reunion and Mumbai
• An increase in services to Abu Dhabi from seven to eleven per week, offering a double daily service with equity partner Etihad Airways
• A network designed to maximise connectivity through the Seychelles, with two way connectivity throughout the region with Mumbai and Abu Dhabi and beyond.
The new regional schedule will see Air Seychelles operate three roundtrip flights per week to Mauritius and Mumbai, two roundtrip flights per week to Antananarivo and Reunion, and 11 return flights per week to Abu Dhabi.
The airline will also offer three return flights per week to Hong Kong, three return flights per week to Johannesburg, and two flights per week to Paris-Orly.
Altogether, the airline will see its weekly international services nearly double from 16 to 29 flights per week.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A330-243 A6-EYY (msn 751) is actually leased from partner Etihad Airways.
Current Route Map:
Emirates (Dubai) on December 4 launched its newest route to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Kabul is the 138th destination of the fast growing airline and Afghanistan is the 78th country now served by the carrier.
The route is operated by an Airbus A340-500 configured in a three cabin configuration, offering 12 First Class, 42 Business Class and 204 Economy Class seats. Emirates is the only airline which offers First Class from Dubai to Kabul.
EK 640 will depart Dubai daily at 09.55 hours and arrive in Kabul at 13.15. The return flight, EK 641 will leave Kabul at 15.30 hours and arrive back in Dubai at 18.00.
The day before on December 3 Emirates celebrated the launch of Airbus A380 service to Los Angeles, becoming the world’s longest A380 service in operation.
The landmark flight, crossing the Russian Federation, the North Pole and Eastern Canada, has a published duration of 16 hours 20 minutes, more than enough time to delve into over 400 hours of in-flight Hollywood movies.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-541 A6-ERC (msn 485) arrives at Zurich.
Video: The A380 inaugural flight to Los Angeles:
Air India (Mumbai) has finalized the details in order to sell five Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) aircraft to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). As previously prorated, the two airlines signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in October. The aircraft will be delivered by March 2014 according to this report by The Economic Times.
The 777-200 LR is a new type for Etihad Airways.
Read the full story from The Economic Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALH (msn 36307) is relatively new as it was delivered to Air India on August 28, 2009.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) new incoming CEO, Doug Parker of US Airways (Phoenix), is facing his biggest professional challenges of his airline career as the merger of American Airlines and US Airways moves to the final stages. For Doug, he is actually returning to AA. Doug was at the old American Airlines from 1986 to 1991 where he served under former CEO Robert Crandall.
This article by the Star-Telegram outlines the challenges Doug is now facing at the new AA as he prepares to take the leadership role in the day-to-day operations. The new world’s largest airline is facing many challenges as it integrates again two airlines. Critics will argue that Doug has failed to fully integrate America West Airlines (Phoenix) with the old US Airways (Washington). Today the current US Airways still operates as two airlines with East and West divisions with separate contracts, crews and aircraft. Now Doug will have to integrate three airlines into one.
The good news is Parker has already negotiated conditional labor agreements with AA’s three largest unions.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Doug is probably going to have to accept the new American look due to the already large number of repainted AA aircraft and the on-going “new look” advertising campaign. This effort by the current AA management has probably already settled the decision on what AA will look like going forward even though this livery is not Doug’s design. It will always be known as out-going CEO Tom Horton’s livery. American’s Boeing 737-823 WL N973AN (msn 29548) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport in the new look.
Tatarstan Airlines (Tatarstan Aircompany) (Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia) is still operating. However Rosaviatsia, the Russian federal air transportation agency that monitors airline safety activities, has recommended the airline be grounded due to alleged breaches in training and crew rest times according to The Moscow News. The Boeing 737-500 that crashed at Kazan on November 17 was attempting a go around when it crashed directly into ground killing all 50 passengers and crew members on board. The crew may have not been properly trained and apparently lost control of the aircraft.
The airline issued this statement (translated from Russian):
In response to an emerging wave of disinformation, Tatarstan Airlines officially informs everyone all flights are operating as normal.
The Federal Agency is only recommending the AOC be revoked. In the case of a formal decision to suspend the activities of the airline, all passengers will be notified in advance.
Meanwhile the airline’s board of directors fired the current CEO Aksan Giniyatullin due to the November 17 crash according to The Moscow Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Tatarstan has been adding newer Airbus A319s. A319-112 VQ-BMM (msn 3171) is pictured at Palma de Mallorca.
Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will install new fully flat seats in most of its existing long haul aircraft starting in January. Once the installation program is completed by fall 2014, all of Finnair’s long haul Airbus fleet will have full flat seats in Business Class, with the exception of three older aircraft. These three aircraft will be the first to be removed from the fleet with the arrival of A350 XWBs in 2015. The total investment, including replacement investments, is approximately 29 million euros or approximately 39 million dollars.
The Zodiac Seats UK Vantage model seats selected by Finnair are already in use on the airline’s four newest Airbus A330s. The seats are designed to provide a fully-flat bed measuring up to 79 inches (200 cm), while shoulder room measures 23 inches (58 cm).The fully adjustable seats also come with an individual reading light, adjustable head rest, mood lights and a range of inflight entertainment options.
Contour Vantage A330/A340
Seat width between armrest: 20.07 inches
Seat width at shoulder level: 22.83 inches
Bed length: 79.17 inches
Bed width at head level: 20 inches
Bed width at shoulder level: 20 inches
Bed width at hip level: 20 inches
Bed width at foot level: 10.98 inches
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313E OH-LQE (msn 938) in the Oneworld design arrives at the Helsinki (HEL) hub.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has announced that it plans a third route between the UK and Tel Aviv. The airline, which already flies to the city from Manchester Airport and London Luton Airport, will start services from London Gatwick Airport from April 1, 2014. The new route will operate three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
EasyJet started flying to Tel Aviv in November 2009 from London Luton Airport. Across Europe the airline currently serves Tel Aviv from London Luton and Manchester as well as Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, Geneva and Rome.
The airline has recently announced a Berlin – Tel Aviv route which is the first since the signing of the Open skies agreement between the EU and Israel. In the past twelve months easyJet has flown more than 330,000 passengers into and out of Tel Aviv, 190,000 of those flew to and from the UK and next year this is set to increase further.
EasyJet has also increased its flights between Manchester and Tel Aviv from two to three per week between February 17, 2014 and April 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZGI (msn 4693) rotates at Amsterdam.
Aer Lingus (Dublin) is threatening legal action if the SIPTU union goes ahead with its strike plans against the carrier according to the Irish Times. The union is unhappy with the shortage in the pension fund.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-211 EI-CPE (msn 926) climbs gracefully away from Geneva, Switzerland.
Volaris (Mexico City) has launched four new routes from Cancun, Quintana Roo to the cities of San Luis Potosi, Hermosillo, Mexicali and Veracruz.
Schedules and frequencies:
San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi – Cancun, Quintana Roo. Wednesday and Saturday.
- Departing from San Luis Potosi at 11:00 hrs., arriving to Cancun at 13:20 hrs
- Departing from Cancun at 08:00 hrs., arriving to San Luis Potosi at 10:35 hrs
Hermosillo, Sonora – Cancun, Quintana Roo. Wednesday and Saturday
- Departing from Hermosillo at 17:35 hrs., arriving to Cancun at 22:15 hrs
- Departing from Cancun at 13:55 hrs., arriving to Hermosillo at 17:10 hrs
Veracruz, Veracruz – Cancun, Quintana Roo. Thursday and Sunday
- Departing from Veracruz at 15:25 hrs., arriving to Cancun at 17:20 hrs
- Departing from Cancun at 13:05 hrs., arriving to Veracruz at 15:00 hrs
Mexicali, Baja California – Cancun, Quintana Roo.
(From December 12, Thursday and Sunday)
Departing from Cancun at 18:00 hrs., arriving to Mexicali at 21:00 hrs
(From December 13, Monday and Friday)
Departing from Mexicali at 01:50 hrs., arriving to Cancun at 08:00 hrs
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Volaris’ Airbus A319-133 XA-VOE (msn 3069) “Jose Cuervo Express” arrives in Los Angeles.
Mascots and school colors from two of Alaska’s most beloved and heated collegiate rivals, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will soon be featured on two of Alaska Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft. The colorful paint themes will be unveiled tonight (December 6) to a crowd of fans at the Sullivan Arena where the Alaska Nanooks and UAA Seawolf hockey teams will battle in the first of a four-game series to claim the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup.
“We’re thrilled to show Alaska Airlines’ strong support of education while growing our fleet of university paint themes with our first two schools in Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president – Alaska. “The UAA and UAF school colors will proudly fly between our two largest cities and from Anchorage to Kodiak.”
Like other university-themed aircraft operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Nanook and Seawolf planes will be painted at no cost to the university and will fly primarily between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak when the carrier introduces the 76-seat DHC-8-402 (Q400) to the state of Alaska on March 3, 2014. The UAF and UAA planes will be painted and unveiled in February next year.
The UAF and UAA planes will be the 10th and 11th university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes represent the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, as well as Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Washington State. Alaska Airlines recently unveiled the “Spirit of Education” (see below). The specially-themed Boeing 737-900 ER was dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School located in Tukwila, Washington.
Above Images: The University of Alaska Anchorage (top-green tail) and University of Alaska Fairbanks (second from top-blue tail) colors will be featured on two university-themed Q400 aircraft. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) with the special “Supporting Education Helping Dreams Soar” markings for the Raisbeck Aviation High School departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that it will operate daily flights between Toronto -Pearson and Tokyo-Haneda (Tokyo International Airport) beginning on July 1, 2014 using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new year-round service will be both the only nonstop flight between Canada and Tokyo-Haneda, located less than 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo, and the first daytime flight to Tokyo-Haneda from North America . This is the first deployment of Air Canada’s Dreamliner — featuring the airline’s new seating and cabin amenities — in the Asian market. The new route will complement Air Canada’s existing flights to Tokyo Narita International Airport from Toronto , Calgary and Vancouver .
Air Canada will begin taking delivery of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2014, further raising the bar in customer comfort. The aircraft features a brand new contemporary décor and three cabins of service, International Business with 180-degree lie-flat pod seating, Premium Economy and Economy. It also offers an extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced-definition, seat-back touch screens along with power outlets and USB ports available for all customers.
Tickets for Toronto -Tokyo-Haneda go on sale starting December 10, 2013 with service beginning July 1, 2014 .
|AC 005||Toronto at 13:00||Tokyo-Haneda at 14:55 (plus one day)|
|AC 006||Tokyo-Haneda at 17:40||Toronto at 16:40|
With the new Tokyo-Haneda route, the fifth Asian airport to be served from our Toronto hub, Air Canada will offer the most flights of any airline between Canada and Japan with service from three Canadian cities:
- Daily Toronto – Narita service.
- Three times weekly Calgary – Narita nonstop service, increasing up to daily service during summer 2014.
- Daily Vancouver – Narita nonstop service.
Image: Air Canada.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is what could be considered a strategic response move, will begin daily nonstop service between Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, California, starting on June 9, and will add a third nonstop flight to its existing service between Salt Lake City and Seattle/Tacoma.
Salt Lake City is the home of a large hub of partner Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). Delta Air Lines has recently been adding new routes at Alaska’s Seattle/Tacoma hub.
Alaska Airlines first began service between Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City on April 4, 2013.
Summary of new service:
Los Angeles-Salt Lake City
|Los Angeles-Salt Lake City||5:35 p.m.||8:20 p.m.||Daily||737|
Salt Lake City-Los Angeles
|7:00 a.m.||7:55 a.m.||Daily||737|
Portland-Salt Lake City
|June 9||Portland-Salt Lake City||3:10 p.m.||6:00 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Portland-Salt Lake City||9:50 a.m.||12:45 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 9||Salt Lake City-Portland||6:50 p.m.||7:45 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-Portland||8:05 a.m.||9:05 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
San Diego-Salt Lake City
San Diego-Salt Lake City
|7:00 a.m.||9:55 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 10||San Diego Salt Lake City||7:55 p.m.||10:45 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-San Diego||1:20 p.m.||2:20 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 11||Salt Lake City-San Diego||8:30 a.m.||9:25 a.m.||Daily||737|
San Jose-Salt Lake City
|San Jose-Salt Lake City||8:55 p.m.||11:40 p.m.||Daily||737|
|Salt Lake City-San Jose||7:00 a.m.||8:00 a.m.||Daily||737|
|Seattle-Salt Lake City|
|Start date||City pair||Departs||Arrives||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Existing flight||Seattle-Salt Lake City||7:00 a.m.||9:59 a.m.||Daily||737|
|Existing flight||Seattle-Salt Lake City||1:10 p.m.||4:10 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 9||Seattle-Salt Lake City||8:30 p.m.||11:30 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-Seattle||10:30 a.m.||11:40 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
|Existing flight||Salt Lake City-Seattle||11:00 a.m.||12:07 p.m.||Daily||737|
|Existing flight||Salt Lake City–Seattle||5:10 p.m.||6:17 p.m.||Daily||737|
All times based on local time zones.
The routes will be operated with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft and SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) (St. George, Utah) 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-990 WL N318AS (msn 30018) in the Spirit of Disneyland II special scheme taxies at the SeaTac hub.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) issued this short statement concerning its largest hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) due to a winter ice storm:
Because of the anticipated winter weather American Airlines and American Eagle have proactively canceled nearly 500 flights in and out of the DFW Airport through 11 a.m. central time Friday, December 6.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines’ Boeing 777-223 ER N790AN (msn 30251) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. American Eagle Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N928AE (msn 14500911) lands at Baltimore/Washington.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has acquired 12 takeoff and landing slots (for six roundtrip flights) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) being divested by American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) as part of its merger with US Airways (Phoenix). In addition, Southwest gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots (for five roundtrip flights) that it currently operates under a lease from American. Details of the transactions are confidential. Southwest plans to begin its new service at LGA in May 2014. Details of the new service will be available later this month.
Southwest and its subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operate 27 daily roundtrip flights to and from LGA to eight nonstop destinations. The acquired slots will allow the airlines to add six daily roundtrips.
Southwest currently serves Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport. These six additional roundtrips at LGA will strengthen Southwest’s service to and from the New York City area.
In other news, Southwest Airlines announced its decision to close three cities in the airline’s network. On June 7, 2014, Southwest will cease operations at Branson Airport (BKG), Key West International Airport (EYW), and Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN). Southwest began service to Jackson-Evers International in 1997. The airline added Branson Airport and Key West International Airport to its route map in 2012 as part of its integration with AirTran, a wholly-owned subsidiary.
“Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve these markets,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Southwest takes pride in becoming not only a great choice for air travel in the cities we serve, but we also become a member of the community. These decisions are never easy.”
Over the next six months, Southwest will operate its full schedule at each of these cities, and there will be no disruption to reservations for travel through June 6, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines retains one Boeing 737-700 in a gold “Southwest Classic” version of the original 1971 color scheme. Boeing 737-7H4 N714CB (msn 27848) taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) in another move to underscore its growing presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and in celebration of its 80th anniversary of service and growing presence in the Seattle/Tacoma area, unveiled at Boeing Field a new Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft (737-932 ER N809DN, msn 31915) as the ‘Spirit of Seattle,’ dedicated to the city of Seattle and the airline’s customers, employees and partners in the region.
The dedication took place in a ceremony at Boeing Field, the same location that Delta began service in Seattle on December 3, 1933, through Northwest Airways, which eventually became Northwest Airlines. The inaugural flight was flown from Spokane to Seattle and back to Spokane on a Waco JTO biplane carrying no passengers. Initial passenger service was a Tacoma-Seattle-Wenatchee-Spokane route using 7-passenger, 120-mph Hamilton H47 Metalplanes.
Today, Delta operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from its growing gateway in Seattle, including non-stop international service to Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Beijing. Additional international service is planned in 2014 to London-Heathrow as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. Delta will also expand Seattle service to Anchorage, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and San Francisco and also recently announced new service to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, beginning in the summer of 2014.
More than 100 Delta Chairman’s Club honorees attended the dedication event along with local employees and corporate and community partners. The honorees are accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight from Seattle to Atlanta prior to entering service later this month. Chairman’s Club is Delta’s highest honor in employee recognition, and honorees embody Delta’s values through their distinguished contributions and exceptional service to customers and the communities Delta serves.
The ‘Spirit of Seattle’ is the ninth of 100 new 737-900 ERs that will be delivered to Delta between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The 737-900 ER will be deployed on several routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma, among others, and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles, giving it the ability to operate any domestic route in Delta’s extensive network.
Delta will take delivery of three additional 737-900 ERs this year for a total of 12 aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and 12 aircraft in 2018. The 180-seat aircraft will replace older, less efficient aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.
As Delta’s first aircraft to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” the 737-900 ER offers the airline’s customers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-932 ER N805DN (msn 31913), the fifth, was delivered on November 1, 2013.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today launched three daily flights to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) will be served once daily from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and twice daily from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Port-au-Prince is JetBlue’s 82nd destination and its 24th destination internationally.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|FLL to PAP:||PAP to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.||9:25 a.m. – 11:34 a.m.|
|12:40 p.m. – 2:38 p.m.||3:34 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between New York (JFK) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|JFK to PAP:||PAP to JFK:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 10:13 a.m.||11:10 a.m. – 3:07 p.m.|
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N828JB (msn 5723) with Sharklets lands at Las Vegas.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-332 N182DN returns to Madrid with a missing wing panel, runs off the side of the runway
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) flight DL 415 departed Madrid (Barajas) bound for New York (JFK) yesterday (December 4) with the pictured Boeing 767-332 ER N182DN (msn 25987). The flight was involved in an incident. According to Aviation Safety Network, the crew elected to return to MAD after reporting it blew a tire on takeoff. Pictures taken from the plane show a missing wing panel on the top of the right wing.
On landing the aircraft veered to the left and ended up off the side of runway 18R-36L in the grass.
Read the full report with photos from Foroaviones.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N182DN (msn 25987) taxies at Milan (Malpensa).
The QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) has announced a market update, accelerated cost reductions and a capital expenditure and structural review, in response to fundamentally changed market conditions.
The Group expects to report an underlying loss before tax in the range of $250 million to $300 million for the six months ending December 31, 2013. Trading conditions saw a marked deterioration in November in particular, with both passenger loads and yields below the already negative trends for the year to date.
The Group can also provide the following guidance for the first half of FY14:
- Group capacity is expected to increase by 1.1 per cent in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13. Group Domestic capacity (comprising QANTAS Domestic, QANTAS Link and Jetstar Domestic) is expected to increase by 1.9 per cent in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13;
- Total domestic market capacity is expected to increase by approximately 2.7 per cent, driven by estimated competitor capacity growth of 3.9 per cent;
- Group yield (excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements) is expected to be approximately 3.5 per cent lower in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13, largely due to increased capacity in the domestic and international markets;
- Group loads are expected to be 1.6 percentage points lower in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13; and
- Underlying fuel costs (excluding the impact of the carbon tax) for 1H FY14 are expected to be approximately $2.27 billion, an increase of $88 million from 1H FY13.
The outlook for the second half of FY14 remains volatile and, given the uncertainty in global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates, it is not possible to provide further guidance at this time.
QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce said the circumstances demanded urgent action.
“We will do whatever we need to do to secure the QANTAS Group’s future,” Mr Joyce said.
“The challenges we now face are immense – but we will overcome them and we will continue to build a stronger and better QANTAS for Australia.
“Since the Global Financial Crisis, QANTAS has confronted a fiercely difficult operating environment – including the strong Australian dollar and record jet fuel costs, which have exacerbated QANTAS’ high cost base.
“The Australian international market is the toughest anywhere in the world.
“Our competitors in the international market, almost all owned or generously supported by their governments, have increased capacity to pursue Australian dollar profits, changing the shape of the market permanently.
“Since early 2012, there has also been an unprecedented distortion of the Australian domestic market, with Virgin Australia’s strategy to seek majority ownership and massive financial backing from foreign government-owned airlines (see Appendix 1).
“This foreign government capital has been used to finance dramatic increases in domestic capacity, with profound implications for the future of Australia’s aviation industry. In November, Virgin Australia signaled its intention to continue its strategy, which is designed to weaken QANTAS in the domestic market, with a $300 million-plus injection from its foreign owners.
“The uneven playing field in Australian aviation is being tilted further.”
“We cannot and we will not stand still in these extraordinary circumstances.”
“As we take these urgent actions, we will continue to take the fight to the competition and strengthen our leading position in the domestic market, and we will continue the turnaround of Qantas International.”
Accelerated cost reduction program
The Group will make accelerated cost reductions across all areas of the business, to achieve total cost savings of $2 billion over three years.
The existing QANTAS Transformation program will be accelerated, with an expanded mandate to achieve these targets, including the following steps:
- Head count reduction of at least 1,000 positions within 12 months, with an ongoing review
- CEO and Board pay cut
- Pay freeze and no FY14 bonus for executives
- Review of spending with top 100 suppliers
- Network optimisation and improved fleet utilization
- Further overhead reductions
Mr Joyce said the Group had already made significant progress in becoming leaner and more efficient.
“We have reduced the Group’s unit costs, excluding fuel, by a total of 19 per cent since FY09, including by 5 per cent in FY13 (see Appendix 2).
“But these actions are not enough to deal with the current situation.”
Capital expenditure and structural review
Given the deterioration in earnings, the Group no longer expects to generate positive net free cash flow in the current financial year.
The Group will conduct a review of all planned capital expenditure to achieve further substantial reductions to ensure that the business generates positive net free cash flow from FY15.
This continues the deep cuts to capital expenditure already achieved since 2011.
The Group will also launch an immediate review to identify structural changes that could potentially unlock sources of capital and value for shareholders. No options will be excluded from the review.
Mr Joyce said the Group would take all steps necessary to respond to the toughest market conditions it had ever faced.
“We will focus relentlessly on cutting costs and improving productivity, while maintaining our competitive advantages as a business,” Mr Joyce said.
Australia’s best airline for customers
Mr Joyce said customers would remain at the heart of the Group’s strategy, with a continued focus on service in all areas.
“We have Australia’s best airline and loyalty program, with nearly 10 million loyal frequent flyers,” Mr Joyce said. “Over the past two years, we have developed a global network based on strategic alliances, including the ground-breaking Emirates partnership and expanding relationships in Asia.
“The QANTAS customer experience is the best it has ever been. After an intensive fleet renewal program, our average passenger aircraft age is now below eight years, the youngest in two decades, and we have revitalised service with a focus on training and new technology. Customer satisfaction is soaring, with record scores in both the international and domestic markets.”
Discussions with the Australian Government
“As we work through our cost reductions, capital expediture and structural review, no options will be off the table,” Mr Joyce said.
“Political leaders recognize QANTAS’ strategic importance, its critical role in providing essential air services, and the benefits to Australia of a strong and viable national carrier.
“None of the measures being discussed with the government would alleviate the need for us to take the comprehensive actions we have announced today. Government action will, however, be key in enabling us to keep competing effectively on a level playing field.”
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS Airways’ Boeing 737-838 VH-VXA (msn 29551) with special “Official Airline of Cricket Australia – Now It’s On Our Turf” color scheme in support of Cricket Australia.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and Virgin America (San Francisco) are interested in buying the slots at New York (LaGuardia) that American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have agreed to give up with the DOJ for the merger approval according to Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-7H4 WL N216WR (msn 32488) with “Free Bags Fly Here” extra markings departs from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
JetBlue Airways (New York) and Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville) announced the formation of an interline ticketing partnership to allow travelers to easily connect between the carriers’ networks via Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa or Fort Myers.
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) today announced it plans to launch nonstop service from Boston’s Logan Airport to Beijing on June 20, 2014. This will represent the first scheduled nonstop flight from Boston to Mainland China in history – and with the industry’s most advanced airliner – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Hainan Airlines will operate the flights every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. With its international hub at Beijing, Hainan will offer connections to cities throughout China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’an and Haikou. Travelers may stopover in Beijing in either direction and connect with numerous additional Chinese cities across the Hainan network such as Chengdu or Dalian. The new Boston flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American service to Beijing from Seattle, Chicago and Toronto.
Flight 482 will depart Logan Airport at 5:10 pm (1710) and arrive in Beijing at 6:50 pm (1850) the following day. Flight 481 will depart Beijing at 1:50 pm (1350) and reach Logan Airport at 3:10 pm (1510) the same day. Flight time is a little over 13 hours.
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner B-2728 (msn 34938) lands at Paine Field near Everett.
Qatar Airways (Doha) today announced it will be extending its footprint in the USA by announcing its seventh gateway to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Service will commence on July 1, 2014. The move was expected due to its new Oneworld relationship with partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
The Dallas/Fort Worth route will be operated with the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which features a two-class design with 42 Business Class lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration (below).
Qatar Airways currently flies to four destinations in the United States – New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles), Chicago (O’Hare) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental). The airline will nearly double its footprint in the United States with the addition of three new routes in 2014: Philadelphia (April 2, 2014), Miami (June 10, 2014) and now Dallas/Fort Worth (July 1, 2014).
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2DZ LR A7-BBE (msn 36017) taxies at Paris (CDG).
Air Lituanica (Vilnius) is planning to launch a new route to Paris (CDG) starting on February 14, 2014. The new route will initially be an extension of the Prague route four days a week but the destination will become nonstop service after April 27.
All Air Lituanica flights are currently being operated by Estonian Air‘s (Talinn) Embraer 170s but this relationship seems to be unravelling. Estonian Air has cancelled the contract with Air Lituanica and issued this statement:
As part of winding down flight operations in Lithuania connected to the termination of its contractual relationship with Vilnius-based Air Lituanica, Estonian Air has decided to service the Vilnius – Berlin route only through December 15, 2013 and Vilnius – Amsterdam through January 6, 2014.
“After Estonian Air was forced to terminate its contractual relationship with Air Lituanica due to repeated breaches by Air Lituanica, we have no intentions to serve these routes independently in long term. We are doing everything to fulfill our obligations to ticket holders and minimize any interruptions related to their travel plans,“ said Jan Palmér, the CEO of Estonian Air.
Only Estonian Air tickets (with number 960 – XXXXXXXXX) and partner airline tickets, such as KLM, Delta, Hahn Air, are be accepted on Estonian Air flights.
Estonian Air flight tickets on Vilnius-Berlin flights after December 15, 2013 and on Vilnius – Amsterdam flights after January 6, 2014 will be refunded.
Who will replace Estonian Air? Can Air Lituanica survive this cancellation?
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Estonian Air for Air Lituanica, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEB (msn 17000106) arrives at Brussels.
Jetairfly (TUI Airlines Belgium) (Brussels) and Boeing on December 3 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 787-8 (OO-JDL, msn 34425) named “Diamond” (above). The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett on Tuesday on its delivery flight to Brussels.
The 787 is scheduled to begin flying short and medium haul Jetairfly routes in early December and long haul routes between Christmas and the New Year.
Jetairfly is part of the TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Air Canada (Montreal) announced today it will take delivery of the first of 37 Boeing 787Dreamliner aircraft in the spring of 2014, as it continues to renew its fleet of wide-body aircraft.
As the planes are gradually introduced into its fleet, the airline will offer a preview of its new Dreamliner service on some domestic and trans-Atlantic flights on a temporary basis this spring
Beginning in July 2014, the first route that the Dreamliner will operate will be Air Canada’s Toronto (Pearson)-Tel Aviv route.
Air Canada plans to take delivery of the first of 15 787-8 series aircraft in the spring. The first delivery of 22 larger capacity 787-9 series aircraft is planned for July 2015. All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019.
Air Canada is premiering its brand new international cabin design and seating that the airline will feature on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. The airline will take delivery of the first of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft in the spring of 2014.
Air Canada will provide three cabins of service on board its Boeing 787 Dreamliners highlighted by a brand new contemporary decor and comfortable ergonomic seating that features 180-degree lie-flat seats in its International Business Class cabin. An extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced definition seat back touch screens will be available for all customers along with power outlets and USB ports.
Beginning in July 2014 , the first Air Canada route to be operated with 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring the new cabin interior and amenities will be the carrier’s Toronto – Tel Aviv route.
As the first three 787 aircraft are gradually introduced into the Air Canada fleet in the spring of 2014, the airline will offer a preview of its new Dreamliner service on select domestic Canada and trans-Atlantic flights on a temporary basis.
Contemporary New Cabin Design
With the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner into its widebody fleet, Air Canada is unveiling a contemporary, sophisticated cabin design in a palette of slate grey and neutral tones with accents of Canadian red and celeste blue.
The interior decor, cabin architecture and seating in all three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – have been designed to provide customers with an exceptional travel experience.
Highlights of Air Canada’s new International Business Class cabin on the 787 Dreamliner include 20 lie-flat Executive Pods with an adjustable pneumatic cushion system that can be extended into a fully flat sleeping position 80 inches in length. New features that enhance the airline’s award-winning International Business cabin include:
- An adjustable pneumatic cushion headrest offers a massage feature, unique for an airline in business class.
- The personal entertainment screen with touch handset, at 18 inches, is the largest offered by a North American airline in business class. Universal power and USB outlets are available at each seat.
- Air Canada is also debuting a new espresso and cappuccino service for International Business Class customers featuring Lavazza coffee freshly brewed onboard.
- A 1-2-1 configuration guarantees direct aisle access with window views featuring the largest windows of any aircraft flying today.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin on the 787 Dreamliner has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration providing 38-inch legroom and generous 19.5-inch seat width and 7-inch recline. Each seat is equipped with a 9- or 11-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen, as well as universal power and USB outlets. Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin service, unique in North America , offers premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport.
Air Canada’s Economy cabin has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin. Each seat is equipped with a 9-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen with USB outlet and a universal power outlet available at arm’s reach.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: A New Generation in Comfort and Fuel Efficiency
Boeing is the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe, allowing for significant fuel efficiencies, a more economical long flying range and an enhanced passenger experience with less impact on the environment. Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier to order this new generation aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft it will replace.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner provides passengers with an unparalleled passenger experience:
- A quieter, smoother flight, lower cabin pressure, higher humidity levels and ambient mood lighting contribute to a more rested feeling upon arrival;
- Windows are 30 per cent larger than those on most similarly sized airplanes and feature an electrochromatic electronic dimming system;
- A more spacious interior cabin design featuring larger overhead bins;
- Cleaner air continuously circulating through an advanced filtration system.
Air Canada will take delivery of the first of 15 787-8 aircraft in spring 2014. The first delivery of 22 larger capacity 787-9 aircraft is planned for July 2015 . All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019.
As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 and Airbus A319 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe , the Middle East , Asia , Australia , the Caribbean , Mexico and South America . Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance , the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,328 destinations in 195 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year.
All Images by Air Canada.
Video: Air Canada.
IBC Airways (Miami) Swearingen SA227AC Metro III N831BC (msn AC-654B) crashed in the Sabana Hoyos district of Arecibo, Puerto Rico on December 2 per Aviation Safety Network. The Metroliner was on a cargo flight from Santo Domingo to San Juan. The two pilots were tragically killed.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship SA227AC Metro III N871BC sits at the Miami base.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) as of yesterday (December 3) is now owned by Indigo Partners through an affiliate. Indigo Partners issued this statement:
Indigo Partners has announced that, through an affiliate, it has completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings on December 3, 2013. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced on October 1, 2013, are not being disclosed.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have considerable experience in successful, airline-related investments.
“Today is an exciting day for Frontier Airlines and Indigo Partners, as we can now embark on a new chapter in Frontier’s history of providing safe, reliable and fairly priced air service,” said Franke. “As air travel costs have moved higher, demand has grown for more affordable options and more choices. One key element to Frontier’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier touch, will ensure opportunities for the Frontier team, and provide safe and reliable ULCC air service to our communities and beyond as we grow Frontier under this vision.”
Frontier will remain headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
David Siegel, CEO and President of Frontier Airlines, resigned from Republic’s Board of Directors.
Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by W. A. Franke in 2003 to pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. The firm was a significant investor in Tiger Airways based in Singapore and Spirit Airlines based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe and Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City. Indigo Partners is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines operate a combined fleet of more than 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,300 flights daily to more than 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 6,000 aviation professionals.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Indigo Partners is likely to keep the popular animals on the tails which plays well on their TV advertisements in the main Frontier markets, giving names to the talking tails. However the new very bold FLYFRONTIER.COM titles as displayed on Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets may not survive. It will be interesting to watch for any changes to the current Frontier strategy by these low-fare airline investment fund people.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add new daily nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from Fairbanks International Airport and Vancouver International Airport, beginning May 29, 2014 and June 5, 2014, respectively. We previously reported the new Seattle-Vancouver route.
Delta will offer customers five daily flights between Vancouver and Seattle, operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) using 76-seat, two-class Bombardier CRJ900s. Additionally, the airline will begin one daily summer seasonal flight between Fairbanks, Alaska and Seattle/Tacoma using a Boeing 737-800. Each aircraft is equipped with First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as onboard Wi-Fi.
Delta recently announced expanded Seattle/Tacoma service to Anchorage, Alaska, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon,, San Diego and San Francisco to support its increasing international network which currently operates nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris, Shanghai-Pudong and Tokyo. The airline will also operate new nonstop international service in 2014 to London-Heathrow in March, as well as Hong Kong and Seoul in June, pending government approval.
Every long-haul international Delta flight from Seattle/Tacoma now features full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.
Delta currently operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as domestic Wi-Fi service. The airline has also invested $14 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its recently completed lobby renovations, new Delta Sky Club, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations and expanded ticket counters.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N387DA (msn 30374) climbs away from the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Holidays Video by Delta:
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is now planning to totally spin off its Thai Smile (Bangkok) subsidiary into a totally independent carrier. Thai Smile will acquire its own AOC, code and will change its name to Thai Smile Airways Company according to Travel Daily News.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HS-TXB (msn 5248) climbs away from the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport hub. The airline once its goes independent is likely to lose the Thai colors and tail in its livery.
Routes from Bangkok:
China Express Airlines (Guiyang, Guizhou), has placed a firm order for three Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen airliners, as well as entered into conditional purchase agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen aircraft with options on an additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. China Express provides regional passenger services with its fleet of five Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft and six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The airline made history last year by being the first to operate the CRJ900 aircraft in China.
“By 2016, we anticipate that the total number of China Express’ routes will reach approximately 90, three times as many as the number of existing routes, and will cover 60 per cent of China’s regional cities,” said Wu Longjiang, President, China Express. “We are confident that our fleet of Bombardier aircraft will be a very efficient and reliable asset in achieving these objectives.”
As of September 30, 2013, Bombardier had recorded firm orders for 1,779 CRJ Series aircraft, including 306 CRJ900 andCRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft. The aircraft are operating in over 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) C-GIAZ (msn 15277) is pictured at Farnborough.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) announced today its new “JAL Sky Suite 777″ service will be introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt in April 2014.
JAL Sky Suite 77 service boasts increased comfort and functionality in all four classes. According to JAL, the revamped aircraft has yielded favorable feedback from customers since it was launched on Tokyo (Narita) and London route in January 2013. It won a Good Design Award in 2013 and Skytrax’s Best Business Class Airline Seat of the year for 2013.
JAL Sky Suite 77 has been introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and London, between Tokyo (Narita) and New York, and between Tokyo (Narita) and Paris as well as between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles.
Between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt (JL407/JL408):
Name of seat
Number of Seats
JAL SKY SUITE
JAL SKY PREMIUM
JAL SKY WIDER
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL’s Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) wears a special “JAL Sky Suite 777″ logo on the rear fuselage at its approaches London’s Heathrow Airport.
Belle Air Europe (subsidiary of Belle Air) (Ancona, Italy and Pristina) followed the lead of its parent organization and ceased all operations the next day on November 26.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Belle Air Europe’s Airbus A320-214 EI-LIS (msn 3492) taxies at Zurich.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will transfer all inter-European flights to subsidiary KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam) between 2014 and 2019 per NutchNews.nl. Personnel at Cityhopper are paid less and work longer hours. The decision comes after KLM was unable to reach a new agreement with its cabin crews.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM Cityhopper is gradually phasing out its aging fleet of Fokker 70s. The transfer of newer aircraft and staff will expedite this retirement. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0070 (Fokker 70) PH-KZP (msn 11539) lands at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
EcoJet (Linea Aerea EcoJet S.A.) (Cochabamba) started scheduled passenger operations on November 24. The new airline is operating two 93-seat Avro (BAe) RJ85 aircraft (CP-2788 and CP-2814 per ch-aviation). The inaugural flight was from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz and Sucre according to El Dia. The company is also operating from Cochabamba to Trinidad and Riberalta.
The airline is planning to expand to Tarija and Cobija in the second phase.
Read the full report from El Dia (in Spanish): CLICK HERE
Photo and images: EcoJet.
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) on November 30 was honored with the “World’s Leading Economy Class” award, on the heels of winning the “Asia’s Leading Airline Economy Class” award last month. Guest Editor and Executive Director of Hainan Airlines in the United States, Joel Chusid, accepted the award at the high-profile World Travel Awards (WTA) which held its World-Class Awards ceremony at La Cigale Hotel Doha in Qatar.
WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge and reward the world’s leading players across the tourism sector. The awards are regarded globally as the highest accolade in the sector and have been called “the Oscars of the travel industry” by The Wall Street Journal. WTA sets awards for all regional categories, and winners are selected based on votes cast globally by industry professionals and consumers online. It is one of the most prestigious awards programs in the tourism industry. This time, Hainan Airlines distinguished itself from the world’s 12 other leading airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
“We know that the award is the recognition and appreciation by industry professionals and consumers worldwide for the quality of Hainan Airlines’ economy class services. We will continue our commitment to high-quality air services, and hope Hainan Airlines can become the first choice of an ever greater number of travelers,” Joel M. Chusid, Executive Director of Hainan Airlines in the United States, said in his acceptance speech. Since its inception in 1993, Hainan Airlines has, through a proactive and innovative approach, been dedicated to making passengers feel welcome on its airplanes and assuring them the most comfortable travel experience through its high-quality services by adopting the best practices from a long tradition of Oriental hospitality.
World Travel Awards President and Founder Mr Graham E. Cooke said: “It is no surprise our voters have recognized Hainan Airlines as a global leader in the aviation sector; their success is richly deserved and it would be no surprise if we were to hear a great deal more from them here at World Travel Awards in the future.”
In addition to the award by WTA, Hainan Airlines recently won the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA)’s Mercury Award in the On Board Service category. ”Cherished Experience”. Hainan Airlines demonstrates its excellence through the gaining of these highly coveted awards. The airline continues to garner greater visibility and popularity worldwide through its actions and achievements.
Copyright Photo: Executive Director of Hainan Airlines in the United States Joel M. Chusid and World Travel Awards founder and President Graham E. Cooke hold Hainan Airlines’ award for “World’s Leading Airline – Economy Class 2013″. (PRNewsFoto/Hainan Airlines Co., LTD).
Congratulations to Joel and Hainan Airlines.
WestJet (Calgary), WestJet Vacations and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (Canada) today pulled back the curtain on their most exciting adventure yet — a custom-painted Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 series aircraft featuring Mickey Mouse in his most famous role, Sorcerer Mickey.
WestJet, WestJet Vacations and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (Canada) first forged a relationship in 2004 based on a shared vision of creating memorable experiences for their guests. Known in the social media world as the #MagicPlane, the aircraft will perform its inaugural flight on December 3, 2013, from Calgary to Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World Resort. Following the flight, the Magic Plane will fly throughout WestJet’s domestic, trans-border and international network.
“We are very proud of our work with Disney and everything we’ve done together over the years to enrich the lives of our guests,” said Gregg Saretsky , WestJet President and CEO. “With the Magic Plane, we are soaring to new heights, offering guests of all ages the chance to share the skies with one of the world’s most beloved and iconic figures. We also look forward to having fun with our guests on the ground as they see the Magic Plane flying over their communities and at airports across our expanding network.”
“Bringing this vision to life has been a true collaboration between our companies and it’s so exciting to see the final result — the aircraft is absolutely beautiful,” said Marlie Morrison , Managing Director, Marketing & Sales, The Walt Disney Company (Canada) Ltd. “WestJetters are the first point of contact for many of our Walt Disney World guests embarking on their memorable family vacation. We have a great appreciation for WestJet, which shares a similar culture in bringing guests an exceptional experience from beginning to end.”
Fun facts about the Magic Plane:
- The two sides of the aircraft are mirror images of each other in all aspects but one. We’ll leave it to our guests to decide what that is!
- There are a total of 36 different paint colours on the aircraft.
- It took a team of 26 people 24 days working around the clock to paint the Magic Plane.
- The painting crew consumed more than 150 doughnuts over the 24 days.
- The painting crew consisted of people from four countries, five states, two provinces and 12 cities.
- The cookies that will be served on board are a special treat in the shape of Disney characters.
- Over the next five years, the Magic Plane will fly more than 400,000 guests a total of nearly eight million kilometres.
On board the Magic Plane’s inaugural flight on December 3 will be 16 members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada from various cities across the country. Along with club chaperones and WestJet volunteers, the group will travel to Orlando for three days of fun at Walt Disney World Resort, “pay-it-forward” charity activities, teambuilding and leadership training.
WestJet serves Orlando, home of Walt Disney World Resort, with a total of 39 flights per week during peak winter months from Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London, Toronto Pearson, Ottawa, Montreal Trudeau, Halifax, Moncton and St. John’s , Newfoundland.
WestJet Vacations offers a variety of vacation packages to the Walt Disney World Resort. Play, stay, dine and save when you book a five- to 15-night vacation package at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels that includes Magic Your Way tickets and a Disney dining plan. Offer is valid for bookings made by February 22, 2014 , for travel between January 5 and April 12, 2014 .
Copyright Photos: WestJet. The pictured Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSZ (msn 37092) “Magic Plane” was formerly painted in the special “Care-antee” color scheme.
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it is the first and only airline to offer premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled trans-continental flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco and between New York JFK and Los Angeles.
The revamped p.s. aircraft offer 28 180-degree flat-bed United BusinessFirst seats, offering up to 6’4″ of sleeping space and more room for storage; 42 extra-legroom United Economy Plusseats; and 72 United Economy seats.
Designed to give customers an experience comparable to long-haul, international flights, United’s refurbished p.s. aircraft also offer:
- Inflight Wi-Fi
- Personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat - with 15.4″ monitors in United BusinessFirst and 9″ monitors in United Economy - offering hundreds of movies and television shows, plus other entertainment options
- Power outlets and USB ports at every seat
- Two additional inches of legroom in United Economy Plus compared to Economy Plus legroom on pre-renovation p.s. service
- Multi-course meals in United BusinessFirst on most flights
- Wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United’s Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, including half bottles of premium wines for purchase in United Economy
“Our investment in these aircraft and in the p.s. service will add greatly to our flyer-friendly customer experience on these coast-to-coast flights,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “This is just one more example of the many things we are doing to provide greater onboard comfort and convenience on every United flight.”
Customer Service Investments
United’s renovated p.s. aircraft are among the many investments the airline is making to enhance its customers’ experience in the air and on the ground. United also offers:
- Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled long-haul international flight from the continental United States
- Satellite-fed Wi-Fi on more than 130 aircraft so far, with nearly all of United’s mainline fleet outfitted with Wi-Fi by the end of 2014
- An all-new mobile application for the iOS 7 platform, offering customers innovative new features, better functionality and an improved touch-friendly design
- Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television
- Significantly upgraded United Club lounges in Chicago O’Hare Terminal 2, Seattle and San Diego, with improved amenities, modern interiors, more power outlets and complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by United). Boeing 757-224 WL N19141 (msn 30354) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will start Delta Connection service (five flights a day) between its building Seattle/Tacoma focus city and Vancouver on June 5, 2014 per Airline Route. The new route will be operated with Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft (probably by SkyWest Airlines). This is another replacement of an Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air feeder route in the disintegrating Delta-Alaska relationship at SeaTac.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N822SK (msn 15203) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).
Cargolux Airlines International S.A. (Luxembourg) has announced the launch of a weekly service to Bamako, the capital of Mali, from December 5, 2013. The flights are operated with the airline’s Boeing 747 freighters which offer main deck capacity for the transport of airfreight supplies that support the local industries in the areas of natural resources, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical products, perishables and general appliances.
In 2010, Bamako Airport inaugurated a new cargo terminal with a yearly capacity of 10,000 tons and extended the runway to 3,180 meters, enabling the operation of large aircraft, such as Cargolux’s 747 freighters.
Flight CV 7124 is operated every Thursday on the routing Luxembourg – Bamako – Lagos – Libreville – Nairobi – Manston – Luxembourg. Departure in Luxembourg is scheduled for 16.30 GMT with arrival in Bamako at 21:40 GMT. With this service, Cargolux connects another African destination to its worldwide network and offers shippers fast and reliable airfreight solutions to a market with growing importance.
Cargolux’s African network now covers 13 destinations that show promising export potential with strong shipments for the oil and gas industry. Cargolux also offers direct services between the United States and Africa.
Previously the cargo carrier started weekly service to Buenos Aires via Campinas (Viracopas) near Sao Paulo on November 13.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F LX-VCV (msn 34235) approaches Johannesburg for landing.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Aeroflot Group) (Moscow) issued its financial results for the first nine months of 2013:
Aeroflot has announced the consolidated IFRS financial results of Aeroflot Group for the nine months ending 30 September 2013.
Key financial highlights:
- Net income for the nine-month period of $545.2 million, an increase of 84.1% versus 9M 2012
- Revenue for the nine-month period was up 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million
- Traffic revenue for the nine-month period grew 17.8% year-on-year to $6,259.0 million
- Fuel costs for the nine-month period rose 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million (9M 2012: $1,685.0 million)
- Non-fuel operating costs for the nine-month period increased 10.1% year-on-year to $4,305.4 million
- 9M 2013 basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.500 and 0.499, up 63.4% and 64.7%, respectively, from 9M 2012
- Aeroflot Group passenger traffic grew 14.7% year-on-year in 9M 2013 to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose 16.2% to 65,363.0 million
- Aeroflot standalone capacity rose 18.3% year-on-year in the period, while Aeroflot Group capacity was up 15.8% compared to 9M 2012
Aeroflot suspended operations of its cargo plane fleet in 2013, switching to belly cargo operations. This was the main factor driving the 8.6% decline in tons of cargo carried in 9M 2013 vs. 9M 2012
“Aeroflot Group’s strong financial results were driven by three factors. First, we offer clients a premium product at an attractive price. Second, we are managing costs effectively. Third, we are optimising the operations of our subsidiaries that are being integrated into the Group,” said Vitaly Saveliev, Aeroflot’s chief executive officer. “We are on track this year to serve the most customers in Russia’s modern history. At the same time we maintain our relentless focus on safety. This is bolstered by our aircraft fleet, which is the best in Russia and one of the youngest in Europe.”
|USD mln, unless otherwise stated||
(1) EBITDAR = EBITDA + operating lease expenses; (2) EBITDA = operating income + depreciation & amortization + customs duties
Aeroflot Group reported strong traffic revenue in the first nine months of 2013 of $6,259.0 million, representing a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2012. Group passenger traffic rose 14.7% to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was up 16.2% to 65,363.0 million. Aeroflot Group’s seat load factor was relatively flat at 79.1%.
Aeroflot Group revenue in 9M 2013 increased by 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million, primarily due to strong growth of 19.3% in the passenger segment, which was balanced by a decline in cargo revenue of 10.9% after Aeroflot suspended its cargo fleet operations. Other revenue increased by 9.0% year-on-year to $773.7 million.
Fuel costs for the nine-month period increased 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million, driven by the significant growth in passenger traffic and the addition of new routes.
Non-fuel operating costs for the nine months of 2013 also increased in line with the growth in the Group’s operations, up 10.1% to $4,305.4 million, primarily due to year-on-year increases in aircraft and traffic servicing costs (up 17.9% to $1,252.7 million). Staff costs increased 11.7% year-on-year to $1,003.9 million.
Aeroflot Group operating income for 9M 2013 nearly doubled year-on-year to $849.8 million, representing a margin of 12.1%, compared to an operating margin of 7.1% for 9M 2012.
The Group’s net income in 9M 2013 was $545.2 million, up 84.1% from the first nine months of 2012.
Other 2013 highlights:
In the beginning of 3Q, Aeroflot was unveiled as the Official Carrier of Manchester United Football Club. The multi-year sponsorship positions Aeroflot as a premium international brand by aligning it with a global symbol of excellence.
In October 2013 Aeroflot presented plans to launch Russia’s first national low-cost carrier (LCC), a new 100% subsidiary to be known as “Dobrolet”. Ticket prices are expected to be on average 40% lower than mainstream carriers, thus attracting a new customer segment to air travel. Aeroflot views the LCC market as a sizeable growth opportunity and a chance to diversify its business without the risk of cannibalization. Dobrolet is targeting the start of operations in 2014.
In November 2013 Aeroflot announced the roll-out of Aurora Airlines, a new subsidiary focused on the Russian Far East that has been created from Group subsidiaries Vladivostok Avia and Sakhalin Airlines. The launch of Aurora represents a unique opportunity to achieve significant market share in the Far East where there are few alternatives to air travel. Aurora has an annual traffic target of 2.4 million passengers by 2018. The creation of Aurora is part of the process of consolidation and restructuring of subsidiary assets.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BNT (msn 5614) in the retro 1956 livery lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).
Air New Zealand unveils its latest Hobbit theme aircraft for the new movie “The Desolation of Smaug”
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has done it again. The champion of promotion today launched it latest Hobbit-theme aircraft, this time with Smaug, the dragon, emblazoned on Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) (above) now flying to Los Angeles for the movie premier.
The airline issued this statement:
The Official Airline of Middle-earth today announced the key elements of its global marketing campaign two weeks ahead of the premiere of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
A key feature of the airline’s campaign, titled Middle-earth is closer than you think, is a competition to give three Hobbit movie fans from around the world the money-can’t-buy opportunity to attend the world premiere movie screening with a friend. A fourth lucky entrant will win a once-in-a-life-time Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.
The video Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshall, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey – with the key message ‘Middle-earth is closer than you think’.
The video also features Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown.
Dean O’Gorman says the video captures both the magic of The Hobbit films and the unique personality of Air New Zealand.
“The cast and crew have been travelling to New Zealand so much over the past few years the airline’s become like a second home to some of them and they just love the uniquely Kiwi service. It was great to be involved in this video and see so many Air New Zealand staff having a bit of fun with all the Hobbit film references.”
Viewers of the video from around the world can enter for their chance to win one of four trips of a lifetime for two to their choice of either Middle-earth (New Zealand) or to the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles, including airfares, accommodation and rental car.
Another feature of the Air New Zealand marketing campaign will be the unveiling of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft in special Hobbit film-inspired livery on December 2 in Auckland (see above). The flying billboard will leave that night for Los Angeles where it will touch down in time for the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiere.
Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says there is a common perception that New Zealand is tucked away at the bottom of the earth and the perceived distance barrier stops some travellers considering the country as a destination.
“For travellers from the majority of Air New Zealand’s long haul destinations, including Shanghai, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Middle-earth is just a sleep away.”
Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82 percent of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5 percent of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said The Hobbit Trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and one percent said it was the most important factor.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, director of “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.com
Copyright Photos: Air New Zealand.
Thomas Cook Group (London) has unveiled its new “Sunny Heart” livery. Airbus A321-211 G-TCDC (msn 5872) was delivered to Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) on November 22 and will go into revenue service in mid December. the second of the 23 new Airbus A321 aircraft to be delivered to the Thomas Cook Group Airlines by 2016, previously announced in early 2013. This follows the first A321 delivered to sister airline Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) in May 2013.
Six aircraft will be deployed in the UK and will be in operation by the summer season of 2014.
The group explains the new look, a departure from its traditional blue and white colors:
“Our new ’Sunny Heart’ livery expresses the philosophy of our airline; our team putting their heart into every flight and making sure our customers’ holiday starts as soon as they board their flight to their holiday destination. The Sunny Heart is the perfect symbol for our passion to create memorable holidays for our guests.”
G-TCDC is also the first Airbus aircraft in the Thomas Cook Group to be fitted with wing-tip Sharklets which help the aircraft fly using less fuel, contributing – with the new fuselage shape – to an overall fuel efficiency of up to 6 per cent compared to the existing aircraft in the fleet.
Meanwhile Condor Flugdienst has already painted its first aircraft in the new brand, Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (above).
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Condor’s Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (msn 29010) sits at the Frankfurt base today between flights in the new look.
Video: Painting of the first A321 for Condor (in the old colors):
Video: Thomas Cook Airlines:
Aerovias DAP (Las Aerolineas de la Patagonia) (Punta Arenas, Chile) has become a new Boeing 737 operator. Former SKY Airline (Santiago) Boeing 737-2Q3 CC-ABD (msn 22736) is the first Boeing 737-200 to be operated by Aerovías DAP. CC-ABD is being operated on behalf of the mining industry as DAP Mineral Airways. Aerovias DAP is expected to add two additional Boeing 737-200s from SKY Airline. This leaves the Aerovias DAP BAe 146s/Avro RJs to operate mainly in southern Chile (Patagonia) and Antarctica.
Video: BAe 146 landing on King George Island in Antarctica:
Air Canada rouge (Toronto-Pearson) yesterday (November 30) started Saturday and Sunday flights from Toronto (Pearson) to Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida. This will increase to daily flights from December 17 through to April 27, 2014.
Air Canada rouge offers convenient flight times as follows:
Saturday November 30 and December 7:
- Depart Toronto 12:55 p.m. (1255) arrive Sarasota/Bradenton 3:50 p.m. (1550)
- Depart Sarasota/Bradenton 4:45 p.m. (1645) arrive Toronto 7:40 p.m. (1940)
Sunday December 1 , 8 and 15 and Saturday December 14 :
- Depart Toronto 2:10 p.m. (1410) arrive Sarasota/Bradenton 5:15 p.m. (1715)
- Depart Sarasota/Bradenton 6:00 p.m. (1800) arrive Toronto 8:56 p.m. (2056)
Daily flights as of December 17 to April 27 :
- Depart Toronto 2:10 p.m. (1410) arrive Sarasota/Bradenton 5:15 p.m. (1715)
- Depart Sarasota/Bradenton 6:00 p.m. (1800) arrive Toronto 8:56 p.m. (2056)
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 C-FYJH (msn 672) is pictured ta the Toronto (Pearson) base.
Do you need an aviation gift idea for the holidays for a friend or relative? Every aircraft image in the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library is available as framable color prints and posters and all products from mouse pads, mugs and T-shirts. The watermarks are automatically removed for all products when processed.
LAM’s (Linhas Aereas de Mocambique) (Luanda) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C9-EMC (msn 19000581) yesterday (November 29) was operating flight TM 470 from Maputo, Mozambique to the Luanda, Angola with 28 passengers and six crew members. The airliner never arrived. The weather in the area was reported to be stormy with low visibility. Today rescuers located the burned out wreckage in the Bwabwata National Park according to Reuters. There were no survivors. The airliner was only a little over one year old, having been delivered on November 8, 2012.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured sister ship ERJ 190-100 IGW C9-EMA (msn 19000301) was the first E190 to arrive on August 6, 2009.
Video: LAM’s 33 years of flying: