Airberlin (Berlin) following in its tradition, yesterday (November 27) launched its 2014 Christmas special livery on Boeing 737-86J D-ABML (msn 37773). The airline has also announced a “spotter contest”. The airline issued this statement:
Boeing 737-800 bearing the code D-ABML entered into service as the 2014 Christmas aircraft, and can be found flying around the Airberlin route network. The elaborate motif is the work of illustrator Thies Schwarz. ‘This was the biggest picture I’ve ever done,’ said Schwarz in reference to the challenge of creating the 2.3 m tall, 18.7 m long motif. In the place of the usual airberlin lettering, the fuselage is festooned with a Christmas landscape, and below it reads the Airberlin Christmas motto: ‘Flying home for Christmas’. The windows of the aircraft also serve as the windows of the houses in the scene. ‘I’m looking forward to the impact it will have in the dark: once the windows are lit, the Christmas spirit can really unfold,’ says Schwarz.
The aircraft decorated in Christmas livery was greeted at Terminal C of Berlin’s Tegel Airport with a special surprise: within seconds, departure gates 44 and 45 turned into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees, a merry-go-round for children and snowflakes. airberlin staff dressed as Christmas angels and elves handed out mulled wine and chocolate hearts to the 700 guests in Terminal C before the Christmas aircraft took off at 5 pm for Stockholm.
‘The 2014 Christmas aircraft continues an Airberlin tradition that goes back to 2011. A digital Christmas plane on our website in 2010 led to many guests calling for a real Christmas aircraft. The annual presentation of the unusual aircraft also marks the start of our Christmas festivities. Airberlin passengers can look forward to special festive snacks on board: gingerbread or Lebkuchen (a traditional German cake) and 1,240,000 Christmas-edition chocolate hearts. On Airberlin flights within Germany or to Austria and Switzerland, as well as in the waiting areas in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Vienna we will be inviting our passengers for a glass of mulled wine from 4 pm; we will be pouring a total of 7,100 litres over the Christmas season. As for food, the Sansibar restaurant classic ‘duck in orange sauce with a seasonally stuffed baked apple, potato dumplings and red cabbage’ is also especially popular in the winter months: the dish is ordered close to 2,000 times between October and March,’ says Aage Dünhaupt, SVP of Communications at Airberlin.
Airberlin’s social media channels are also buzzing with the Christmas spirit: from Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Airberlin is making the most of all channels to spread the festive cheer with exciting offers. For example, on the prize-winning Instagram page with more than 13,000 followers, users can upload a Christmas photo with the hashtag #flyinghomeforchristmas for a chance to win free flights. Fans will also have the chance to win flights on Facebook through a worldwide search for Santa.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is gradually dropping its spoke routes from and to its hometown Denver International Airport hub due to rising costs.
According to Airline Route, the carrier is planning to drop the following routes through April 2015: Eugene (November 29), Bakersfield (December 1), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (December 19), New York (LaGuardia) (December 20), Idaho Falls (January 5, 2015), Fresno, Harrisburg and Spokane (all January 6), Bloomington, Chicago (Midway), Minot, Newport News/Williamsburg, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara (all January 7), Oklahoma City (April 29) and Fargo (April 30).
Frontier has already ended service from Denver to Branson, Bellingham, Great Falls and Jackson Hole.
Read the full report from The Denver Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look taxies to the gate at Raleigh-Durham.
Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) will launch the first “JAL Sky Suite 787” service between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt on December 1, 2014.
JAL will introduce fully-flat seat (above), “JAL Sky Suite”, in Business Class of “JAL Sky Suite 787”. Premium Economy service will be provided onto the latest Boeing 787-8s with “JAL Sky Premium” seats, and in Economy Class, new “JAL Sky Wider II” seats in a 2-4-2 configuration will be offered.
Following its launch on Narita – Frankfurt route, “JAL Sky Suite 787” will be sequentially operated on Tokyo (Narita) – New York route (JL004/JL003) from January 2015.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA826J (msn 34836) arrives at the Narita International Airport (NRT) hub.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will once again be offering nonstop daily flights between Nice’s Cote d’Azur Airport and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport for the 2015 summer season.
Flights will begin five times a week on March 29, 2015, increasing to a daily service from May 2, 2015. Delta has scheduled a Boeing 767-400 aircraft with 245 seats on the route, which is operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France-KLM.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-432 ER N841MH (msn 29714) with the special “100 Years – American Cancer Society – The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” logo departs from London (Heathrow).
The turkey versus the A320: JetBlue Airways takes a humorous look at Thanksgiving – Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers
JetBlue Airways takes a humorous view of the American Thanksgiving today on their blog:
Today is the day Americans traditionally take a moment to give thanks for those things and people who make their lives worthwhile, and in particular on this day when so many have traveled to be with loved ones, we want to give thanks to you for all you have meant to us.
We hope you are able to surround yourself with loads loved ones today, and should you decide to take part in another Thanksgiving tradition, we hope you remember which bird is which!
Videos: Are you stuck on an icy ramp? There is always the Siberian solution. The brakes of an UTair Tupolev Tu-134 got stuck on an icy tarmac in Siberia. The solution? The passengers decided to help push back the jetliner.
According to the report, the air temperature dropped to a minus 52 degrees, and the aircraft’s brakes became frozen. The passengers decided to help with their “human power”.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) has announced it will add seven destinations for the 2015 summer season.
In stages, Czech Airlines will launch operations on its regular scheduled connections to Oslo (OSL), Billund (BLL), Cork (ORK), Bilbao (BIO) and Bologna (BLQ). The carrier also plans to launch two new connections with Russia – flying to Kaliningrad (KGD) and Kazan (KZN). Additionally, Czech Airlines will launch a connection between Billund and Oslo, and Copenhagen and Stockholm.
The airline continued;
“After a year of cutbacks, we plan to expand the existing Czech Airlines’ network starting the 2015 summer season. We feel that there is a significant business potential in our new destinations which we would like to use fully. At the same time, we would like to capitalize on Czech Airlines great reputation in the Russian market and, effective April 2015, service a total of nine destinations in Russia,” said Jozef Sinčák, Chairman of Czech Airlines Board of Directors, and added: “We have set the new destinations timetables in a way to best use the market potential and at the same time appeal to both local and transfer passengers as the connections were designed with the customers’ priorities in mind. We will operate all new destinations using the existing free capacity of Czech Airlines and thus improve the fleet use.”
New Czech Airlines’ Routes in North Europe
Czech Airlines will launch operations on its Prague – Oslo route on March 30, 2015. At the beginning of the summer season, the carrier will service the route twice weekly. Effective May 30, 2015, two more return connections will be added on this route, which will then be operated with four weekly frequencies until the end of the summer season. Czech Airlines will use Airbus A319 aircraft exclusively to service the route. The new Oslo service was designed for local – i.e. point-to-point passengers from the Czech Republic and Norway and also for transfer passengers travelling from Norway to Mediterranean cities – destinations offered by Czech Airlines for the second year during the summer season on a code-share basis with Travel Service. For now, Czech Airlines plans to operate the Oslo connection on a seasonal basis.
New Czech Airlines’ flights to Billund, Denmark are scheduled to first take off on March 29, 2015. The route will be operated by the carrier four times a week, year round, by ATR 42 aircraft with the option of using a larger ATR 72 aircraft if necessary. Business travellers and tourists from both countries – i.e. the Czech Republic and Denmark, form the target group of this new flight.
On work days, i.e. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, these Czech Airlines’ flights will continue from Billund to Oslo. The carrier wants to apply its successful model of the Prague – Bratislava – Košice and Prague – Hamburg – Gothenburg routes.
Czech Airlines’ News in West and South Europe
A new Cork connection will be serviced from May 14, 2015 until the end of the summer season with two return flights a week. The timetable was tailored to the priorities of the main target group, i.e. tourists from the South-West part of Ireland travelling to Prague for a long weekend, complemented by Czech tourists headed to explore the South of Ireland.
Czech Airlines will service its new connection to Bilbao during the main operational season, i.e. between June 1 and September 30, 2015, offering two return frequencies a week. The Bilbao connection, just as the other new connections, was designed predominantly for tourists. Czech Airlines will service both the Cork and the Bilbao route by Airbus A319 aircraft. Both connections will be operated on a seasonal basis, i.e. with services break during the winter seasons.
Czech Airlines will be returning to the Prague – Bologna route after a four-year pause. The carrier will operate it year round four times a week with ATR 72 aircraft from March 29, 2015. This connection was designed for business travellers and tourists alike.
Czech Airlines’ Plans in Russian Market during 2015 Summer Season
Despite this year’s year-on-year drop in passenger demand for travels between Russia and the Czech Republic, Russian market has been of great significance for Czech Airlines with high potential for further development thanks to the option of launching operations to new destinations located there. That is why Czech Airlines plans to launch two new connections within the market at the beginning of the 2015 summer season – to Kaliningrad and to Kazan.
Connections between Prague and Kazan will be operated by Czech Airlines twice weekly, using Airbus A319 aircraft. The timetable for the new Prague – Kaliningrad route is designed in the same way as the Prague – Kazan connection, using the same attractive combination of weekdays of operations for weekend and mid-week stays in Prague. Czech Airlines will operate the service using ATR 72 turbo propeller aircraft. Both connections will be operated year round.
Effective 2015 summer season, Czech Airlines will service a total of nine destinations and operate eleven regular scheduled connections between the Czech Republic and Russia. Alongside the mentioned Kazan and Kaliningrad services, there will be Czech Airlines’ services from Prague to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Rostov upon Done, Ufa and Perm, alongside two connections from Karlovy Vary to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OK-OER (msn 3892) with the special Instaforex markings departs from Brussels.
Here is the official announcement:
SAS and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options between Scandinavia and the UAE.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, will strengthen both carriers by enabling them to offer greater connectivity to and from a number of key European cities. SAS is Etihad Airways’ 47th airline partnership globally and its 22nd in Europe. For SAS, Etihad is the 23rd codeshare partner and the third with strong presence in the Middle East.
Both airlines will also develop and sign a Frequent Flyer agreement, which will benefit the members of Etihad Airways’ Etihad Guest and SAS’ EuroBonus loyalty programs.
The deal will see SAS place its SK code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva and London Heathrow.
In turn, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on SAS-operated flights from these European destinations, excluding Brussels, onto SAS’ hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.
The EY code will also be placed on flights beyond Copenhagen to Billund and Ålesund; beyond Oslo to Ålesund, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Stavanger; and beyond Stockholm to Umeå, Sundsvall, and Östersund.
Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS’ Boeing 737-705 LN-TUF (msn 28222) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of Etihad Airways’ first Airbus A380 at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The pictured A380-861 F-WWSS (msn 166) will become A6-APA on delivery.
Air Austral (Sainte-Marie, Reunion, France) issued its new logo and this announcement (below) (translated from French) in September 2014:
By the end of the year, Air Austral will unveil its first aircraft painted with the new colors of the company just unveiled and then launch a series of new features for fun, comfort and choice of its passengers.
The new logo embodies the values of closeness, trust, excellence and openness so dear to the company. A desire supported by this new slogan:
“You will always be the heart of our company”
The new logo will reflect the friendliness and smile that Air Austral has with his audience and the quality of service.
Now the first aircraft has been painted.
Copyright Photos: Nik French. Boeing 777-3Q8 ER F-ONOU (msn 35783) left a rainy Manchester today in the new look. The new livery features beautiful island images (below).
Air Austral aircraft slide show:
Video: “Air Austral Happy”:
Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) will operate twice-weekly flights between Fort Myers, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico from May 3 through August 23, 2015. The seasonal non-hub route will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-73V N711SY (msn 30245) completes the final approach to the runway at Las Vegas.
Sun Country Airlines aircraft slide show:
Current Route Map:
Alaska Airlines teams up with chef Tom Douglas for new food entries for long-haul flights from SeaTac
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is teaming up with local Seattle chef Tom Douglas for new food entries for its long-haul flights:
Travelers on Alaska Airlines are invited to lift their palates this winter, as Alaska and Tom Douglas (below) announce a new partnership to take airplane food to new heights. Beginning December 1, travelers on all Seattle/Tacoma-departing flights 2.5 hours or longer will be able to purchase a savory winter entree, developed specially by Douglas for Alaska’s customers.
The partnership begins with Tom Douglas’s Cascade Brisket Chili (below), elevating a savory winter favorite with tender, smoky chunks of brisket in a mildly spicy ancho chile tomato sauce. It’s topped with melted cheese and a charred pepper, and served over a baked Yukon gold potato. A rotating menu of signature Tom Douglas entrees will begin flying in early 2015.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Alaska Airlines). Now with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets, Boeing 737-990 ER N433AS (msn 41704) arrives in Los Angeles.
Peach Aviation (Osaka-Kansai) has announced it will launch the Okinawa-Hong kong route on February 21 with four weekly flights.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 JA807P (msn 5440) completes its final approach to the runway at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
Peach aircraft slide show:
Peach Route Route Map:
VietJetAir (VietJetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) has celebrated the delivery of its first A320 ordered directly from Airbus at a special ceremony in Toulouse today (November 26). The event was attended by top management from the airline, including Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Managing Director Luu Duc Khanhm, and witnessed by Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu.
The delivery of the pictured new A320 marks the start of a major expansion at the airline which will see it acquire up to 100 A320 Family aircraft, including 63 on firm order with Airbus. In addition, the airline has purchase rights with Airbus for another 30 aircraft and will lease seven more from third party lessors.
VietJetAir first took to the skies on December 25, 2011 and is the first private airline in Vietnam to operate domestic and international flights. Today, the carrier operates a fleet of 17 leased A320s on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The 63 aircraft already on firm order with Airbus comprise 14 A320ceo, seven A321ceo and 42 A320neo.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBP became VN-A697 on delivery.
VietJetAir aircraft slide show:
Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) is celebrating its 8th anniversary. The airline issued this statement and logo:
Since its establishment in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines has grown to become an internationally-acclaimed SKYTRAX 4-star airline and was awarded “World’s Most Improved Airline” by SKYTRAX in 2014, recognizing the warmth of its service and the quality of its onboard offering. The Airline operates an all-Airbus fleet with an average age of approximately 2.4 years as of May 2014, which is one of the youngest fleets among major international airlines in the world. To mark the 8th anniversary, Hong Kong Airlines launches a series of exciting activities and promotions, as an appreciation gesture for customers’ continuous support and sharing joy with the whole city.
To spread the birthday joy across Hong Kong, the airlines is delighted to organize “8th Anniversary Roadshow”. A party truck decorated into airplane cabin (below) will travel across different places in Hong Kong, giving out more than 18,000 gifts and up to 888,888 Fortune Wings Miles reward. The first five days of roadshow have attracted numerous visitors, who had fun with games and won attractive prizes. With the wish to earn miles and redeem free air tickets, many of them registered as Fortune Wings Club members.
Many visitors queued up to join “8th Anniversary Roadshow”. They had fun with games on the party truck and won attractive prizes. During the promotion period, visitors can get a birthday stamp card on truck and collect stamps on different roadshow locations. Having at least 5 stamps and writing birthday messages on card, the top ten creative participants will be awarded a total of 888,888 miles. Let’s grasp this opportunity and join the party in coming five days!
Top Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Hong Kong Airlines). Airbus A330-343 F-WWYP became B-LNO (msn 1384) on delivery.
Video: The new business class on Hong Kong Airlines:
Nine Star Airways opens its office in Bangkok, will operate two Airbus A320s on regional charter flights
Nine Star Airways (9-air.com) (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi) has opened its office in Bangkok. The new Thai charter company plans to operate two Airbus A320s on the following routes:
The company describes its mission:
Nine Star Airways is a Bangkok – based premium charter airline that is on a mission to make flying great with a modern fleet of Airbuses, attractive fares, top–notch service, and a host of fun, innovative amenities that are reinventing international and domestic air travel. All of Nine Star Airways aircraft come with standard interior fittings and in-flight entertainment systems. The airline’s management is lined up with some of the most talented and accomplished professionals available in this industry, and all of them are committed to building one of the best premium airlines in Asia. Nine Star Airways management is closely assisted by technical and operational experts who hold similar visionaries and passion in aviation business.
Nine Star Airways is confident new born airline with prospects of a strong and secure future. With a population of over 65 million and the new “Open Skies” agreement, Thailand currently ranks as one of the best markets in Asia; this, no doubt, provides a viable base for existing and new businesses, like us. Nine Star Airways holds great promise for further investment and investors who are prepared to think in the long term.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continues to dismantle the Memphis hub. According to The Commerical Appeal of Memphis, the airline will drop all service from MEM to Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans and Pittsburgh on January 5, 2015. The airline claims the MEM routes that are being dropped are “unprofitable” A fourth route, to Washington (Reagan National), will be dropped on April 7, 2015. 84 positions at the MEM station are being eliminated according to the report.
The routes are operated with Embraer 170/175s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N215JQ (msn 17000270) prepares to land in Washington (Reagan National).
Alaska Airlines to expand its relationship with SkyWest Airlines with new Embraer 175s and three new cities
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) announced today it is expanding its partnership with SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) with the addition of three new destinations from Alaska’s Northwest hubs. Flying on new Embraer ERJ 175 jets (a new type in Alaska colors), Alaska will begin offering daily nonstop service starting on July 1, 2015 between Seattle/Tacoma and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Seattle/Tacoma and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Portland, Oregon and St. Louis.
The 76-seat E175 jet will feature 12 seats in first class and 64 in coach, and boasts cabin dimensions on par with a Boeing 737. Onboard amenities include Wi-Fi Internet access, streaming inflight entertainment and 110 volt power in every first class seat. Food and beverage will include hot meals and picnic packs for purchase, in addition to Northwest microbrews and wine.
SkyWest has purchased seven Embraer E175 aircraft to fly on behalf of Alaska under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA). The first three aircraft will arrive in the summer of 2015, and the remaining four will be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.
SkyWest operates for Alaska Airlines as Alaska SkyWest.
“The E175 is new for the Alaska brand and fills a specific need to serve ‘long, thin routes’ – destinations that are too distant for our regional aircraft, but currently don’t have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet,” said Andrew Harrison, senior vice president of planning and revenue management for Alaska Airlines. “The smaller, but spacious, E175 jet will not only open up new cities, but provide feed traffic to our Northwest hubs, while giving customers a comfortable experience on these longer flights.”
Today, SkyWest flies 40 flights a day between 14 cities for Alaska Airlines and by August 2016, that will increase to 52 flights a day to 17 cities.
Alaska Airlines has been growing its Seattle/Tacoma hub, this year launching service to six new cities which include Albuquerque, Baltimore/Washington, Cancun, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa. With the addition of these new SkyWest-operated flights, next summer Alaska will offer 298 peak-day departures to 81 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma – three times any other carrier. From Portland, starting in July Alaska Airlines will offer 125 peak-day departures to 44 destinations – more than any other carrier.
In related news, SkyWest confirmed its order for seven Embraer 175s with this announcement:
SkyWest, Inc. and Embraer have confirmed a firm order for seven E175 jets. The aircraft will be flown by SkyWest Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with Alaska Airlines. The value of the firm order, which will be included in Embraer’s 2014 fourth-quarter backlog, is estimated at $301 million, based on 2014 list prices.
These aircraft are part of SkyWest’s previous order for 100 (40 firm and 60 reconfirmable), E175 current generation E-Jets – with an additional 100 options – placed in May 2013, taking the firm order number to a total of 47. The E175s for Alaska Airlines will be configured with 76 seats including 12 First Class seats. Deliveries are schedule to begin in the second semester of 2015.
SkyWest Airlines operates a fleet of approximately 15 E175 and 39 EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft. ExpressJet Airlines operates 226 aircraft of the ERJ 145 family and is the largest ERJ operator in the world.
In a separate deal with Embraer, announced in June of 2013, SkyWest became the launch customer of the E175-E2, ordering 100 aircraft with 100 additional options, for deliveries beginning in 2020.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines currently operates 10 Bombardier CRJ900s (CL-600-2C10s) including the pictured N223AG (msn 10010) arriving at Long Beach.
Alaska SkyWest aircraft slide show:
The new Eastern and Surinam Airways announce a strategic partnership, the first Boeing 737-800 is due to be introduced in Miami on December 19
Surinam Airways and Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. announced on November 13 a strategic partnership between the two airlines, encompassing cooperation in the areas of operational support, maintenance, and training.
The partnership will eventually include mutual support in sales and marketing.
“We are very pleased and honored to partner with Surinam Airways, and to support each other as we grow our airlines. Surinam Airways is an excellent operator with a breadth of experience and we expect to share best practices and find common areas of cost reduction and operational support.” said Ed Wegel, President and CEO of Eastern Air Lines.
“Surinam Airways is delighted to be in a partnership with the new Eastern Air Lines. We believe this is an effective way for our airline to extend its reach by cooperating with Eastern at its Miami base of operations. We look forward to our teams working together to find operational synergies between our two airlines.” Said Ewald Henshuijs, CEO of Surinam Airways.
On the weekend of November 22 the new airline held a recruiting session for new flight attendants.
Eastern Air Lines plans to begin operating Boeing 737-800 aircraft from its Miami base in early 2015. The new Eastern will initially operate as a charter airline and is currently going through its AOC certification process. The next proving phase will start on the arrival of the first Boeing 737-800 in Miami.
According to the Miami Herald, the majority stockholder in the company is Vincent Viola who is also the co-owner of the Florida Panthers. The team is likely to become one of the early charter customers.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Former Kenya Airways Boeing 737-8AL 5Y-KYB (msn 35070), currently at Shannon, Ireland, will become N276EA “Spirit of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker” on delivery. N276EA is due to be formally introduced on December 19 at a ceremony at Miami International Airport.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) on November 21 put its Airbus A319-112 OK-NEP (msn 3660) painted in this new “Wow Prague” special livery into revenue service.
Photos: Czech Airlines. The sub-titles are “Fly to the City of Magic”.
Video: Washing Czech’s Airbus A330-300:
Video: The “Wow Prague” slogan is part of a city-wide unified promotional campaign to bring visitors to the historic city:
Czech Airlines aircraft slide show:
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) is leasing three Boeing 767-300F freighters to FedEx Express (Memphis) for three years. LAN currently has excess freighter capacity.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-316F ER CC-CZZ (msn 25756) arrives at the Santiago base.
V Air (subsidiary of TransAsia Airways) (Taipei) will finally launch operations on December 17. The first route will be to Bangkok. The new low-fare airline issued this statement:
V Air, a Taiwan-based low-fare carrier, will launch routes from Taipei to Bangkok on December 17 and from Taipei to Chiang Mai on January 7, 2015 respectively– subject to final Thai Government approvals.
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 B-22608 (msn 6009) displays the bear livery as it arrives in Taipei (Sung Shan).
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) on Saturday (November 22) handed over the first direct purchase 737-700 to Ruili Airlines (Kunming), the pictured 737-7ME B-5829 (msn 60460). The new airliner departed Boeing Field in Seattle on the same day for its long journey to Kunming, China. Today, Boeing issued this announcement on the arrival in Kunming:
Boeing and Ruili Airlines today (November 25) celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first direct purchase Next-Generation 737-700. Ruili is a newly established private airline based at Changshui International Airport in Kunming, the capital city of China’s Yunnan province.
The new airplane is the first of 14 737 orders and commitments from Ruili Airlines, including eight 737-700s and six 737 MAXs. The carrier currently operates two 737-700s and one 737-800 serving seven domestic routes in China.
Ruili Airlines obtained its public air transport enterprise business license from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in February 2014, marking the formal establishment of the carrier. The start-up airline is the first private carrier approved by CAAC after the regulator relaxed restrictions on new carriers in 2013. According to its development plan, Ruili Airlines plans to increase its fleet to 30 Boeing airplanes by 2020, with around 120 daily flights on 60 to 70 routes.
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has issued this statement:
Boeing started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 November 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and another sign of stability for the program.
The North Charleston, S.C., site joins Boeing’s Everett, Washington, final assembly, which began 787-9 production in May 2013. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 can fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 kilometers) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/www.vrefphotos.com/AirlinersGallery.com). United Airlines is already operating the stretched 787-9 Dreamliner, previously delivered from the Seattle area. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38950 (msn 36401) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321. The airline has nine more copies on order with deliveries through 2016. The pictured A321-211 D-AVXO became CC-BEA (msn 6364) when it was handed over to the carrier on November 22.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. D-AVXO is pictured at the Hamburg (Finkenwerder) assembly plant.
Video: CC-BEA arrives at windy Santiago:
WestJet (Calgary) has just issued this statement:
WestJet announced today that the tentative agreement with its flight attendants was not ratified. Turnout for the vote was very strong; of the 90 per cent voter turnout, 57 per cent voted against the tentative agreement.
“We are obviously disappointed with the results of the vote,” said Tyson Matheson, WestJet Vice-President, Inflight. “We believe we brought forward an agreement that balanced the needs of our flights attendants with those of the business. I have no doubt that we will come together to resolve the issues that led to these results. I thank our flight attendants for their voice in this process and for the work they do every day, providing our guests with a great experience.”
WestJet’s leadership team and FAAB (the Flight Attendant Association Board) will regroup in the coming weeks, focusing on understanding their specific concerns and following the steps outlined in the dispute resolution process.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-FKRF (msn 60123) with the new Split Scimitar Winglets arrives in Los Angeles.
NokScoot (Bangkok-Don Mueang) has unveiled its first painted Boeing 777-200 as it prepares for its first flight.
The new airline, a joint venture between Nok Air and Scoot, has also unveiled its new uniforms (below) with this announcement and photo:
“NokScoot proudly introduces its cabin crew uniform. The minimalist design, applying vivid yellow and neat black colors, allows our cabin crew to perform duties comfortably. It also represents the airline in our own fun and cheerful way.”
Top Copyright Photo Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by NokScoot). Formerly operated by Singapore Airlines as 9V-SRF, Boeing 777-212 ER HS-XBA (msn 28521) departs Singapore on November 23 on its delivery flight to Bangkok (Don Mueang).
Video: A new airline has to get noticed, here is one way: The Kiss, NokScoot’s first TV commercial:
Virgin America (San Francisco) celebrated its one millionth hour of flying on November 21 and announced the milestone with this short announcement:
Our one millionth hour took place last Friday at 10.33 pm EST as ‘California Dreaming’, our Airbus A320 (N622VA) touched down in Newark from San Francisco. This historic flight, VX 1178 was operated by Captain Del D., First Officer Paul W. and our in-flight teammates, Amelia M., Marche C. and Giana B.
Time really does fly – here’s what one million hours looks like in our mood-lit ride:
461,538 new release movies.
2,000,000 TV sitcoms
At least 1,500,000 in-depth conversations through seat-to-seat chat
12,000,000 safety videos played
6,000,000 chair massages given in First Class
We look forward to the next million!
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N622VA (msn 2674) is pictured on final approach at Los Angeles International Airport.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) have expanded their joint business, enabling QANTAS customers to codeshare on an additional nine American Airlines services including to four new destinations – Kona, Lihue and Maui in Hawaii and Richmond, Virginia.
Effective from November 27, the QANTAS codeshare on American Airlines will extend to the following nine services.
Los Angeles – Lihue (LIH)
Los Angeles – Kona (KOA)
Los Angeles – Maui (OGG)
Los Angeles – Atlanta (ATL)
Los Angeles – San Antonio (SAT)
Los Angeles – Tampa (TPA)
Dallas/Fort Worth – Richmond (RIC)
Dallas/Fort Worth – Tucson (TUS)
Dallas/Fort Worth – Albuquerque (ABQ)
QANTAS operates nonstop QANTAS A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth. QANTAS upgraded its three per week services from Sydney to Honolulu from a Boeing 767-300 to an Airbus A330, which will increase to four per week from December 20, and from January 21 next year the QANTAS Melbourne to Los Angeles service will increase from a daily service to ten flights per week.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) departs from London (Heathrow).
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has ordered nine new Airbus A321s.
Airbus issued this statement:
Frontier Airlines has placed a firm order for nine Airbus A321ceo (current engine option) aircraft. This is the first time Frontier has ordered the largest member of the Airbus A320 Family. The airline currently flies a fleet of 35 A319ceo, and 20 A320ceo aircraft. In addition, Frontier has on its order backlog 80 A320neo (new engine option) family aircraft.
Including the order announced today, Frontier has a backlog of 89 Airbus single-aisle aircraft. The airline has not yet announced its engine selection or the seating configuration for its A321s.
Frontier began its transition to an all-Airbus fleet when it took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft in 2001.
Frontier aircraft slide show:
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced new trans-Atlantic summer-season service between Newark and Venice, Italy, along with new service between Chicago (O’Hare) and Dublin, both subject to government approval.
In addition, the airline will offer a second daily nonstop flight between Washington (Dulles) and Paris (CDG) for the summer season.
Newark to Venice
Flight UA 170 will depart United’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport daily at 6:45 p.m. (1845), arriving in Venice at 9:05 a.m. (0905) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 169 will depart Venice Marco Polo Airport daily at 10:55 a.m. (1055), arriving at Newark at 2:25 p.m. (1425) the same day. Flight times will be eight hours 20 minutes eastbound and nine hours 30 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate with Boeing 767-400 ER aircraft with a total of 242 seats – 39 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 203 in United Economy, including 70 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United has served Italy since 1992. The airline currently operates nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Milan and, on a seasonal basis, New York/Newark and Washington Dulles to Rome.
The new Venice flights will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015, through Sept. 23, 2015.
Chicago O’Hare to Dublin
Flight UA 152 will depart United’s Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport daily at 6:05 p.m. (1805), arriving in Dublin at 7:35 a.m. (0735) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 153 will depart Dublin Airport daily at 9:50 a.m. (0950), arriving in Chicago O’Hare at 12:15 p.m. (1215) the same day. Flight times will be seven hours 30 minutes eastbound and eight hours 25 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats.
Chicago O’Hare will be the third United hub with nonstop service to Dublin, after Newark and Washington Dulles.
The Chicago O’Hare-Dublin service will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015 through Aug. 17, 2015.
Washington Dulles to Paris CDG
Flight UA 140 will depart United’s hub at Washington Dulles International Airport daily at 10:10 p.m. (2210), arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris at 12:20 p.m. (1220) the following day (all times local). The return flight UA 141 will depart Paris CDG daily at 4:30 p.m. (1630), arriving at Washington Dulles at 7:30 p.m. (1930) the same day. Flight times will be eight hours 10 minutes eastbound and nine hours westbound.
United will operate the flights with Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats.
United’s current service between Washington and Paris departs Washington Dulles daily at 5:20 p.m., arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 6:55 a.m. the following day (all times local). The return flight, 914, departs Paris daily at 11:55 a.m., arriving at Washington Dulles at 3 p.m. the same day. The current flights operate with 214-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
United has served France since 1987. The airline operates nonstop flights to Paris from its Chicago O’Hare, Newark and San Francisco hubs, in addition to the Washington Dulles service.
The second Washington-Paris frequency will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015 through August 17, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-424 ER N59053 (msn 29448) approaches the runway in Zurich.
SkyWest Airlines (Delta Connection) (St. George, Utah) will commence new daily jet service between Pocatello, Idaho and the Salt Lake City hub on January 1, 2015. SkyWest will operate Delta Connection flights from Pocatello to Salt Lake City with two roundtrips from Monday through Friday and one roundtrip on Saturdays and Sundays.
The new jet service will be onboard the 50-passenger Canadair Regional Jets (CRJ200s) and will replace the existing 30-seat Embraer EMB-120 turboprops. SkyWest Airlines is phasing out its EMB-120 Brasilias.
The carrier on the same day is also replacing its Brasilias with CRJ200s on the Salt Lake City-Elko, Nevada route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest’s Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N464SW (msn 7827) lands in Long Beach.
American counters Delta’s Philadelphia announcement, will start daytime Philadelphia-London Heathrow flights
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on the heels of the Delta PHL-LHR announcement, has announced it will start new daily daytime service from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on March 29, 2015.
The new flight complements American’s existing overnight PHL-LHR service.
The new flight will be operated with a US Airways Boeing 757-200 on the following schedule:
PHL–LHR (all times local)
Departs PHL at 9:55 a.m.
Arrives at LHR at 10:10 p.m.
Departs LHR at 8:20 a.m.
Arrives at PHL at 11:35 a.m.
American’s PHL-LHR service will continue to be operated as part of the airline’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld® member British Airways. Together, the two airlines offer customers four daily flights year-round between Philadelphia and London. From London, American’s customers have access to more than 70 destinations in Europe on British Airways.
The largest airline in the world also is the airline with the most extensive network out of Philadelphia.
American offers more than 475 daily flights to 124 destinations from its PHL hub.
Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 757-223 N174AA (msn 31308) in the oneworld livery departs from Dublin.
Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) has announced it will introduce fully revamped Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft on its domestic Tokyo (Haneda) – Osaka (Itami) route starting on December 8, 2014. The retrofitted aircraft have also been configured to offer JAL First Class in addition to Class J and Economy Class, which both are fitted with new seats. The aircraft will be configured with five First Class (F) seats, 42 Class J seats and 205 Economy Class sets.
Top Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-346 ER JA656J (msn 40368) departs from Haneda Airport in Tokyo in the special “Doraemon Jet” livery.
New cabin configuration:
Chilejet S.A. (Chilejet.com) (Santiago) as we previously reported, is a new airline in Chile. The company has taken delivery of its first aircraft. Ex-PAL Airlines Boeing 737-3G7 CC-ADZ (msn 24634) has been acquired by the airline.
The new airline plans to commence operations with Boeing 737-300 aircraft phased into its fleet over a period of 1-3 months and will also include Boeing 737-300/400/500 family aircraft with varying individual seating capacities of between 130 -168 passengers.
The airline will initially serve Santiago, Calama and Antofagasta.
The airline describes itself:
Chilejet was established in Chile to serve specific niche markets in the air charter (non-regular) and scheduled (regular) markets and to provide the growing aviation sector in the country with an alternative quality airline.
Chilejet has assembled a professional team of post holders combined with additional experienced personnel in aviation, each with at least 20 – 35 years within their respective fields of operations, engineering, commercial and legal/administration.
Pursuant to its application for its Air Operator’s Certificate from the Chilean DGAC, Chilejet has initiated a planned introduction of services to the market using Boeing type aircraft.
Proposed route map:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will expand their partnership between the U.K. and U.S. next year with the introduction of Delta’s nonstop service from London to Philadelphia.
Starting on April 8, 2015 the daily service will be Delta’s eighth destination to the U.S. from Heathrow. By next summer, the partnership will offer 39 daily flights to 16 destinations across North America from the U.K..
Delta’s Philadelphia service will be operated from Heathrow Terminal 4 using a Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 164 seats. Passengers travelling in the BusinessElite cabin will enjoy fully flat-bed seats and a range of dining options. Additionally, throughout the aircraft, all passengers will have access to on-demand in-flight entertainment.
To date, more than four million people have flown on the Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-TWA/American Boeing 757-2Q8 N706TW (msn 28165) arrives in New York (JFK).
JetBlue Airways (New York) has issued the following announcement concerning new online content partners:
JetBlue Airways is partnering with content providers Coursera, FOX, HarperCollins Publishers, National Geographic, Rouxbe and Time Inc. to offer customers more free content than any other U.S carrier in the sky. The Fly-Fi Hub is the new gateway to JetBlue’s Fly-Fi offering, the fastest Wi-Fi in the sky, and went live this morning (November 24). Available to JetBlue customers via their own personal device, it will offer a wide range of entertainment options such as some of the most popular TV shows from FOX and National Geographic, ebook samples from HarperCollins, e-learning videos from Coursera and Rouxbe and the option to purchase magazines from Time Inc.’s portfolio.
In the next phase of JetBlue’s Fly-Fi Hub, due to roll out first quarter 2015, additional content from PBS, Random House and the Wall Street Journal will be added. PBS will primarily provide childrens content, while the Wall Street Journal will allow customers onboard full complementary access to wsj.com whilst onboard.
Content available on the Fly-Fi Hub as of today:
1. 10 e-learning videos from Coursera, including courses from Berklee School of Music, University of Edinburgh and Wharton Business School;
2. Some of FOX’s most popular TV shows, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gotham, New Girl and Sleepy Hollow;
3. Excerpts from more than 20 bestselling books published by HarperCollins including The Heist by Daniel Silva, I Must Say by Martin Short, Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
4. National Geographic shows, including Brain Games, Ultimate Survival Alaska and Wicked Tuna;
5. A number of learning videos from Rouxbe focusing on cooking, with the opportunity for a free trial once at home; and
6. Time Inc.’s full array of monthly magazines including InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Essence, Health, Travel + Leisure, People en Español and Golf. Time Inc.’s weekly magazines will be available in 2015.
The content on JetBlue’s Fly-Fi Hub will be uniquely available both online and offline, making all programming available on all Fly-Fi equipped aircraft. Approximately 20 Fly-Fi equipped aircraft are expected to offer the Fly-Fi Hub by the end of November, with all of JetBlue’s 97 Fly-Fi equipped aircraft by the end of the year.
JetBlue launched Fly-Fi, the fastest Wi-Fi among all U.S. airlines, last year, which is currently available on 88 aircraft, with the number of Fly-Fi enabled aircraft increasing each week. JetBlue is now the only airline in the world to offer free live television at every seat and free high-speed Wi-Fi. The new Fly-Fi Portal will serve as a content hub where customers can access a wide range of movies, television shows and additional content from their own personal devices.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N532JB (msn 1123) lands in Long Beach in the original 1999 Stripes livery. It has now been repainted in the Blueberries tail motif.
Air Wisconsin (Appleton) has reached an agreement with Delta Air Lines to operate 26 Bombardier CRJ200s for Delta Air Lines as a new Delta Connection carrier according to Flightglobal. The first flight is expected to be launched on January 5, 2015 per ch-aviation. Delta or the Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation has not yet made a formal announcement. The 26 CRJ200s will be transferred from Endeavor Air according to the report.
Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, founded in 1965, currently operates nearly 500 departures per day system-wide to 26 states and three Canadian provinces in partnership with US Airways. With service to approximately 70 cities throughout North America, Air Wisconsin carries nearly 6 million passengers per year.
The airline currently operates 71 Bombardier (Canadair) CRJ200 regional jets. The company has maintenance bases at Milwaukee, Norfolk, Philadelphia and Columbia, SC. Crews are domiciled at New York (LaGuardia), Washington (Reagan National), Philadelphia and Norfolk.
Current Route Map: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Wisconsin currently has only one customer, US Airways. It previously operated for United Airlines and AirTran Airways in the past. Air Wisconsin commenced independent stand-alone operations on August 8, 1965 but no longer operates any aircraft in its brand. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N403AW (msn 7288), in US Airways Express colors, departs from the Charlotte hub.
Air Wisconsin aircraft slide show:
Island Air (Honolulu), owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, wants its pilots to pay back a prematurely-paid $4,000 Christmas bonus according to the Star Advertiser. The payment was sent prematurely last month “due to an internal administrative error”. Oops!
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-210 N342AT (msn 345) waits for the next flight departure at the Honolulu gate.
Island Air aircraft slide show:
United Airlines adds Android devices to its personal device entertainment service, airlines move away from seat back screens
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement for Android device users:
United Airlines customers using Android devices can now use the latest version of the United app to access the airline’s complimentary personal device entertainment service, which enables passengers to view hundreds of movies and television shows in flight on their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and laptops.
United launched a beta version of its personal device entertainment system earlier this year for laptop computers and Apple devices.
Content, stored on on-board servers, is available on nearly 200 United aircraft, including the carrier’s entire Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and Boeing 747 fleets and its Boeing 777 aircraft that operate primarily between the continental United States and Hawaii.
In the coming year, United will further expand personal device entertainment availability to hundreds of additional aircraft, including two-cabin regional jets and domestic and international aircraft that do not currently offer customers an on-demand entertainment option. By late 2015, most United and United Express aircraft will offer customers personal device entertainment, personal on-demand entertainment via seatback monitors, or live television.
“Travelers increasingly want to watch entertainment on their own devices, as shown by the measurable improvement in satisfaction among travelers who fly on aircraft with personal device programming,” said Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president of marketing and loyalty and president of MileagePlus. “By expanding our personal device entertainment to Android users, we now offer many more customers the ability to enjoy their favorite movies and television shows on their own devices while onboard.”
Travelers may confirm whether a flight offers personal device entertainment, along with Wi-Fi and in-seat power, by checking Inflight Amenities under Flight Status and Information on United.com. On the United app, travelers find that information in Amenities under Flight Status.
To watch United’s personal device entertainment, travelers should download the latest United app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store before boarding.
In other news, there is a growing trend among airlines to remove the seat back screens and go to personal devices.
Bloomberg Businessweek recently took a look at the growing trend: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Airbus A319s and A320s are now ready to handle the devices. Airbus A320-232 N445UA (msn 826) departs from Los Angeles international Airport.
Video: United’s flight attendants:
Trans States Airlines (St. Louis) has confirmed our previous report that the company will operate at least 15 former Envoy Air Embraer ERJ 145s under the American Eagle brand starting in April 2015. The carrier was a former American Connection carrier. The airline issued this statement:
Trans States Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, Inc., has announced that it has finalized an agreement with American Airlines to operate at least 15 Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft under the American Eagle brand. Deliveries are slated to begin in April of 2015 at a rate of two per month until all aircraft are in place.
“We’re thrilled to renew our relationship with American Airlines and are delighted by the current and future opportunities that this growth will provide to our employees,” said Richard Leach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trans States Airlines. “We look forward to providing American Airlines with the same safe, efficient and quality-focused service that our mainline partners have come to expect.”
“The Embraer 145s are an important part of our regional operation to ensure customers in small- and medium-size markets can access our growing global network from their communities,” said Kenji Hashimoto, senior vice president of regional carriers for American Airlines. “Trans States Airlines has been a solid regional partner of American Airlines and US Airways for many years, as well as a reliable performer with the E145 aircraft.”
Trans States Airlines previously provided regional service for American under the American Connection brand from 2001 to 2009, and has provided regional service for US Airways nearly continuously since 1993. It currently operates a fleet of 29 Embraer 145s and announced earlier this month that it will operate an additional 36 for United starting in February of 2015.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Trans States operated as an American Connection carrier from November 2001 through May 2009. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N811HK (msn 145256) arrives at Charlotte.
American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) has informed subsidiary Envoy Air (formerly American Eagle Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) that will it transfer 50 Embraer ERJ 145s to Piedmont Airlines (2nd) (Salisbury, MD) and Trans States Airlines (30 aircraft) (St. Louis) starting March 2015. One other carrier that has not been specified will also receive Envoy aircraft. The number of pilots at Envoy has been declining. The pilots of Envoy did not accept the last contract offer from the AAG.
Yesterday Sam Pool, Envoy MEC Chairman, sent the following message to the pilots of Envoy:
November 21, 2014
My Fellow Envoy Pilots –
Today management announced the long-anticipated news that AAG is moving aircraft from Envoy to other carriers. Starting in March 2015, 30 of our Embraer 145 series aircraft will transfer to Trans State Airlines and another express carrier at the rate of 2 aircraft per carrier per month. In 2016, another tranche of aircraft will transfer to Piedmont.
While we are clearly disappointed at the thought of losing four aircraft per month, and the 10 pilot jobs each aircraft represents, the harsh fact is that Envoy is currently losing pilots at an even faster rate as our colleagues seek more rewarding careers elsewhere.
We are beyond disappointed that the sacrifice of economic and operational flexibility that this workgroup provided to our parent corporation during the darkest hours of bankruptcy are now considered insufficient and we again find ourselves facing the demands of concessions in exchange for a viable future.
That said, our disappointment should not cloud the reality that we face today. Our reality is that other pilot groups in our segment of the industry have demonstrated their willingness to accept concessions in exchange for new and larger aircraft, and have subsequently agreed to reduce the pilot costs. If we wish to compete in this market, we simply have no choice but to recognize that reality and decide a course of action.
While it is true that AAG is honoring our bankruptcy contract, the unpleasant fact is that they believe that they can obtain lower cost regional flying from other carriers, and have demonstrated that they will award new aircraft and new flying to those other carriers, leaving our contract and our pilots in an awkward status quo.
AAG’s senior management has made it clear that they desire the new aircraft be flown by the pilots of Envoy. And they have also made it clear that they believe we should cost less. For these reasons, they have remained quietly engaged with your MEC in an attempt to effectuate a mutually acceptable agreement that gently nudges our forward looking economics closer to the perceived market in exchange for the enhanced career security sought by our workgroup.
The entire MEC remains committed to working with the company to find an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties, and which we can endorse as the best path forward. We believe that such an agreement is within reach.
Thank you for your professionalism and patience, and as always don’t hesitate to contact your representatives.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/Airlinersgallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N928AE (msn 14500911) operated by Envoy Air arrives in Baltimore/Washington.
American Eagle-Envoy Air:
Sverigeflyg (Stockholm-Bromma) is the primary umbrella brand for seven local airlines (some virtual) which includes Blekingeflyg, Flysmaland, Golden Air, Gotlandsflyg, Kalmarflyg, Kullaflyg, and Sundsvallsflyg.
Braathens Regional (formerly Golden Air) holds the actual AOC and operates ATR 72-500s and SAAB 2000s under the Sverigeflyg brand. The group flies to Sundsvall in the north and Ängelholm/Helsingborg in the south of Sweden (see below).
Sverigeflyg Route Map:
Some of these marketing names do not operate any aircraft.
Braathens Regional, Malmö Aviation and Sverigeflyg are all part of the Braathens Aviation group of companies.
This group of airlines will unite in 2015 under a single new brand which has not yet been determined or announced.
The company issued this statement (translated from Swedish):
Now it’s time to take the next step, and together with its sister company, Malmö Aviation, we will challenge throughout Sweden as a domestic airline with a Bromma Airport hub.
Malmö Aviation (below) provides scheduled passenger services between Malmö, Gothenburg and Umeå to Bromma, the Stockholm City Airport.
Braathens Aviation is a corporate group owned by Braganza AS. Braganza is a privately held investment company based in Oslo and is owned by Per G. Braathen and his immediate family.
The group consists of Malmö Aviation, Sverigeflyg, Braathens Technical, Braathens IT Solutions, Braathens Training, Braathens Leasing and Braathens Regional.
Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com (all others images by the group). Operated in the past, Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 (Fokker 50) SE-LEC (msn 20112) of Skyways Express arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda) in Sverigeflyg colors.
Malmo Aviation aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Malmo Aviation’s BAe RJ100 SE-DST (msn E3247) taxies at Glasgow.
Air France (Paris) will combine its short-haul, point-to-point operations under the HOP! Air France brand starting in the summer of 2015. Air France is reorganizing it short haul operations due to the increased competition for other low-cost airlines and other forms of travel. The airline issued this statement:
The organization proposal for the Air France Group’s short-haul activity, bringing together Air France’s point-to-point activity and HOP!, was presented this during the Air France Works Council meeting.
This proposal is based on the recommendations of a group of experts submitted to Frédéric Gagey on June 30: for each market need there must be a corresponding and adapted commercial offer and economic model, whether in terms of costs or revenue.
Starting from the summer season 2015, the short-haul activity will be operated by HOP! Air France. Its objective will be to quickly generate value for the Group, and recover profitability on the short-haul market within three years.
A new commercial offer will be introduced to the market during the first quarter of 2015, under the brand name HOP! with the backing of Air France .
This project includes the implementation of a new, simplified structure.
Presented by Lionel Guérin, Chairman and CEO of HOP!, tasked with implementing the new HOP! Air France activity, it will bring together the Air France Point to Point teams from Paray Vieille Poste and the HOP! teams from Rungis at a single center in Montreuil, close to the French market sales agents. There will be no modification, transfer of employment contracts, or transfer of the teams based at Roissy or elsewhere in France.
This new structure will come into effect at the beginning of 2015, for operational implementation from the summer 2015 season onwards.
Frédéric Gagey, Air France Chairman and CEO, added: “The short-haul activity is in competition with trains, cars, and low-cost airlines. We need to restructure our company to be even more responsive, market-oriented and close to our customers. HOP! Air France provides a response adapted to the specific characteristics of the short-haul carrier activity and the travel needs of our customers. I am counting on the efforts of all staff to achieve the ambitious targets for this business”.
The new HOP! Air France will operate 800 flights a day.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100STD F-HBXB (msn 17000250) arrives at EuroAirport serving the Base, Mulhouse and Freiburg area.
HOP! aircraft slide show:
HOP! currently serves these destinations:
Air Tindi (Yellowknife) flight from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson yesterday (November 20) was forced to turn back after departure. However the airliner was forced to make a safe landing on the ice of frozen Great Slave Lake due to poor weather at the airport. The six people on board were later airlifted to the airport. The Cessna is still on the lake.
The aircraft took off from Yellowknife with reported freezing drizzle.
Read the full report from CBC News: CLICK HERE
All Images: Air Tindi.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) on March 29, 2015 will launch new routes from Milan (Malpensa) and Venice to Abu Dhabi, tripling its frequency to the Capital of the United Arab Emirates with a total of 42 round-trip flights between Italy and Abu Dhabi.
The new Alitalia flights from Milan and Venice – in addition to Alitalia’s Rome (Fiumicino) – Abu Dhabi flight, which began on December 1, 2012 – will be in codeshare with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) (subject to the necessary government approvals), already providing service from Abu Dhabi to Rome and Milan.
The codeshare agreement between Alitalia and Etihad Airways provides 46 code-shared flights operated by the two companies worldwide. Alitalia and Etihad Airways respective flights between Rome, Milan and Venice (as of March 29, 2015) to Abu Dhabi are code-shared, as well as a number of routes departing from Abu Dhabi and from Rome Fiumicino.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJJ (msn 1225) Arrives in Rome (Fiumicino).
Qatar Airways’ CEO Al Baker: European airlines are “inefficient”, expands flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Edinburgh
Qatar Airways‘ (Doha) CEO Akbar Al Baker in an interview with AFP and quoted by ArabianBusiness.com, termed European airlines as being “inefficient”. The comment came in response to complaints by European carriers, especially Air France-KLM, of unfair competition from the Gulf’s “Big Three”.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
In other news, Qatar Airways will expand its flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport from March 29, 2015, as it increases its frequency to a double-daily service.
The new daily flight, operated by a two-class, Airbus A320 aircraft, will depart Doha at 0945, arriving in Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 1400 and return from Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 1500, arriving back in Doha at 1855.
Qatar Airways recently celebrated its 10 years of successful operations to Turkey. The airline began services to Istanbul Ataturk International Airport in 2004 marking Qatar Airways’ first destination in Turkey, and due to popular passenger demand has been steadily increasing its number of flights to the country.
Qatar Airways currently operates to three destinations in Turkey – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (daily flights), Istanbul Ataturk Airport (10-flights-a-week) and Ankara (four-weekly-flights).
The nonstop four-flights-a-week service from Doha to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport was launched on May 22nd this year, marking Qatar Airways’ addition of its third route to Turkey. Due to an increase in demand, Qatar Airways added three additional flights from October 26 to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, marking the launch of daily flights to the airport.
Qatar Airways will also operate a daily nonstop scheduled service from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to Edinburgh Airport from May 1, 2015. The announcement comes just six months after the successful launch of the five-weekly service on the route and reinforces the airline’s commitment to add additional frequencies on the route, which it announced at the launch.
The daily QR 027 outbound service and QR 028 inbound service is operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Edinburgh is Qatar Airways’ third destination in the UK, preceded by London in 1997 and Manchester in 2003. The airline currently operates six flights a day from London Heathrow nonstop to Doha, including ‘Business One’, the all-business class A319. The airline also operates 10 flights per week from Manchester nonstop to Doha.
Photo: CEO Al Baker (Qatar Airways).
Air China (Beijing) and Air New Zealand (Auckland) have today (November 21) signed a Statement of Intent that will pave the way for a strategic alliance on services betweenChina and New Zealand.
The proposed alliance between the two national flag carriers and Star Alliance partners would see Air China operate a new direct Beijing – Auckland service in addition to Air New Zealand’s existing Shanghai – Auckland service. The alliance remains subject to regulatory approval.
Following today’s signing the airlines will progress discussions with a view to reaching an agreement early next year which can then be filed for regulatory approval.
Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the special Smiling China livery approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKS (msn 44547) also arrives in Los Angeles.