WestJet (Calgary) announced today (December 21) its pilots have voted in favor of a new agreement. Included in the new contract are enhancements to pay and scheduling that, according to the company, “place WestJet’s 1,250 pilots among the highest paid in the Canadian industry while preserving industry-leading productivity.”
The previous agreement expired on April 30, 2013, and the new agreement will expire on April 30, 2019.
Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GZWS (msn 32770) is pictured in action at the Calgary home base.
WestJet’s Christmas video. This classic award-winning video from last year has already been seen by 37.4 million people:
Lufthansa to add a new route between Munich and Perugia next summer, will offer helicopter service via HTM Helicopter this winter to the ski resorts
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is launching a new route between its Munich hub and Perugia at the start of the 2015 summer schedule. From March 29, 2015, Lufthansa will offer twice-weekly flights to the capital of Umbria with an Embraer 195 aircraft. The new MUC – PEG service will take off from Munich on Sundays and Tuesdays under flight number LH 1924.
Next summer, in addition to the new service to Perugia, Lufthansa is launching new routes to the Icelandic city of Keflavik, to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete, to Seville in southern Spain and to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.
Additionally Lufthansa is continuing to expand its route network with new destinations. The airline will offer nonstop flights to popular holiday destinations in Mexico, the Maldives and Mauritius. During the winter months, between December 8, 2015 and April 11, 2016, passengers will be able to choose between two weekly flights each from Frankfurt to Cancún, Malé or Mauritius on Airbus A340-300 aircraft with a total of 298 seats in Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class. The seats in the new Business Class can be transformed into a comfortable bed with a horizontal lying surface of 1.98 meters in length, while increased legroom and a greater seat pitch await those in the recently introduced Premium Economy Class. The twice-weekly flights to Cancun will start December 8, 2015 , Male on December 9, 2015 and Mauritius on December 10, 2015.
As previously reported, LH is also launching Airbus A340-300 service to Tampa starting on September 24, 21015,
This will be operated by Lufthansa Cityline and with the Lufthansa Cityline Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Lufthansa will transfer in 2015/2016 a total of six Airbus A340-300s in configuration of C18/E19/Y261 to Lufthansa Cityline under the new “Jump” project.
Lufthansa is launching a new helicopter service to the slopes this winter. Lufthansa customers will be able to reach the ski slopes even faster this winter. A new helicopter service from Munich will commence on January 1, 2015. The carrier will serve Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Zillertal, Kitzbühel, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental or other resorts in the Alps – as long as there is a helipad on site. The service can be booked now and will operate until the end of April. The company HTM Helicopter Travel Munich GmbH will operate the new service.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa CityLine’s Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) D-AEBG (msn 19000423) taxies at Zurich.
Lufthansa Regional-Lufthansa CityLine aircraft slide show:
According to the airline: Come fly with us! Enjoy an extraordinary experience, tremendous views and a panoramic flight with ECA. We make travelling to islands exciting and enjoyable by cutting your travel time and spicing it up with the utmost service standard and a special way to travel.
Iberia (Madrid) has published this new video. Santa Claus brings gifts and joy on board.
As TAP Portugal marches towards privatization, the unions threaten to strike on December 27-30, the government attempts to block any disruptions
TAP Portugal (Lisbon) has had a challenging year in 2014. As the government continues to move towards privatization, the company has been facing an on-going labor strife situation. TAP’s 12 unions had been planning to strike the company from December 27-30 in protest against the privatization. However the council of ministers remains resolved to privatize and has evoked a civil requisition to block the strike. Now the unions are threatening legal action against the government.
Read the full story from the Portugal News Online: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 CS-TNR (msn 3883) departs from London (Heathrow).
TAP Portugal aircraft slide show:
Pullmantur Air (Madrid) on December 17 was rebranded as Wamos Air while repainted one of its Boeing 747-400s.
Copyright Photo: José Luis Celada Euba. Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) pictured at the Madrid base was the first to be repainted.
Pullmantur Air aircraft slide show:
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) flight attendants, angry over scheduling and pay, announced a strike on Friday. The planned action is expected to force the low-cost carrier to cancel about half its flights in France the day after Christmas day.
Though workers from SNPNC-FO and UNAC unions said their strike is to start on Christmas, there are no flights scheduled that day, so the walkout will only impact travellers flying on December 26.
EasyJet said in a statement it “doesn’t know exactly how many workers are to down tools”, but anticipates fewer than half of all flights will be impacted.
The British airline will know the extent of the strike Tuesday because aviation workers are legally obligated to announce strikes 48 hours in advance.
But general director, of EasyJet’s France operations, François Bacchetta told AFP agency the company expected “less than half of flights” to be cancelled.
“On Monday, we will pre-emptively cancel a certain number of flights in order to transfer passengers, so they can adjust their plans,” he said.
Workers are upset over schedules that “can change twenty times per month”, making “family life totally impossible”, said Laurent Nicolas of the SNPNC-FO flight attendants’ union.
Bacchetta acknowledged the demands of the industry were “complicated” and that he understood the “frustration” of workers.
But he was less lenient with protests over salaries, which he said were currently entering annual negotiations.
EasyJet employs about 1,000 people in France, including 600 flight attendants.
Read the full report from The Connexion: CLICK HERE
Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZEW (msn 2300) arrives in London (Gatwick).
United Airlines (Chicago) next summer from June 4 to September 23, 2015 will operate a daily Chicago (O’Hare) – Rome (Fiumicino) service. The seasonal route will operate with Boeing 777-200 ER equipment per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinesGallery.com. Former Continental Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N77006 (msn 29476) climbs away from Heathrow Airport.
Video: Fantasy Flights 2014:
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Montreal and Toronto) has announced an entity owned by the IFL Group (Pontiac) has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire the first Bombardier CRJ200 SF (Special Freighter) aircraft. The aircraft will join IFL Group’s fleet flying air freight throughout North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
Prior to being delivered to the IFL Group, the aircraft will be converted to all-cargo configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) of Miami, Florida, a Bombardier-licensed Third Party Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Provider for passenger-to-freighter conversions for CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft. The freighters include a large cargo door and are marketed by AEI as CRJ100 and CRJ200 Special Freighter (SF) aircraft.
“We are seeing significant interest in the CRJ100 and CRJ200 passenger-to-freighter conversions,” said Robert Convey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, AEI. “The dependability and affordable operating economics of both platforms make them particularly well suited for regional cargo and feed operations.”
Features for the CRJ100/CRJ200 SF aircraft include:
- Eight 61.5 in x 88 in (256 cm x 223.5 cm) pallet positions
– Up to 14,840 lbs. (6,731 kg) main deck payload
– Large cargo door 94 in. x 77 in (238.7 x 195.6 cm)
– 10,000 lb. (4, 536 kg) payload can be flown 1,735 nm (3,213 km)
– 15,000 lb. (6 804 kg) payload can be flown 800 nm (1,482 km)
– Dual vent door system
– Rigid 9G barrier
– 28-VDC independent cargo door hydraulic system
– Main deck converted to Class “E” Cargo Compartment
– Cabin windows replaced with lightweight aluminum window plugs
IFL Group aircraft slide show:
Air France-KLM to defer 10 Boeing 777-300 ER deliveries as it issues its third profit warning in 6 months
Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have announced they are going to defer delivery of their combined 10 Boeing 777-300s on order due to its third profit warning in six months according to Reuters. This raises concerns for Boeing for a potential production gap for Boeing for the 777 production line until the new 777X enters production.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile Air France-KLM issued this statement:
During its meeting on December 18, 2014, the Air France-KLM Board of Directors reviewed the updated financial outlook for the fourth quarter 2014.
The Group is revising down its 2014 EBITDA target by an additional €200 million compared with the targets communicated on July 8 and October 8. There are four factors behind this revision:
The persistent weakness in unit revenues in several long-haul markets, witnessed since the summer and still prevailing in early December.
The updating of the estimated impact of the Air France pilots’ strike on the fourth quarter including, in particular, a higher-than-expected re-invoicing charge for passenger transportation by other airlines during the strike (‘interline’ invoicing).
Due to new fiscal regulations, the group will not recognize in its 2014 EBITDA a positive pension cost adjustment that was previously expected. Any potential adjustment will be booked under ‘other non-current income and expenses’.
A limited fuel price effect in the fourth quarter, in view of the continued decline in the crude oil price which has fallen by more than that of jet fuel, of the structure of the procurement contracts and of the fuel hedging portfolio.
As announced in the third quarter results press release, with no impact on the principles of the Perform 2020 plan, the Group has decided to revise its 2015 and 2016 business plans to take into account the consequences of the pilots’ strike and of the weaker unit revenue trend that has developed since the summer. The Group is thus planning further unit cost* reduction measures and a significant scale back in its investment plan.
Air France-KLM’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, made the following comments: “The Perform 2020 dynamic is under way across all the Group’s activities, based on the imperatives of an ongoing improvement in competitiveness and strict financial discipline. By significantly stepping up our cost-cutting efforts and adapting the investment plan, Air France-KLM can gain the resources and be well prepared to tackle 2015 despite the difficult competitive environment.”
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNI (msn 39973) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM’s Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVC (msn 37582) departs from Paine Field.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) celebrated the carrier’s 100th 737 direct delivery yesterday (December 19) (above) with a special handover ceremony. The airplane, Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MXY (msn 40162), is scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
Malaysia took delivery of its first 737, a 737-200, in 1972 and has operated the 737-200, 737-300, 737-400, 737-500 and 737-800 as well as 747-400s and 777-200 ERs (Extended Range).
Malaysia Airlines’ new 737-800 features the Boeing Sky Interior, with larger pivoting overhead stowage bins, larger window reveals and LED lighting to enhance the sense of spaciousness. Malaysia was the Asia launch customer for the Boeing Sky Interior. The airline has an additional 10 737-800s on order.
Top Photo: Boeing. 9M-MXY wears a Malaysia 100th Boeing 737 special logo.
Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has extended its flight schedule for travel through August 7, 2015, adding new, nonstop service in cities across the United States:
Southwest Airlines also began selling seats on daily service between Orange County/Santa Ana and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and seasonal, Saturday-only service between Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, beginning June 7, 2015 through August 7, 2015. Both routes subject to government approval.
The June and July schedule is the biggest in the history of Southwest Airlines with as many as 3,800 flights a day.
The flight schedule extension for early Summer 2015 also brings additional seasonal flights effective June 7, 2015 (unless otherwise noted), including nonstop service between:
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Now repainted, Boeing 737-3H4 N654SW (msn 28399) arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (new livery only):
Qatar Airways (Doha) will now take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 on Monday, December 22. Apparently the previous unspecified issues that delayed the original handover date have been worked out. Qatar Airways will now receive the pictured A350-941 F-WZFA/A7-ALA (msn 006) on Monday as the launch customer of the new type and the first airline to take delivery.
Airbus issued this statement:
The historic delivery of Airbus’ first A350 XWB – which is to be received on December 22 by launch customer Qatar Airways – will mark another major milestone for this advanced widebody jetliner that is setting new standards in terms of passenger comfort, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The A350 XWB program has been particularly busy during 2014 as Airbus and other stakeholders worked toward the headline-making initial handover. This activity was highlighted by the continuation and completion of A350-900 flight testing; which was followed by Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), received in September and November, respectively.
Lasting just over 14 months, which is an industry record, the A350-900 flight test and certification programme comprised a five-aircraft fleet which performed over 2,600 flight hours in total. During this campaign, Airbus successfully completed the certification trials which took the airframe and its systems beyond their design limits to ensure airworthiness criteria are fully met.
The remarkable fuel-efficiency is the product of cutting-edge technology. More than two-thirds of this jetliner’s airframe is made from composite materials, titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. The fuselage and wings are built from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic. The latest aerodynamics sharpen the A350’s operational efficiency, while its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines use the most advanced propulsion technology.
At the end of November 2014, the A350 XWB had logged 778 firm orders from 41 customers worldwide. To meet this demand, Airbus is ramping up production progressively to reach the planned rate of 10 aircraft per month by 2018.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) is finding a new underserved niche at Cincinnati. The carrier has announced further expansion from CVG with increased flights to Florida. Beginning in May 2015, existing services to Sanford (near Orlando) and Punta Gorda (Southwest Florida) will be doubled. The additions will replace recent reductions made by other carriers to these two markets, providing local travelers continued convenient flight options for Florida vacation travel.
Allegiant began service to Cincinnati in February 2014 with four weekly flights. By summer of 2015, Allegiant will offer 34 weekly departures during peak travel periods, including recently announced flights to Jacksonville, Florida and seasonal service to Myrtle Beach. The airline just launched flights from CVG to Las Vegas.
Starting in May 2015, Allegiant will increase its service from Cincinnati -Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to Sanford to nine times weekly via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Flights to Southwest Florida via Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) will increase to eight times weekly.
Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N420NV (msn 49424) holds short of the runway at Las Vegas.
Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:
Eastern Air Lines‘ (2nd) (Miami) Boeing 737-8AL N276EA (msn 3507) minutes ago brought the Eastern name back to Miami International Airport after nearly 24 years. The original Eastern Airlines (1st) (Miami) ceased operations on January 18, 1991.
Top Photo: Miami International Airport. N276EA was greeted at MIA after its long delivery flight from Shannon via Portsmouth with the traditional water cannon welcome.
Above Photo: Miami International Airport. The “Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker” adorns the nose of N276EA. The World War I fighter ace and national hero also lead the original Eastern. He was nearly killed in the crash of Eastern flight 21 at Candler Field (now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) on February 26, 1941.
Above Photo: Miami International Airport. At the welcoming ceremonies MIA Director Emilio T. Gonzalez presents Eastern CEO Ed Wegel a vintage photo of the 36th Street Terminal at Miami International circa 1949.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Before landing, the flight crew in coordination with the Miami ATCT performed a low-altitude fly-by of runway 08L-26R at Miami International Airport. MIA lost two hub airlines in 1991, the first Eastern in January and Pan Am in December. Both names live on in South Florida with the many former employees living in Florida. There is no name recognition problem for the new Eastern in South Florida.
Guest Editor Joel Chusid
From Buffalos to Birds
Once again, airplanes and animals have crossed paths, and not always in a good way. From large to small, here we go… A dangerous situation occurred when a fully loaded Spicejet Boeing 737 took off from the Indian city of Surat and struck a buffalo grazing on the runway. There were no serious injuries, although the buffalo didn’t make it, and the plane was damaged. Then there was the incredible story about the woman on the day before Thanksgiving who was permitted to board a US Airways flight at Hartford with her large pig, which she claimed was needed for emotional support. Passengers thought she was carrying a duffel bag on her shoulders as she proceeded down the aisle. But the animal immediately began doing its “business”, to put it nicely, causing a big stink. It got worse as the woman tried to clean up the mess, and both she and the pig became vocal. They were both ordered off, since airlines can reject emotional support animals if they believe they could be disruptive. A few weeks earlier, a shipment of crabs got loose in the cargo hold of another US Airways flight at New York’s LaGuardia Airport bound for Charlotte causing a thirty minute delay. It took five hours for crews to find a stowaway mouse in the cockpit on a Norwegian Air flight ready to depart Oslo for New York. That could have been more serious since rodents can chew through wires. As they say on TV, “on a lighter note”, a woman who was booked to travel for Christmas from Seattle to Phoenix on US Airways (sorry, US Airways again) was informed she could not travel with her lovebirds even though she’d been booked for months. The airline had changed its policy and could only offer a refund. Alaska Airlines came to the rescue after the story aired on local TV news and offered the woman and her lovebirds free tickets to Phoenix. Nice job, Alaska.
Passengers Behaving Badly, Again
The same week as the famous “Korean Air nut” incident (it got wide publicity, so I won’t go into it here), some Chinese passengers on a flight from Bangkok to Nanging were upset at not being seated together. They proceeded to throw hot water and noodles at a flight attendant, and the plane returned to Bangkok. Many passengers filmed the incident, which escalated beyond just noodles. The Chinese government was not amused, and they threatened to “severely punish” the offending Chinese nationals. Good!
Crews Behaving Badly, Sadly
It’s sad when crews can’t get along. In fact, it can be downright dangerous. In Cairo, 150 passengers were evacuated from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight when a pilot and steward got into a fight which resulted in both being injured. The flight was delayed six hours. A Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Dubai was delayed ninety minutes when both pilots got into a heated argument. No injuries on this one. It’s good that these disagreements, sad as they are, occurred prior to the flights becoming airborne.
ANA Takeoff Mode
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has introduced a “takeoff mode” app to calm passengers who get apprehensive on takeoff. The app features a game to keep the user involved, and it changes based on the ambient noise inside the aircraft. New US DOT regulations allowing the use of cell phones, at the airline’s discretion, during takeoff make this app possible. It’s available for i-Phones only at this time.
Airports as Gyms
As airlines squeeze more and more seats onto airplanes, personal space has shrunk. One can barely open a laptop “safely” or stretch out normally without going into contortions. Taking a stroll around the cabin to “stretch one’s legs” is limited to a trip to the lav, so you’re pretty close to remaining stationary for the duration. A good idea is to try and get some exercise before, after or during a connection, at the airport. There are certainly enough concourses to walk, some by necessity if you’re changing planes. But Phoenix, Philadelphia, DFW and Boston Logan, among others, have risen to the occasion to address the sedentary life of a passenger. Philadelphia Airport has replaced rocking chairs with 30 stationary bikes in the waiting areas of the airport. Reaction has been very positive. San Francisco has yoga facilities and Milwaukee table tennis. In Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, a two mile fitness trail, with nice views of the surrounding area, has been marked out through the concourses, complete with water bottle filling stations. (I’ve seen the latter in several airports as drinking fountains go the way of pay phones.) DFW also has a marked path, with long staircases in Terminal D in place for some step exercises as well as a yoga location. Boston’s Logan Airport has walking paths marked, along with stations where passengers can check their weight, height and even body mass index. More airports are expected to follow.
Air Canada (Montreal) operated yesterday (December 18) its first nonstop flight between Toronto (Pearson) and Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Service to Mont-Tremblant will be operated four times per week until March 30, 2015 by Air Canada Express with a 74-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft.
Air Canada flights from Toronto Pearson to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec are operated on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays. In addition, customers collect Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400) C-GGOY (msn 4365) sits on the Toronto (Pearson) ramp.
Air Canada Express-Jazz aircraft slide show:
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) yesterday introduced its new crew uniforms. The fast-growing airline has now released additional details:
Etihad Airways has revealed its much anticipated new uniforms at a spectacular show in Abu Dhabi, paving the way for a new age of glamorous and sophisticated flying.
Created by Italian Haute Couturier Ettore Bilotta at his atelier in Milan, the new uniform exudes a classic elegance seldom seen in the aisles of modern airliners, and cleverly merges dramatic elements of old world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome, with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways of London, New York, Milan and Tokyo.
The beautiful collection possesses a style which has come to characterise the Etihad Airways brand and which will enhance the airline’s reputation as the standard-bearer of superlative customer service.
Unveiled at a catwalk show held for global media, the launch has been timed to coincide with the arrival of Etihad Airways’ fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft, equipped with the airline’s revolutionary new cabins. The debut of the new uniforms represents the grand finale to what has been a momentous year for the airline on the world stage.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways said: “Ettore, working with our teams, has once again delivered a new uniform which will showcase our brand with characteristic flair at every city on our ever-growing network.
“The world has been paying very close attention to us this year and our new collection will not disappoint. It is the embodiment of the Etihad Airways brand, service ethos and unshakeable commitment to excellence, marking our arrival as a leader of sophisticated flying.”
Multi-award winning, New York-based photographer Norman Jean Roy, whose prolific career includes work for leading publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, leading fashion brands and Hollywood studios, was commissioned by the airline to capture a breath-taking set of images of the new collection. The photo-shoot took place on the majestic sand dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa desert and on location at the exclusive Qasr al Sarab desert resort.
The new uniforms will be introduced system-wide from December 27 and will be worn by Etihad Airways’ cabin crews and ground teams, and feature new designs for the airline’s Butlers in The Residence by Etihad, First Class Inflight Chefs, Business Class Food & Beverage Managers, Cabin Managers, Cabin Crew, Flying Nannies, and airport and lounge teams.
Ettore Bilotta said: “Since the launch of Etihad in 2003, I have come to know the airline, its teams and management, very intimately, and have developed a style which has evolved as the airline has grown. For me it has essentially been about dressing a brand and an ethos.”
The brief given to Bilotta by the airline was for a design which would represent timeless sophistication, glamour and elegance. The designer has succeeded in realising the airline’s aspiration to reimagine flying by creating clothing which captures the understated style and innovation of Etihad Airways.
Aubrey Tiedt, Vice President Guest Services at Etihad Airways said: “This is not just a uniform. This is pret-a-porter concept – a future lifestyle statement and homage to the golden age of glamorous flight. It is about bringing back classic elegance, allure and richness to our men and women in a style which will become their signature look. No matter where you are in the world, you will know this is Etihad.”
Made from 100 per cent Italian wool, the uniforms feature an intricate jacquard design and were made in various locations across Italy, with additional manufacturing taking place in Shanghai, Tunis and Bucharest by a dedicated team which totalled approximately 400 staff. Uniquely, approximately 30 per cent of the outfits were handmade or hand-stitched.
Stylishly cut and fitted, each ensemble is easy to wear, flexible and practical, allowing cabin and ground personnel ease of movement as they carry out their duties.
The uniforms have been created incorporating almost all the brand colours of Etihad Airways’ brand palette.
A warm chocolate brown has been chosen as the base colour for the different uniform variations, with a deep purple accent colour for cabin crew and lounge teams, and a burnt orange accent colour for ground crews and Special Services teams. Bilotta has also taken the unusual step of breaking up the main primary shades by introducing all the secondary colours as accents on blouses and accessories.
Female cabin crew, ground and lounge teams will wear a skirt suit, accessorised with fitted gloves, belt, hat and scarf.
Hats worn by the crew are now more aerodynamic and ‘retro’, inspired by the iconic stars of the Hollywood Silver Screen and the sweeping formations of the Emirati desert sand dunes. The new style is classic and enduring, reminiscent of the much-admired designer collections of airline crews in the heyday of international air travel.
Male cabin crew will wear a three-piece suit, while male ground crew will wear a two-piece suit. Accessories will also include belts and gloves. Male lounge agents will wear new Food & Beverage uniforms in line with those worn by the onboard Food & Beverage Managers.
A classic trench coat adds a sense of catwalk drama to all the variations of the uniform and can be worn in all types of weather. The light-weight coat is versatile and foldable, reducing cost and allowing easy carriage.
All gloves, scarves and neckties feature intricate geometric patterns and fretwork. The same level of detail is also evident on matching accessories such as new slim-line handbags, which have been made to the dimensions of a tablet device.
For Etihad Airways’ acclaimed Butlers, the airline has combined historic British butler attire with new world design to reflect Etihad Airways’ modern and globally recognised style. The fabric colours used for this uniform are warm brown for the long-tailed jackets and ties, ivory for the trousers and waistcoats and white for the shirt and gloves. The tones used reflect some of the subtle colours evident in The Residence by Etihad, and also the airline’s new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ corporate livery.
Style and image have been re-examined in line with the new collection and the bold fiery make-up and lipstick tones used previously have been replaced with calmer shades which are currently de rigueur and which also perfectly complement the earthy colours now being introduced.
Etihad Airways has collaborated with leading make up experts MAC to provide their products for crew use at the airline’s ‘Style & Image Suites’ at its Training Academy and its recently opened Innovation Training Academy.
Key points about the new uniforms:
· Made from 100 per cent Italian wool, the uniforms feature an intricate jacquard design
· Uniquely, approximately 30 per cent of the outfits were handmade or hand-stitched
· The design merges dramatic elements of old world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome, with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways
· A warm chocolate brown has been chosen as the base colour for the uniform, with a deep purple accent for cabin crew and lounge teams, and a burnt orange accent for ground crews and Special Services teams
· Hats worn by the crew are now more aerodynamic and ‘retro’, inspired by the iconic stars of the Hollywood Silver Screen and the sweeping formations of the Emirati desert sand dunes
· Bilotta has also taken the unusual step of breaking up the main primary shades by introducing all the secondary colours as accents on blouses and accessories
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and BOC Aviation have finalized an order for two additional 737-800s, valued at $186 million at current list prices.
The order is a part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel-efficient airplanes.
BOC Aviation, owned by Bank of China, is the leading global aircraft leasing company based in Asia, owning one of the youngest fleets in the industry with an average aircraft age of less than four years. These two aircraft add to BOC Aviation’s order of 82 Boeing aircraft in August, which comprised 80 737s, of which 50 are 737 MAXs, as well as two 777-300 ERs (Extended Range).
Helvetic Airways (Zurich) as we previously reported, is adding seven Embraer ERJ 190s. The airline has now detailed its expansion plans:
Helvetic Airways currently operates six Fokker 100s and one Airbus 319-100.
Recently, the airline concluded long-term leases with the Airfleet Credit Corporation for seven Embraer 190s. It is planned to put the Embraer 190s into operation between December 2014 and June 2015.
The business model envisages that four Fokker 100s and four Embraer 190s will be in service, in the long term, for Swiss International Air Lines, as part of a wet lease agreement. The other aircraft (2 Fokker 100s, 1 Airbus A319, 3 Embraer 190s) are used for the scheduled and charter services of Helvetic Airways AG.
In connection with the business expansion, the number of staff at Helvetic Airways AG will be increased to more than 350 employees. At the same time, the equity base will be strengthened via an increase in the share capital by 10 million Swiss francs.
With the 2015 schedules for Zürich and Bern, the primary intention is to consolidate Helvetic’s current scheduled destinations.
The additional capacity in the charter business will be absorbed by the current partners.
Photo: Helvetic Airways. The first Embraer ERJ 190 has arrived in Zurich. The pictured ERJ 190-100LR OE-IHD (msn 19000354) was delivered on December 18 as HB-JVL.
Helvetic Airways aircraft slide show:
International Airlines Group (IAG) (London), the parent company of British Airways (Heathrow), Iberia (Madrid) and low cost carrier Vueling Airlines (Barcelona), has revealed that the board of Aer Lingus (Dublin) has rejected a potential takeover attempt.
IAG confirmed in a stock exchange disclosure it had “submitted a proposal” to make an offer for Aer Lingus, but it added that this was “rejected by the board of Aer Lingus.”
IAG added: “There can be no certainty that any further proposal or offer will be forthcoming. A further statement will be made if and when appropriate,”.
“The board has reviewed the Proposal and believes that it fundamentally undervalues Aer Lingus and its attractive prospects. Accordingly, the Proposal was rejected on 16 December 2014,” Aer Lingus said in a stock market disclosure. “Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.”
This is not the first time Aer Lingus has been the target of a takeover bid. Irish competitor Ryanair (Dublin) has made several attempts to acquire its fellow Irish carrier, but each of these efforts has been blocked on competition grounds.
Last September, a UK Competition Commission (UKCC) investigation into these unsuccessful Ryanair bids revealed that Aer Lingus was looking to combine with another carrier in 2012 and has more recently explored a variety of merger and acquisition scenarios. They also revealed that several sets of talks relating to Aer Lingus acquiring, merging and forming strategic initiatives with other airlines.
Ryanair was ordered to sell its 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus down to 5% by the UKCC, partly based on concerns the shareholding could jeopardize Aer Lingus’ consolidation with other carriers. Ryanair responded by putting its entire stake up for sale, with certain conditions. More recently Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has bemoaned a total lack of interest in the Aer Lingus stake.
O’Leary, speaking at the release of Ryanair’s first-quarter results this summer, said: “We’ve had depressingly received no interest in Aer Lingus stake, which has been up for sale for about 18 months.”
The takeover bid from IAG could have could have valued the Republic’s flag carrier at at least €1 billion, industry sources estimate. Earlier, Aer Lingus shares had jumped 14% after the Financial Times reported that IAG was considering a bid.
Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus A320-214 EI-DEN (msn 2432) approaches the runway in London (Heathrow).
Vistara (Delhi) has announced it will launch its joint venture operations on January 9, 2015. The full service airline will start operations from Delhi to both Mumbai and Ahmedabad with 148-seat Airbus A320s.
The airline issued this statement:
With its distribution channel and booking website going live, Vistara, the much-awaited JV between Tata and SIA is ready to take to the skies. The full service carrier announced that its first flight would take-off on January 9, 2015. With Delhi as its hub, Vistara will initially offer flights to Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Delivering on its brand promise of “a world class flying experience” Vistara is the first full service carrier in India to introduce the ‘Premium Economy’ class. Vistara’s 148-seater A320-200 will offer three separate cabins, with 16 seats in Business, 36 in Premium Economy and 96 in Economy Class. Seats for all three classes are on sales and there will not be a separate fuel surcharge. Vistara is also the first airline in India to offer a value based frequent flyer program called Club Vistara, wherein loyalty points are accrued based on actual spend on the ticket fare rather than miles travelled. Keeping up with the times, airline has done away with the physical loyalty card.
Vistara’s technology partners – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro and Amadeus – will be responsible for its customer support system and IT services. The technology partners are poised to help Vistara fulfill its brand promise of personalization of service and providing a seamless experience to customers. Wipro will manage the Vistara Customer Service Centre, which will handle all customers’ enquiries on reservations, ticketing and Club Vistara FFP. As Vistara’s strategic partner, TCS will be engaged in its various IT initiatives ranging from application service transformation to consulting and business-impacting technology initiatives. Amadeus Altéa Suite will power Vistara’s travel reservations, inventory management, airport departure control systems, as well as revenue accounting and revenue management.
The brand name of the airline, Vistara is derived from the Sanskrit word, ‘Vistaar’, which means ‘limitless expanse’, and draws inspiration from the brand’s domain – the ‘limitless’ sky. The logo is derived from a ‘yantra’, a perfect mathematical form that reflects the unbounded universe. Its fluid interconnecting lines reflect the seamless experience the airline wants to offer its customers. The eight-pointed star at the centre of the logo reflects the high standards Vistara is committed to and the excellence that will be a hallmark of the airline.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 F-WWDF (msn 6388) will be delivered as VT-TTF.
V Air (subsidiary of TransAsia Airways) (Taipei) on December 17 launched schedule low-fare operations. The first route was from Taipei (Taoyuan) (TPE) to Bangkok (Don Mueang) (DMK) using this 194-seat A321. The new airline will compete with Tigerair Taiwan. The second route to Chiang Mai, Thailand is scheduled to start in early January.
Top Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 B-22608 (msn 6009) holds short of the runway at Taipei (Sung Shan).
Below Photo: V Air. The V Air crew waves goodbye to the inaugural flight.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board tragically remains missing. Several articles and a book have expressed many different unproven theories. No part of the aircraft has been officially found. The latest unproven theory, written by former Proteus Airlines CEO Marc Dugain and published by Paris Match, claims the the Boeing 777-200 ER may have been hijacked by a “remote control system” and possibly shot down by U.S. forces near Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. has denied the aircraft came down near the British island.
Google Maps: Diego Garcia in the lonely Indian Ocean. A close-up of the British island below.
Read the full story from France 24: CLICK HERE
On November 10, 2014 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement (the last statement from the airline on MH 370):
Malaysia Airlines refers to recent news articles speculating on an official declaration of loss of flight MH 370.
Addressing the speculation to family members via letters, the airline highlighted that any course of action is always guided by the advice of the technical team in charge of the search operations.
The assurances given to us are that the ongoing search and recovery operations will remain and will not be discontinued.
Recent speculation in the press regarding a declaration of loss followed the expression of a personal opinion only. Any information regarding MH 370, the search and recovery operations and any matters related to the missing aircraft will only be communicated by the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).
Malaysia Airlines is hopeful that we will find closure to this tragedy and we support and thank our government as well as the governments of Australia and China for their invaluable assistance in this time of crisis.
The airline shares the pain and anguish of family members in having to deal and come to terms with this situation, as such we have assured them that locating the aircraft and recovering the flight data recorders remain the key priority. Every party involved in this complex operation is as determined as the families and Malaysia Airlines to find answers to our many questions.
With regard to the level of compensation available pursuant to the Montreal Convention, or similar applicable legal regime, the airline has made it very clear that payments are determined by law to take account of proven passenger and family circumstances and will be assessed accordingly.
Malaysia Airlines and its insurers remain steadfast to ensure that fair and reasonable compensation is paid to the families of all MH370 passengers in accordance with the law when the families are ready to discuss the issue. We have stated this publicly on many occasions and we reiterate that the airline will honour any commitments that we have made.
The well-being of the family members is always our main priority, and we will continue to communicate on any updates as and when we have them.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of passengers and crew of MH 370.
What do you think?
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Where is 9M-MRO? Missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) lands in Kuala Lumpur before the tragic disappearance.
Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. (2nd) (Miami) today will bring back the Eastern name to the skies of South Florida. Boeing 737-8AL N276EA (msn 35070, ex 5Y-KYB) departed Shannon at 0026 UTC this morning bound for Portsmouth, New Hampshire (PSM). After clearing customs and immigration and refueling the 737 will continue to Miami International Airport (MIA). The aircraft will fly down the coast of South Florida to South Beach before turning to MIA where it is expected to arrive around 1500 (3 pm) to the traditional water cannon salute and official welcome. N276EA will be utilized for crew training and the FAA airline certification process. Once the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) is obtained in 2015 the airline is expected to start operations as a charter airline.
Above: The aircraft has now stopped at Portsmouth. Follow the progress of N276EA via FlightAware: CLICK HERE
The new Eastern describes its current status on its website:
In late 2011, a professional group of airline managers acquired the intellectual property of Eastern Air Lines to develop a new business and financing plan to re-launch the airline, and formed Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc.
The team put together a plan to re-launch Eastern to be based at Miami International Airport (“MIA”). It quickly established working relationships with strategic partners including the Miami Airport Authority, Amadeus and Boeing.
Eastern’s relationship with Amadeus dates back to Eastern’s reservation system, called System One. This system was eventually sold by Eastern and later became the core of the Amadeus system. Eastern also has a special and unique relationship with Boeing dating back to the 1930s– Eastern was the first to operate the Boeing 727 and the 757.
The team developed a multi-level business and financing plan that was successfully used to raise the capital required for Eastern to be certified under FAA Regulation Part 121. That work has commenced, led by one of the industry’s leading certification consultants, Locked On. Today, the new Eastern is working with various industry-leading aircraft leasing companies to assemble a fleet of 737–Next Generation aircraft, and has signed an initial order with Boeing for new 737-800 aircraft with deliveries commencing in April 2017.
In addition, Eastern has moved into its headquarters office space at Building 5A at MIA, which was the former Eastern Operations Center, a four story building at the corner of LeJeune and 36th Street, and which once housed all of Eastern’s system control and maintenance control centers, and other operating units.
Eastern has commenced its filings with the DOT and is currently preparing its formal submissions for the FAA. See News and Press Releases for updates.
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. has also formed several subsidiaries to assist in its growth in the years to come. These subsidiaries are “Eastern Shuttle” and “Eastern Express.” As well, Eastern has formed its new mileage and loyalty program, called “LatinOnePass,” also known as “LatinOne.”
Top Photo: Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. A rainbow glistens the first aircraft of the new Eastern at Shannon. The aircraft is now registered as N276EA and appropriately named the “Spirit of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker”.
Below Photo: Eastern Air Lines Group: The uniforms of the new Eastern:
A look back: Eastern Airlines (1st) aircraft slide show:
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced a definitive purchase agreement with Airbus, finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced earlier this year to acquire six new A330-800neo aircraft starting in 2019. The agreement replaces Hawaiian’s previous order for six A350-800s. The transaction includes rights to purchase an additional six aircraft as part of the carrier’s path to growth and increased efficiency.
The A330-800neo wide-body, powered by the recently launched Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine, is similar in size to Hawaiian’s A330-200 which seats 294 passengers in a two class configuration (First and Coach), and will incorporate aerodynamic enhancements that will increase range by up to 400-nautical miles and reduce fuel consumption by 14 percent per seat. According to the carrier, “the aircraft is the right-sized solution for the carrier’s future growth strategy.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the aircraft have a total list-price value of approximately $2.9 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised. Hawaiian Airlines’ existing orders include an additional three new A330-200s for delivery in 2015 and 16 narrow-body A321neo aircraft starting in 2017.
Hawaiian Airlines currently operates a fleet of 50 aircraft, comprised of 29 wide-body, long-haul aircraft (294-seat A330-200 aircraft and 252 to 264-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft), 18 narrow-body 118- to 123-seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft and three 48-seat ATR42-500 for Neighbor Island flights.
Hawaiian Airlines aircraft slide show:
US Airways (Phoenix) will not be repainting the pictured Airbus A321-231 N578UW (msn 6035) in full American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) colors as the two carriers march towards a single operating certificate. Instead the new American, under the leadership of former America West/US Airways CEO Doug Parker, is preserving the memory of US Airways with this preserved legacy livery. N578UW will continue to wear US’ 2005 livery albeit now with small American titles like the previous America West Airbus A320s. As previously reported, TWA will also be preserved in an upcoming legacy scheme with an undetermined historic livery.
Photo: American Airlines.
American Airlines-US Airways aircraft slide show (American livery only):
Virgin America (San Francisco) today (December 18) begins new daily nonstop seasonal service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
The new daily route will operate until April 27, 2015.
In addition to the new seasonal daily service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, the airline is adding a second weekly flight to its seasonal service between New York (JFK) and Palm Springs. This second frequency will operate until April 25, 2015.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Virgin America). Airbus A320-214 N630VA (msn 3101) departs from Los Angeles.
The new codeshare arrangement with Interjet will give American Airlines customers seamless connecting service within Mexico. American will codeshare on Interjet flights from Mexico City to five key destinations – Huatulco, Villahermosa, Merida, Tuxtla Gutierrez, and Oaxaca. American and Interjet will submit an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for regulatory approval of the proposed codeshare cooperation.
Over the past few years Interjet has grown substantially and operates more than 1,800 weekly flights to 38 cities throughout Mexico as well as destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.
The new agreement allows AAdvantage® members to earn miles on codeshared flights operated by Interjet.
American has proudly served Mexico for more than 72 years and currently operates up to 115 daily flights to 20 destinations in the country from Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Now repainted, American’s Boeing 737-823 N825NN (msn 31087) arrives at Las Vegas.
Interjet aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Interjet’s Airbus A320-214 XA-JAV (msn 5221) alos arrives in Las Vegas, a shared connection point.
Avianca (Colombia) (Bogota) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the Latin American carrier. The pictured Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N780AV (msn 37502) was handed over to the carrier today (December 18).
Avianca’s Boeing 787-8 will carry 28 passengers in business class and 222 in economy class. Passengers in both classes will also experience cabin environment improvements made possible on the 787 such as dynamic LED lighting, the largest windows, bigger overhead bins, a lower cabin altitude, a more humid environment, low interior noise, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
With 95 years in operation, Avianca is working to fly a younger fleet than ever, flying with leading-edge technology to 24 destinations in Colombia and 98 destinations in South America, North America and Europe.
To date, 58 customers have ordered 1,055 787s, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling twin-aisle airplane in Boeing history.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. N780AV lands at Paine Field after a test flight.
Avianca aircraft slide show:
Video: A test flight at Paine Field near Everett:
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has capped an incredible 12 months by unveiling its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft (see videos above) to more than 200 of the world’s media in Abu Dhabi.
The doors to the airline’s two new flagship aircraft – in the distinctive new ‘Facets ofAbu Dhabi’ livery – were opened for the first time to reveal the new cabin interiors, which include the ultra-luxurious Residence by Etihad™, the only three-room suite in the sky.
Video: Evolution of the new livery.
Etihad Airways also unveiled a new cabin crew uniform at a spectacular catwalk fashion show. It’s the first major uniform re-launch since the airline’s formation in 2003 and incorporates the same colors used for the cabin interior and new aircraft livery.
Video: The new uniform.
Photo: Etihad Airways. The new uniforms.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “As we have done so many times in our short history, we are reshaping the landscape of modern air travel in our own way.
In addition to the media event at Abu Dhabi airport, Etihad Airways is also hosting an event for travel industry partners and one for the airline’s staff today, ensuring that by the end of the day more than 1,500 people will have toured the two new aircraft.
The fashion show saw 22 Etihad Airways cabin crew showcasing the new uniform which has been designed by Italian Ettore Bilotta, derived from the new brand identity, and combines elegance, comfort and practicality.
Bilotta, in collaboration with the airline’s Guest Services and Guest Experience divisions, chose a warm chocolate brown as the base colour for the different uniform variations.
A deep purple color is added for cabin crew and lounge staff, and a burnt orange accent color for ground crews and Special Services personnel.
Copyright Photo Above: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A380-861 F-WWSS (msn 166) was delivered as A6-APA on December 16. It will be introduced to revenue service on December 27 on the Abu Dhabi-London (Heathrow) route.
Following today’s events in Abu Dhabi, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft will continue test operations before starting commercial flights. The A380 will operate daily to London Heathrow from December 27 and the 787 to Dusseldorf from February 1, 2015.
The entry into commercial service of the A380 will see the introduction of The Residence by Etihad™, a new cabin that has captured the imagination of the air travel industry since it was unveiled in May 2014.
Photo: Etihad Airways.
The Residence by Etihad™ (above) features a living room, separate ensuite shower room, and as another first in the airline industry, a dedicated Butler.
Measuring 125 square feet in total, The Residence by Etihad™ is located on the forward upper deck of the A380 and is for single or double occupancy.
The Airbus A380 is also the only Etihad Airways aircraft to offer the First Apartment which is a complete living space with a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed.
Photo: Etihad Airways.
The First Suite on the Etihad Airways Boeing 787 offers guests an enhanced suite with chilled mini-bar, complete privacy and centre seats which can be joined to create a double bed.
A total of 70 Business Studios are located on the upper deck of the Airbus A380, and the Boeing 787 has 28 Business Studios, all offering aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.
The Economy Smart Seat also debuts on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 and has enhanced comfort with the unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat.
Etihad Airways will take delivery of four A380s and three Boeing 787-9s in 2015.
Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:
EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) is expanding it’s route map with the airline confirming via their Twitter account that they are launching a new route connecting Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion) to Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport), starting on March 30, 2015.
The low-cost airline also confirmed at the same time that it is expanding its London (Gatwick) operations, with the addition of flights to Figari, in Corsica, launching on June 14, 2015.
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZDV (msn 3742) arrives at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).
EasyJet aircraft slide show:
Flybe (Exeter) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) (G-FLBC, msn 4257), flying from Glasgow to Belfast, was forced to make an emergency landing yesterday (December 17) after an engine fire broke out on board. Flight BE 130, which was travelling to Belfast City Airport, was diverted to Belfast International Airport after the fire was detected.
The airline confirmed the plane was met by emergency services “as a routine and precautionary measure”.
There were no injuries among the 76 passengers, two pilots and two cabin crew. Passengers were brought off the plane and taken by road to Belfast City Airport.
One passenger tweeted: “Lucky to be alive tonight. Plane engine caught fire over the sea. Serious credit to the pilots and crew, great job. Plane had to do an emergency landing. Had basically accepted that my time on earth was done. Pilots I love you.”
In a statement Flybe said: “Flybe can confirm that flight BE 130 from Glasgow to Belfast City diverted to Belfast International Airport due a small engine fire, which was extinguished before landing.”
They added: “At no time was the safety and wellbeing of passengers compromised. Flybe operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all manufacturers guidelines.”
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Read the full report from the BBC (with videos): CLICK HERE
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Top Photo: Twitter photo by Ivan.
Flybe aircraft slide show:
Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville) is again expanding operations in Florida and the Bahamas. The airline will add new routes and additional frequencies starting on February 12, 2015. Silver has announced new and additional frequencies between Tallahassee and key business markets throughout the State of Florida, including Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Tallahassee: Silver is starting four new weekly nonstop flights on peak travel days of Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting on February 12, 2015.
Orlando – Tallahassee: Starting on February 12, 2015, Silver is also doubling its service (from one flight per day to two) between Orlando and Tallahassee.
In addition to the above added nonstop flights, more highlights of Silver’s new intra-Florida schedule include:
1. Additional frequencies between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Tampa – increasing from four to five flights per day on weekdays (starting February 12, 2015);
2. Additional frequencies between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Jacksonville – increasing from three to four flights per day on weekdays (starting
February 12, 2015);
3. Improved connections between Key West and Tallahassee, and between West Palm Beach and Tallahassee;
4. Silver’s new increased intra-Florida schedules offer the most nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to primary business centers in Orlando and Jacksonville than any other airline.
Silver Airways is also announcing the introduction of three new nonstop routes between the Sunshine State and the Out Islands of the Bahamas, as well as resuming a number of seasonal routes and increasing frequencies between numerous current routes starting on February 12, 2015.
Silver’s new nonstop routes include:
Tampa – Marsh Harbour in the Abacos with two weekly flights on Saturdays and Sundays;
Orlando – North Eleuthera with one weekly flight on Saturdays;
Orlando – Freeport in Grand Bahama with one weekly flight on Saturdays.
Silver is also resuming the following seasonal service:
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Governors Harbour in Eleuthera with three weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays);
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – George Town on Great Exuma Island with five weekly flights (every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays);
Orlando – Marsh Harbour in the Abacos with daily service;
Jacksonville – Marsh Harbour in the Abacos with two weekly flights on Saturdays and Sundays.
In addition, Silver Airways is adding more flights for the peak travel season between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bimini, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, and Treasure Cay, as well as between West Palm Beach and Marsh Harbour.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Silver Airways now only operates the versatile SAAB 340B turboprop. SAAB 340B N346AG (msn 446) arrives at Washington (Dulles).
Silvery Airways aircraft slide show:
Silvery Airways Current Route Map: Other than the Washington Dulles operation, the airline has been shrinking back to its core area of Florida and the Bahamas:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (December 18) adds three more nonstop routes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), all to Florida: Fort Myers (RSW), Jacksonville (JAX) and West Palm Beach (PBI). Service to Jacksonville is twice daily, while Fort Myers and West Palm Beach will enjoy daily service. During the holiday season from December 19 to January 4, 2015, JetBlue will offer a second daily service to both Fort Myers and West Palm Beach.
This year, JetBlue has significantly increased its presence at Reagan National, adding a total of six routes and also increasing frequencies in existing markets. Earlier this year, flights to Charleston, SC (CHS), Hartford, Conn. (BDL) and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) were launched, and service to Tampa, Fla. (TPA), was boosted with a second daily flight.
JetBlue now offers nonstop flights to 11 cities: Boston, Charleston, Hartford, Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Nassau, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, as well as the only nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. To support its expanded flight schedule in Washington, JetBlue recently relocated its operations into Reagan National’s Terminal B.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N805JB (msn 5148) displays the Barcode tail design and also has the Sharklets.
JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:
Routes from Washington (Reagan National):
Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) flight attendants have approved a new five-year contract. Included in the new contract are quality of life enhancements and pay increases that rank Alaska’s 3,400 flight attendants among the highest paid in the industry at every pay step.
Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire, they only become amendable. The previous agreement became amendable on May 1, 2012 and the new contract will become amendable again on December 17, 2019.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N459AS (msn 36352) arrives in Los Angeles with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.
Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced the fleetwide rollout of Gogo’s faster ATG-4 WiFi service – with the completion this week of ATG-4 WiFi installation on its Airbus A319 plane “Jane” (N526VA, above).
In 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer Gogo Inflight WiFi service on every flight – a distinction the airline still maintains today.
With a base of tech-forward flyers, the airline has similarly invested in the next generation of WiFi technology – with the rollout of Gogo’s enhanced WiFi product to all 53 of Virgin America’s Airbus A320 Family aircraft. ATG-4 offers a faster average guest experience with peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps to each aircraft – more than triple the peak speed of the 3.1 Mbps available with the first generation of inflight WiFi. To help celebrate this milestone, Virgin America and Gogo are asking guests to share their best “office in the sky” moment on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #OfficeInTheSky for a chance to win a round trip Main Cabin flight for two on Virgin America, a brand new iPad or complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi service for one year (full terms and conditions available here).
Gogo’s ATG-4 technology includes three industry-leading innovations: the addition of directional antennas and dual modems on each aircraft and the deployment of EV-DO Rev B technology on Gogo’s airborne and ground networks. Utilizing directional antennas and dual modem technology, ATG-4 increases overall peak connection speeds and ensures a more reliable connection to each and every passenger on board who chooses to connect.
The airline’s in-flight connectivity milestones have included:
November 2008: Virgin America streams the first ever “air-to-ground” video stream to YouTube Live – YouTube’s first official real-world user event from the airline’s first WiFi-enabled aircraft
February 2009: The CBS Early Show airs the first-ever live broadcast transmission from a commercial plane – a Virgin America Airbus A320 – via the airline’s in-flight WiFi
May 2009: Virgin America becomes the first U.S. domestic airline to achieve fleetwide WiFi
December 2014: Virgin America is the first U.S. airline to offer next-gen, Gogo ATG-4 Inflight WiFi on every plane
The airline continues to expand its network across the country with flights to Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma and Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA).
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (others by Virgin America). Airbus A319-112 N526VA (msn 3347) departs from Los Angeles.
Video: In December 2014, Virgin America became the first airline to install Gogo’s faster ATG-4 WiFi service fleetwide with the installation of the service its Airbus A319 plane “Jane” (N526VA). With the rollout of Gogo’s enhanced WiFi product to all 53 of Virgin America’s Airbus A320 Family aircraft the airline now offers guests peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps – more than triple the peak speed available with the first generation of inflight WiFi.
Watch how each aircraft is converted:
Emirates (Dubai) is bringing the Airbus A380 to Perth, Australia for the first time, commencing on May 1, 2015. The airline has announced that it will up-gauge one of its three daily services between Dubai and Perth to its flagship aircraft, demonstrating the growth of Perth as a global destination.
The change from a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will see an increase in capacity of 136 seats per flight and 1,904 seats per week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to business and leisure passengers visiting the capital city of Western Australia.
Emirates’ A380 program has seen 12 new double-decker aircraft join the fleet and launch to ten new A380 destinations in the past 12 months; Barcelona, London (Gatwick), Zurich, Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kuwait City, San Francisco, Milan and Houston (Bush Intercontinental). Glasgow, Manila, Tehran and Vienna have also experienced the flagship Emirates aircraft when it touched down on their tarmac for a one off showcase in 2014.
The Emirates A380 is set in a three-class configuration, with 401 seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.
Emirates’ Perth Airbus A380 service will operate daily as EK 420 departing Dubai at 0255 and arriving at Perth International Airport at 1735 the same day. The return flight, EK 421, will depart Perth at 2210 and arrives in Dubai the following day at 0525, a flying time of 11 hours 15 minutes.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDT (msn 090) departs from London (Heathrow).
Emirates aircraft slide show:
Video: Flying First Class on the Emirates Airbus A380:
Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) retired its last Airbus A340-200 from revenue service on November 27, 2014 after the pictured A340-211 JY-AIA (msn 038) completed its flight from Chicago (O’Hare) to Amman per ch-aviation.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. JY-AIA arrives in New York (JFK) prior to the last revenue flight.
Royal Jordanian aircraft slide show:
Meridiana (Olbia) has retired its last two Airbus A320 aircraft according to ch-aviation. The company has been moving to Boeing for its narrow body needs.
The company was set up under the name of Alisarda on March 29, 1963 by Prince Karīm al-Hussayn Aga Khan with the aim of promoting tourism in Sardinia. Scheduled flights commenced in 1964.
On May 3, 1991 the name was changed to Meridiana.
At the end of February 2010, the name Meridiana fly was launched, the second largest carrier in Italy, with the merger of two air transport players: Eurofly, a company specializing in charter services to long haul holiday destinations and Meridiana, scheduled carrier with an extensive national and European network, with the primary objective of connecting the main Italian airports with the two largest islands Sardinia and Sicily.
In October 2011 Meridiana fly acquired the assets of Air Italy, a chartered Italian carrier which definitively joined the Group and now operates connections on behalf of Meridiana.
After rebranding, starting in March 2013, the company has eliminated the trademark Air Italy and the suffix of Meridiana fly by replacing it with just “Meridiana”.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-EZS (msn 1823) holds short of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.
Meridiana aircraft slide show:
FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $2.14 per diluted share for its fiscal second quarter ended November 30, up 36% from last year’s $1.57 per share. The corporation reported net income of $616 million, up 23% from last year’s $500 million. However the corporation missed several analyst profit estimates despite declining fuel costs.
The company issued this statement:
“FedEx posted strong results and a higher operating margin in the second quarter, with continued growth in volumes and base yields in each of our transportation segments”
“FedEx posted strong results and a higher operating margin in the second quarter, with continued growth in volumes and base yields in each of our transportation segments,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corporation chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are in the final stages of this year’s peak shipping season, and I’d like to thank the more than 300,000 dedicated team members around the world for once again delivering outstanding service to our customers during the holidays.”
Second Quarter Results
FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the second quarter:
• Revenue of $11.9 billion, up 5% from $11.4 billion the previous year
• Operating income of $1.01 billion, up 22% from $827 million last year
• Operating margin of 8.5%, up from 7.3% a year ago
• Net income of $616 million, up 23% from last year’s $500 million
Operating income and margin increased primarily due to higher volumes and base yields in all three transportation segments. Results in the second quarter also included benefits from the company’s profit improvement programs, lower pension expense and a slightly positive net impact from fuel. These benefits were partially offset by higher aircraft maintenance expense due to the timing of aircraft maintenance events.
Share repurchases benefited second quarter earnings by $0.16 per diluted share.
The company reaffirms its fiscal 2015 earnings forecast of $8.50 to $9.00 per diluted share. The outlook assumes continued moderate economic growth and a modest net benefit from fuel. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2015 remains $4.2 billion.
FedEx regularly reviews its fuel surcharge tables and will update certain tables at FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight effective February 2, 2015. Details on these changes will be available on fedex.com by December 23, 2014.
FedEx Express Segment
For the second quarter, the FedEx Express segment reported:
• Revenue of $7.02 billion, up 3% from last year’s $6.84 billion
• Operating income of $484 million, up 36% from $357 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 6.9%, up from 5.2% the previous year
Revenue increased due to higher U.S. domestic package volume and international export package base revenue, partially offset by lower fuel surcharges and exchange rates. U.S. domestic package volume grew by 7%, including a 10% increase in U.S. overnight box. U.S. domestic revenue per package declined 2% due to decreased fuel surcharges and lower weight.
FedEx International Economy® volume grew 5%, while FedEx International Priority® volume increased 1%. International export revenue per package was flat, as higher rates were offset by unfavorable currency exchange and lower fuel surcharges.
Operating results improved due primarily to U.S. domestic and international export package revenue growth, cost management related to profit improvement programs, lower pension expense and a slight net benefit from fuel. These improvements were partially offset by the timing of higher aircraft maintenance expense. The year over year increase in aircraft maintenance expense is expected to subside beginning in the fourth fiscal quarter.
FedEx Ground Segment
For the second quarter, the FedEx Ground segment reported:
• Revenue of $3.06 billion, up 8% from last year’s $2.85 billion
• Operating income of $465 million, up 6% from $439 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 15.2%, down from 15.4% the previous year
FedEx Ground average daily volume grew 5% in the second quarter, driven by growth in both business-to-business and FedEx Home Delivery services. Revenue per package increased 3% due to rate increases and higher residential surcharges. FedEx SmartPost average daily volume decreased 4% due to the reduction in volume of a major customer. FedEx SmartPost revenue per package increased 7% due to rate increases and improved customer mix, partially offset by higher postage rates.
Operating income increased due to higher revenue per package and volume, partially offset by higher network expansion costs, as the company continues to heavily invest in the FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost businesses.
FedEx Freight Segment
For the second quarter, the FedEx Freight segment reported:
• Revenue of $1.59 billion, up 11% from last year’s $1.43 billion
• Operating income of $112 million, up 35% from $83 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 7.1%, up from 5.8% the previous year
Less-than-truckload (LTL) average daily shipments increased 8%, including a 10% increase in demand for Priority service. LTL revenue per shipment grew 3% due to higher weight per shipment, higher rates and increased fuel surcharges.
Operating results improved due to increased LTL revenue per shipment and higher average daily LTL shipments.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Monday, December 15, was the busiest day for FedEx in its history according to the company. Cutting through the early morning mist at Charlotte is Airbus A300B4-622R (F) N719FD (msn 388) bound for the Memphis cargo hub.
FedEx Express aircraft slide show:
Finnair (Helsinki) in the fall of 2015 will take delivery of its first Airbus A350, specially the pictured A350-941 (msn 018).
Airbus has issued this picture and short message:
The first A350-900 for Finnair is taking shape in the Roger Béteille Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France. Finnair will be the first European airline to fly the A350 XWB and the third operator in the world. Scheduled for delivery in autumn 2015 the aircraft is now in the fuselage section joining phase.
Following this, the aircraft will move to wing junction, cabin installation and first power-on, all achieved in one single station. Once these phases are completed, the aircraft will undergo system tests, cabin completion, painting and engine installation before starting the delivery process, including flight testing.
Finnair has a total of 19 A350 XWB on order. The aircraft will be deployed on Finnair’s long-haul routes to Asia and America.
Virgin America (San Francisco) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today announce a codeshare agreement to offer seamless booking and travel from Shanghai, China to multiple destinations across the United States. The new agreement will see China Eastern place its two-digit flight code (MU) on a range of Virgin America routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco – including West Coast flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle/Tacoma, San Diego and Washington Dulles (Dulles). This will open a world of choice and convenience for travel between Asia, China, and the United States, offering a one-stop booking process and one-stop check-in, including seamless boarding passes and baggage handling for the entire journey. Codeshare flights can be booked today for travel from December 17, 2014.
The two airlines also announce today that starting next year the two airlines will launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Members of China Eastern’s frequent flyer program will be able to earn Eastern Miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and redeem their Eastern Miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program will also be able to earn Elevate points when flying across China Eastern’s network as well as redeem their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route operated and marketed by China Eastern.
China Eastern offers daily direct flights from Shanghai to San Francisco and from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
The codeshare partnership expands on the two airlines’ existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2013. China Eastern is Virgin America’s fifth codeshare agreement and joins the airline’s growing partner portfolio.
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America’s Airbus A320-214 N846VA (msn 4894) rotates on the runway at New York (JFK).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 F-WWCG (msn 1588) wears the new look for China Eastern Airlines. It will become B-5962 on delivery.
American Airlines flight 280 from Seoul to Dallas/Fort Worth encounters severe turbulence, five people transported to Tokyo hospital
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) flight AA 280 from Seoul (Incheon) to Dallas/Fort Worth) encountered severe turbulence shortly after its departure. The flight crew diverted the Boeing 777 to Tokyo (Narita) for medical attention. Four passengers and one crew member were transported to local hospitals.
Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE
Above Twitter photo by Brian Curtis.
Video of the flight:
American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker (above) stated in an interview with Reuters that airlines should end profit sharing with its employees and instead improve the wages despite pressure from his own labor groups to link part of their pay with the company’s performance.
Doug Parker led America West Airlines (Phoenix) that acquired bankrupt US Airways (merged and adopted the name) and then acquired bankrupt American Airlines (merged and adopted the name).
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Photo: American Airlines.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) yesterday (December 15) began new service from Rome (Fiumicino), Milan (Linate) and Venice to Berlin (Tegel) and Dusseldorf. The first Alitalia flights to the two German cities took off from Milan Linate Airport at 6.30 am (flight AZ 418 to Dusseldorf) and 6:35 am (flight AZ 406 to Berlin), while the new flights from Rome and Venice departed later in the day.
The new daily service to Berlin and Dusseldorf will operate, for the winter season, with an Embraer 175 aircraft configured in two classes of service: “Ottima” – Alitalia’s business class on international flights, and “Classica”, the economy class. During the summer season, which will begin in March 2015, these routes will be operated with higher capacity aircraft.
The new service between Italy and Germany is very important for Alitalia from a strategic point of view. With the introduction of the new flights to Berlin and Dusseldorf, Alitalia will offer 370,000 more seats to Germany in 2015, an increase of +66%, compared to 2014, expanding its network, which was limited to flights from Rome to Munich and from Rome and Milan Linate to Frankfurt.
All new flights launched are in codeshare with Airberlin, the second largest German airline, in accordance with the codeshare agreement between the two companies launched on October 26, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) EI-RDC (msn 17000333) taxies at Zurich.
Iberia Express (Madrid) will start the twice-daily Madrid-London (Gatwick) route on March 29, 2015.
The company will also new service from Madrid to Paris (CDG) on September 7, 2015 and Manchester on September 8, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-JSK (msn 2807) taxies at the Madrid (Barajas) base.
Iberia Express aircraft slide show:
London Gatwick Airport turns to Amadeus’ cloud-based airport-collaborative decision making portal, will handle 55 flights per hour on one runway
London Gatwick Airport is the first to implement Amadeus’ cloud-based Airport-Collaborative Decision Making Portal (A-CDM) to improve collaborative decision-making processes, Amadeus has announced.
Gatwick is now one of a forward-thinking group of airports to join the European-wide A-CDM standard, with airports such as Munich, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid and Zurich.
However, Gatwick followed an innovative approach opting for Amadeus’ cost effective cloud technology to speed up the implementation time of A-CDM, rolling out the Amadeus portal to 300 users in just 8 weeks. Assisted by the Amadeus portal, LGW will handle 55 flights per hour from the world’s busiest runway and estimates up to 2 million additional passengers.
The A-CDM standard’s aim is to bring the entire airport ecosystem, of airport operators, airlines, ground handlers and air traffic management, together to operate more efficiently and transparently, sharing accurate information in a timely manner. This results in better air traffic management with fewer delays and increased capacity, as well as an improved passenger experience thanks to an integrated approach to operations.
Michael Ibbitson, Chief Information Officer of London Gatwick commented: “We have received extremely positive feedback from our Amadeus A-CDM Portal stakeholders. It is easy to use and enables them to make better decisions that contribute to smoother and more efficient operations. The portal supports all partners at the airport involved in activities from refuelling and de-icing and to ground handling and cargo. Those employees have access to real-time data about what’s happening across London Gatwick – it’s a game changer.”
He continued: “We constantly strive to embrace new technologies at London Gatwick that will improve the travel experience and operating environment. We estimate that thanks to Amadeus’ A-CDM Portal, we will be able to increase capacity to more than 40 million passengers on a single runway following wider adoption of the portal in the next year or so.”
John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT at Amadeus added: “Communication gaps still prevail in the airport ecosystem – a collaborative approach is key to align on aspects such as disruptions, flight information, number of bags on board and passengers in transit. We hope to see other airports follow Gatwick’s innovative use of the Amadeus A-CDM Portal to facilitate improved communications and operational efficiency.”
The Amadeus Portal and its customisation for London Gatwick is part of Amadeus’ broader commitment to work with airports to improve the passenger experience. Earlier this year, Amadeus published a whitepaper focused on attitudes to cloud computing in the airport industry. This included the viewpoints of over 20 senior IT leaders from the airport industry to investigate the business case for adopting cloud-based Common Use systems at airports.
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Top Photo: Amadeus.
Bottom Copyright Photo: London Gatwick Airport.