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American Airlines Group to move 50 Envoy Air Embraer ERJ 145s to other American Eagle carriers

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:

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Seven local airlines in Sweden to be united under a single brand in 2015

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.

Sverigeflyg logo

 

Braathens Regional (formerly Golden Air) holds the actual AOC and operates ATR 72-500s and SAAB 200s 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:

Sverigeflyg 11.2014 Route Map

 

Sverigeflyg partners

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.

Sverigeflyg crew

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.

Sverigeflyg-Malmo Aviation logo

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 to combine its short-haul, point-to-point operations under the HOP! Air France brand

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! logo

HOP! currently serves these destinations:

HOP! 11.2014 Destination Map

 

 

Air Tindi pilot lands his Cessna 208 Caravan safely on the ice of Great Slave Lake near Yellowknife

Air Tindi logo

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

Air Tindi C-208 (LRW)

All Images: Air Tindi.

Route Map:

Air Tindi 9.2014 Route Map

Alitalia to launch new Abu Dhabi routes on March 29, 2015 from Milan Malpensa and Venice

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).

Alitalia (2nd) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways’ CEO Al Baker: European airlines are “inefficient”, expands flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Edinburgh

Qatar CEO Al Baker

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).

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Air China and Air New Zealand move closer with proposed strategic alliance

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.

Air China aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

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.

American Airlines shifts the Edinburgh-Philadelphia route to New York JFK

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning to shift US Airways‘ Edinburgh-Philadelphia route next summer to an Edinburgh-New York (JFK) routing according to the Scotsman city American sources. AA will operate the seasonal flight between May and September.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Boeing 757-23N N203UW (msn 30548) in American colors departs from Brussels.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

United Airlines extends its relationship with the Cleveland Browns

United-Cleveland Browns bags

United Airlines (Chicago) despite having de-hub its Cleveland station, has extended its relationship with the NFL Cleveland Browns football organization. The airline will continue to fly the team to its away games. The airline issued this statement:

United logo-1

United Airlines has extended its relationship with the Cleveland Browns, building on its ongoing service to the Cleveland area and the team. As the official airline of the Cleveland Browns, United will continue to fly the team to and from away games throughout the season.

In addition to flying the team, United will maintain its presence at FirstEnergy Stadium and on ClevelandBrowns.com. The airline will also provide exclusive opportunities to Browns fans, including the United Dream Destination, a contest at all home games where the team selects one fan to play a destination trivia game for a chance to win vouchers for United flights.

In addition to its relationship with the Cleveland Browns, United sponsors several Cleveland institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

In other news, United has also announced that the company’s approximately 140 fleet technical instructors, represented by the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a new joint labor agreement. In addition, the company’s 49 IAM-represented security officers also voted to ratify a new joint agreement.

United has now achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of its represented work force, including pilots, dispatchers, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper work groups. The company is engaged in facilitated problem-solving negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and is in mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), representing technicians.

Photo: Cleveland Browns.

United Airlines (current livery) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

British Airways fits ZEUS, a volcanic ash detector, on a Boeing 747-400

British Airways (London) has issued this statement concerning its part in volcanic ash detection research:

In response to the Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010 which caused widespread flight disruption to travellers, scientists at the Met Office and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have developed a prototype ash detection device, capable of detecting small amounts of ash in the atmosphere. In time, this research could aid ash forecasting and also help airlines more accurately plan their flight and engineering operations.

The device, aptly named ZEUS after the Greek God of the skies, has been fitted on a British Airways 747 and data has already been successfully downloaded from its first flight to Johannesburg and will be analysed by the Met Office. It will continue to fly on long-haul routes around the world for a year, collecting data for analysis.

ZEUS was developed after a pilot in a research aircraft noticed that static levels created by low levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere caused his hair to stand on end. Met Office and NERC scientists seized on this phenomenon to develop and patent the device which uses measurements of static as a tool to detect ash.

An early prototype of ZEUS has been flying on the NERC/Met Office dedicated research aircraft and a Flybe Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft since 2012, gathering background data from around Europe. This data was used to demonstrate that the ZEUS sensor can distinguish between the levels of electrostatic charge on the aircraft when flying in normal conditions and when volcanic ash is present.

The advanced ZEUS prototype will be on the British Airways aircraft for a year and will build up a picture of background electric field in normal atmospheric conditions around the globe. When information from ZEUS is downloaded and correlated with flight data – including weather conditions, speed, altitude, location – it can help scientists build a picture of volcanic ash distribution. Aircraft engineers can also use this data to schedule post-flight inspections of engines and aircraft systems.

British Airways’ Captain Dean Plumb said: “We were very keen to be involved in this pioneering research which will be of great value to the aviation industry and beyond. Aircraft regularly encounter small quantities of ash in flights around the world, perfectly safely, and pilots use expert forecasts to plan their routes to avoid more dense ash clouds. ZEUS has the potential to provide a clearer picture of ash distribution and could be used to inform decision making-processes in the event of future volcanic eruptions.”

Ian Lisk, Met Office Head of Natural Hazards said: “This is a very exciting development and a great result of cross-industry collaboration, including British Airways, Flybe, NERC and the Met Office. While further development is still required, we are delighted with progress with this prototype volcanic ash sensor to date and the findings we have so far received from the tests are very promising.”

The Met Office is an expert in aviation forecasting, with responsibility for providing international aviation meteorological services and advice. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), one of nine VAACs worldwide, is hosted and run by the Met Office as part of its aviation forecast operations. London VAAC provides advice on the likely dispersion of ash clouds emitted from eruptions originating in Iceland and the North East Atlantic, and this information is used by the aviation industry to help make decisions on airspace management.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLE (msn 24047) climbs away from the London (Heathrow) hub.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kuwait Airways selects Boeing for 10 777-300 ERs

Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) has selected Boeing (some good news for Boeing) with an intent to acquire 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing is pleased that Kuwait Airways has announced its intent to purchase 10 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes worth $3.3 billion at current list prices.

“We appreciate the start of a new partnership with Kuwait Airways,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing looks forward to an enduring relationship with Kuwait Airways and we are excited to see that the 777-300 ER airplane, which is the preferred long-haul carrier for so many airlines around the world, will now play an important role in the airline’s fleet strategy and expansion.”

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Kuwait Airways also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order. The airline was on the cusp of becoming an all-Airbus airline. It’s Boeing 777-200 fleet (pictured) is being phased out but this new order will restore the Boeing name in Kuwait. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) completes its final approach to London (Heathrow).

Kuwait Airways aircraft slide show:

It’s official: Delta orders Airbus A350-900s and A330-900neos

Delta A350-900 (07)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued this statement concerning its wide body fleet renewal decision:

Delta has chosen the Airbus A350-900 and A330-900neo to replace older generation Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft starting in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

The order for 25 state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft and 25 advanced Airbus A330-900neo aircraft fits within Delta’s existing capacity and capital expenditure plan and continues the airline’s focus on making prudent, cost-effective investments in its fleet.

“Delta always approaches fleet decisions with a balance of economic efficiency, customer experience enhancements, network integration and total cost of ownership,” said Nat Pieper, Delta’s Vice President – Fleet Strategy and Transactions. “The A350 and A330neo support our long-haul, transoceanic strategy and join a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft that provide exceptional flexibility for Delta’s global network as well as strong cash-on-cash returns for our shareholders.”

Airbus A350-900

The long-range Airbus A350-900 will continue Delta’s optimization of its Pacific network, operating primarily on long-range routes between the U.S. and Asia. The jets are expected to generate a 20 percent improvement in operating cost per seat compared to the Boeing 747-400 aircraft they will replace. Delta will take delivery of the A350 beginning in the second quarter of 2017.

The A350-900 will be powered by two fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines.

Airbus A330neo (A330-900)

The widebody A330-900neo, an enhancement of Airbus’ successful A330 family featuring greater aerodynamic and economic efficiency, will be deployed on medium-haul trans-Atlantic markets as well as select routes connecting the U.S. West Coast and Asia. The aircraft are scheduled to enter the Delta fleet in 2019 and will deliver a 20 percent operating cost savings per seat over the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft it will replace.

The A330neo features the Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine which is built with similar technology to the Trent XWB on the Airbus A350.

Delta began a structured fleet renewal in 2011 with the selection of new Boeing 737-900ER aircraft along with Boeing 717s and two-class Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets, and continued it with transactions for Airbus A321 and A330 aircraft. Those aircraft are replacing inefficient older technology airplanes, generating substantial cost improvement and increased customer satisfaction. The airline continues to invest in the onboard product and amenities available to customers on its entire domestic and international fleet including installation of transoceanic satellite in-flight Wi-Fi, Delta Studio featuring a library of free streaming programming as well as more than 1,000 on-demand movies, television shows and music on large, high-definition seatback monitors, and other service improvements.

Images: Airbus.

Delta Air Lines (current livery) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Delta A330-900neo (07)(Flt)(Delta)(LRW)

Airberlin equips its first two Airbus A320s with Wi-Fi

Airberlin Group (Airberlin and Niki) (Berlin) has issued this statement:

The Airberlin Group has equipped the first two aircraft in its fleet with the new ‘airberlin connect’ Wi-Fi service. The two Airbus A320s, registered D-ABNJ and OE-LEL, now boast a Wi-Fi system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, so passengers can access the internet with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop during the flight.
In addition, passengers on short and medium-haul flights will enjoy an entertainment offering with TV series, movies and music available for streaming to their own device with the new Wi-Fi service. Passengers will be able to choose their own personal entertainment from more than 180 hours of media. On long-haul routes, passengers will continue to enjoy the RAVE in-seat entertainment system.

The first two aircraft equipped with Airberlin connect will service the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi routes. The first flight from Stuttgart to Abu Dhabi takes off on December 1, 2014, bringing in-flight internet to passengers on this route for the first time. On the new Vienna-Abu Dhabi connection from Austrian subsidiary Niki, passengers will be able to use the new on-board Wi-Fi service as early as November 24, 2014.

Airberlin offers various time and data packages for airberlin connect: for just 4.90 euros, passengers get online above the clouds for 30 minutes, including 20 MB of data.

An hour of internet access, including 50 MB of data, costs 8.90 euros. The price includes use of the entertainment selection, which is available for the entire duration of the flight at no additional cost, even after the package time or data limits are used up. Passengers who wish to be online during an entire medium-haul flight can select the 13.90 euro package, which includes 90 MB of data, while the Full Flight Package for long-haul flights costs 18.90 euros, and includes 120 MB of data. Packages can be conveniently paid by credit card via the web browser on passengers’ own mobile device or laptop.

On the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi connections, passengers can enjoy the entertainment offered by Airberlin connect free of charge. Internet access during the entire flight to or from Abu Dhabi on these routes costs just 13.90 euros, including 90 MB of data.

Airberlin plans to complete equipping its fleet within three years.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Niki’s Airbus A320-214 OE-LEL (msn 2668) wears the former colors of OLT Express at Zurich.

Airberlin aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Niki aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines’ pilots file for mediation with the NMB

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association-SWAPA (Dallas), representing the pilots of Southwest Airlines (Dallas), filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB). The union issued this statement:

SWAPA logo

In order to facilitate movement in contract negotiations, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) today officially filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that oversees contract negotiations in the airline industry. After two-plus years of negotiations both sides are currently too far apart to realistically expect an agreement outside of a mediated process.

“This is certainly not a step either side wants to take during negotiations, and certainly not a typical step in the pilot and management relationship at Southwest Airlines,” said Mark Richardson, SWAPA President. “But times have certainly changed.”

SWAPA has focused their negotiations on improvements in areas that address the airline’s flat fleet growth, stagnant career advancement, and compensation. Over the past four years the pilots have sacrificed when asked by the Company. This facilitated Southwest reaching their financial goals, including a stated goal of 15 percent ROIC. Those goals have been accomplished, and furthered, with an announced ROIC total of 19 percent for the trailing 12 months, and a Wall Street expected 21 percent ROIC for fiscal year 2014. Southwest Airlines is on pace to enjoy almost $2.5 billion in operating profit for 2014.

“Our asks continue to be reasonable so that our highly productive pilots can enjoy marginal improvements in their schedule, pay, and especially retirement – an area where Southwest pilots lag significantly compared to our peers at other airlines,” continued Richardson. “Filing for mediation is the next step in the process toward a new contract. We are trying to avoid the destructive and combative relationships that have plagued our industry.”

SWAPA becomes the third Southwest Airlines labor group to request national mediation in order to finalize a new contract in this current round of negotiations.

Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 7,500 pilots of Southwest Airlines and 500 pilots of AirTran Airways. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, visit http://www.swapa.org.

Copyright Photo: Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-76N N7705A (msn 32744) arrives in Los Angeles.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Great ATC videos from NATS: A typical air traffic day over the United Kingdom, Europe and the North Atlantic

From NATS:

Following the success of our two data visualisations – Europe 24 and North Atlantic Skies – we’ve taken a lot of time to think about where to go next – it’s been a typical case of ‘difficult second album syndrome’.

Other videos by UK 24: A day over the UK: This data visualisation shows the air traffic coming into, going out of and flying across the UK on a typical Summer day. It has been created using real data comprising 7,000 flights from a day in June as recorded by our radars and air traffic management systems.

Europe 24: This data visualization of Air Traffic in Europe was created from real flight data. It shows the air traffic which flies on a typical summer day and highlights the intensity of the operation in Europe – an operation which runs 24x7x365.

North Atlantic Skies:

Every day, between two and three thousand aircraft fly across the North Atlantic between Canada, the United States and Europe. Airspace across the North Atlantic is divided into six Oceanic Control Areas (or OCAs). These OCAs are controlled by Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) working at different locations in different Countries.

NATS, working with the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority), is responsible for providing the air traffic control service to the Shanwick OCA. The IAA service is provided from Shannon in Ireland, and the NATS service provided from Prestwick in Scotland (hence ‘Shanwick’).

The Shanwick OCA is the busiest of all North Atlantic Airspace regions. It is often referred to as ‘the gateway to Europe’ and around 80% of all North Atlantic Air Traffic passes through it, demonstrating the strategic importance of our Prestwick Centre and UK airspace.
This visualization shows Transatlantic traffic over a 24 hour period taken from a day in August last year and shows 2,524 flights crossing the North Atlantic, of which 1,273 pass through the Shanwick OCA. At its busiest traffic can peak at 1,500 flights a day in the Summer.

Enter today: Win an overnight stay in a KLM MD-11 in Amsterdam

KLM MD-11 Entrance (LRW)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) has started a contest to win a night in a converted McDonnell Douglas MD-11 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Hurry, the contest ends today. Here is the announcement:

The contest runs until Thursday November 20. The prize consists of a night in a KLM airplane at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport of which the interior is remodeled to an apartment.Participants are requested to describe in maximum hundred words why the participant should win one night on a KLM airplane.

KLM MD-11 Living Room

The overnight stay will be at ​​Schiphol Airport on November 28, 29 and 30, 2014. KLM works with Airbnb because the two companies share a passion to offer customers a travel experience full of inspiration. The service that Airbnb offers fits perfectly with KLM in this respect.

KLM MD-11 bed

KLM MD-11 Layout

For more information: CLICK HERE

All images by KLM.

KLM aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: The last MD-11 passenger flight:

This won’t go over well in Seattle, Delta turns to rival Airbus for new widebody aircraft

Delta Air Lines (Seattle/Tacoma) as previously reported, is building up its new and growing Seattle/Tacoma hub, the home of Boeing. The build-up at SEA is at the apparent expense of its “partner” Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) which prides itself on being “all Boeing”. Delta believes the local Seattle market is much larger than one airline and continues its build-up.

According to the local newspaper, The Seattle Times, Delta is apparently now turning to Airbus for a new round of widebody aircraft over Seattle-favorite and the hometown manufacturer Boeing. According to the report, Delta has rejected Boeing’s offer of a mix of 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners. Instead Delta will turn to rival Toulouse-based Airbus for a new order of 25 Airbus A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos. The prospective order has not yet been officially announced or confirmed by Airbus.

According to Delta, the earlier delivery slots offered by Airbus were critical in the decision. How will this play in the growing Seattle market where everyone knows someone who works for Boeing. Will this affect their booking decisions?

Delta has also delayed Northwest’s previous order for 18 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Clearly Airbus is the winner for its widebody needs.

Delta, to their defense, is a large Boeing 737 and 777 customer and continues to take delivery of new 737s which helps the Seattle economy.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

As the competition heats up more in the “battle for Seattle”, will Alaska play up that it is very loyal to Boeing?

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The large Airbus fleet came mainly from the merger with Northwest Airlines along with a lot of its management who now manage the current Delta.  Former Northwest Airbus A330-323 N801NW (msn 524) taxies to the international gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Delta Seattle's Global Airline SEA (BD)(LRW)

Air Canada to expand Boeing 787 operations at Vancouver

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it will expand the introduction of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring the airline’s new International Business Class and Premium Economy seating to more of its routes to Asia from Vancouver including Beijing in February and Seoul in March 2015. Air Canada recently converted its Vancouver-Shanghai route to 787 Dreamliner service, with Vancouver-Tokyo (Narita) to be converted mid-December.

More information on Air Canada Boeing 787: CLICK HERE

Air Canada’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft feature three cabins of service offering comfortable ergonomic seating and enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens. AirCanada’s International Business Class cabin features 20 Executive Pods with 180-degree lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration guaranteeing direct aisle access. The Premium Economy cabin has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and, unique for a North American airline, Air Canada’s Premium Economy seating offers more generous personal space, wider seats and greater legroom and recline as well as premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. The Economy cabin has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin.

The fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners opens up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service as the airline replaces existing Boeing 767 aircraft with the new Boeing 787 fleet. AirCanada’s first new route to be operated with the 787 Dreamliner was Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) in July, followed by the conversion of the airline’s Toronto-Tel Aviv route to 787 Dreamliner service in August.

Air Canada will take delivery of six Boeing 787 aircraft by the end of 2014, with all 37 aircraft scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. The carrier’s Dreamliner fleet will consist of a total of 15 787-8 aircraft and 22 of the larger capacity 787-9 aircraft. As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: Air Canada’s Boeing 787:

Video: Born to fly:

Delta continues its Seattle/Tacoma expansion, announces 5 new routes

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch daily nonstop service next spring from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to five new destinations in the continued expansion of its West Coast hub.

Delta’s new service will include:

Five daily flights to Denver, beginning June 4*
Four daily flights to Sacramento, Calif., beginning May 4* **
Four daily flights to Boise, Idaho, beginning May 4**
One seasonal daily flight to Ketchikan, Alaska beginning May 15**
One seasonal daily flight to Sitka, Alaska beginning May 15**

*Flight operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines
**Flight operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines

Delta will serve the top 15 destinations in the Western U.S. with the addition of Boise, Denver and Sacramento, while Ketchikan and Sitka complete the top five destinations in Alaska. Delta will also increase its number of daily flights from Seattle/Tacoma to Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta; Calgary, Alberta; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

On December 20, Delta will begin service from Seattle/Tacoma to several sun and ski destinations, including Bozeman, Mont.**; Maui, Hawaii; Palm Springs, Calif.**; Phoenix**; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Tucson, Ariz.*; as well as a second daily flight to Honolulu. Additionally, Delta commenced service to Calgary** and Spokane, Wash.* **, at the beginning of November.

*Flight operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines
**Flight operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines

Delta currently operates 80 peak-day departures to 25 destinations from Seattle and will increase to 93 peak-day departures to 32 destinations in December. By next summer, Delta will offer 120 peak-day departures to 35 destinations.

The new routes will allow customers to seamlessly connect to Delta’s ten long-haul international flights from Seattle, while providing compelling travel options to cities important to local customers. Earlier this year, Delta launched international service to London-Heathrow, as well as Seoul and Hong Kong and now provides more international long-haul service from Seattle than all other airlines combined. This includes the top five destinations in Asia and three of the top four destinations in Europe. Delta is the only carrier to offer nonstop service from Seattle to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Compass Airlines is already operating several routes at SeaTac as a Delta Connection carrier with its Embraer 175s. ERJ 170-200LR N608CZ (msn 17000195) taxies to the runway at SEA.

Delta Air Lines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-Compass: AG Slide Show

 

EasyJet’s full year pre-tax profit rises 12.8% to $909 million

EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) reported a pre-tax profit of £581 million ($909 million), up 13% from last year.

During the year the low-fare airline opened new bases at Hamburg and Naples during the year and new bases were announced for Amsterdam and Porto.

EasyJet started flying the former Flybe slots at London Gatwick on March 30, 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZAY (msn 2827) is pictured in action at Nantes, France.

EasyJet (UK) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: EasyJet TV commercial:

QANTAS Airways’ “RetroRoo” arrives in Sydney

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) released this statement about its first retrojet “RetroRoo” arriving in Sydney:

The newest addition to the QANTAS Airways fleet has touched down on Australian soil, proudly carrying a retro livery and bearing the name of trailblazing former CEO James Strong.

The design is a flashback to the livery that adorned QANTAS Boeing 747s in the 1970s and is a flying tribute to mark seven decades of the Flying Kangaroo logo, which falls this month.

QANTAS Airways CEO Alan Joyce joined past and present staff and executives, Boeing executives and other guests to welcome the aircraft after it was given a water cannon salute from Air Services Australia.

The aircraft is named after former CEO James Strong. James was instrumental in the making of the modern QANTAS, including the merger with Australian Airlines.

James Strong was QANTAS CEO from 1993 to 2001 and later served on the QANTAS Board until his death in March 2013. His wife Jeanne-Claude and son Nicholas were at the hangar to christen the aircraft.

“QANTAS aircraft are traditionally named after Australian places, with the exception of our fleet of Airbus A380s, which are named for Australian aviation pioneers. We’re very proud to break with tradition to name this aircraft James Strong – another great leader of the Australian aviation industry.”

The new Boeing 737-800, the 75th of the aircraft type, will begin services across the QANTAS domestic network from next week. It is the 11th new Boeing aircraft that the QANTAS Group has taken delivery of this year.

The delivery of the “retrojet” coincides with the week of QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which was celebrated on Sunday November 16. The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS) was registered as a business on November 16, 1920.

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) “James Strong” (now with a bowtie) sits proudly on the Sydney ramp.

QANAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways is in initial discussions with the city of Long Beach about international flights, defers 18 Airbus deliveries, changes its seat pitch and will charge for checked bags

JetBlue Airways (New York) wants to add international routes from its noise-sensitive focus city of Long Beach, California. The airline has started initial discussions with the city but faces an uphill battle to gain international routes at LGB.

Read the full report from the Press-Telegram: CLICK HERE

In other news, JetBlue today issued this strategy statement to retain shareholder value:

JetBlue logo-1

JetBlue Airways today outlined a long-term plan to drive shareholder returns through new and existing initiatives aimed at enhancing the Company’s product advantage and service-oriented culture while delivering improved financial results. The revenue initiatives are expected to collectively generate more than $400 million in annual operating income on a run rate basis beginning in 2017.

Additionally, JetBlue announced the deferral of 18 Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery from 2016-2018 to 2022-2023 which will reduce capital expenditures by more than $900 million through 2017 and allow the airline to optimize its fleet to better match capacity with demand.

JetBlue Fleet Optimization

Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President, said, “We believe the plan laid out today benefits our three key stakeholders. It delivers improved, sustainable profitability for our investors, the best travel experience for our customers and ensures a strong, healthy company for our Crewmembers. As we focus on executing this plan, JetBlue’s core mission to Inspire Humanity and its differentiated model of serving underserved customers remain unchanged.”

JetBlue is committed to maintaining its competitive cost position. Specifically, JetBlue announced it will maintain unit cost (excluding fuel and profit sharing) growth below two percent through 2017 with longer-term gains from a number of avenues including gradually upgauging the fleet with larger A321s on order and increasing the number of seats on its A320 fleet as part of a major cabin refresh.

“Today we announced actions that we’ve been working for some time to enhance JetBlue’s revenue performance, control costs and reduce capital commitments through 2017,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “As we execute this plan and continue to grow, we also seek to drive significantly improved returns for our shareholders. We believe our strategy, in combination with the additional initiatives discussed today, keep us on a path to enhance long-term shareholder value.”

The initiatives discussed by JetBlue leadership included:

Fare Families / Branded Fares — Beginning in the first half of 2015, customers will be able to choose between three branded fare bundle options. The first of these will be designed for customers who do not plan to check a bag, while the latter two will offer one and two free checked bags, respectively, along with other attractive benefits, including additional TrueBlue points and increased flexibility. This new merchandising platform will enable JetBlue to tailor its offering to individual customers’ needs in a way that is simple and transparent.

Airbus A320 Cabin Refresh — JetBlue will build on the successful launch of its Airbus A321 fleet, which has been received with great customer acclaim, by outfitting its A320 aircraft with a similar refreshed cabin. The reconfigured cabin plan for the A320 will preserve JetBlue’s product advantage and highly-rated customer experience while helping to generate higher returns. Using lighter, more comfortable seats, JetBlue will be able to increase the number seats on its planes while continuing to offer the most legroom in coach. Retrofits of the Airbus A320 fleet are expected to begin in mid-2016 and will also include larger seatback screens with more entertainment options and power ports accessible to all Customers.

JetBlue Mint logo

Mint — JetBlue’s new premium service, which is exceeding expectations in its ramp up on the JFK-SFO and JFK-LAX routes, is significantly improving transcontinental margin performance. JetBlue plans to continue rolling out additional Mint service in JFK-LAX through the fourth quarter of 2014 and in JFK-SFO through the first quarter of 2015.

JetBlue Fly-Fi Banner

Fly-Fi — JetBlue customers will continue to enjoy free access to the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi product in the industry while the company pursues a unique new monetization strategy including partnerships with Verizon, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and others. The entire Airbus A320/A321 fleet is expected to have Fly-Fi in the first half of 2015, with Embraer 190 installations beginning thereafter.

Even More — With dynamic pricing, JetBlue’s extra legroom product continues to offer customers industry-leading comfort and value and represents a growing source of ancillary revenue.

Is this the right decision? Will it turn off its loyal customers? Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N592JB (msn 2259) in the Barcode design lands at Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Current routes from LGB:

JetBlue LGB 11.2014 Route Map

Allegiant Air is coming to New Orleans

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new nonstop service to New Orleans, the carrier’s newest destination. Seasonal service between New Orleans and Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis, and year-round service between Sanford (near Orlando), will begin in early February.

New routes announced include:

Seasonal service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) from:

1. Cincinnati, Ohio – begins February 4, 2015 through May 5, 2015

2. Columbus, Ohio – begins February 5, 2015 through April 8, 2015

3. Indianapolis – begins February 5, 2015 through May 5, 2015

4. Sanford, Florida – begins February 5, 2015 through August 17, 2015

The new flights will all operate twice weekly.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N874GA (msn 49643) arrives in Las Vegas.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

SAS signs a contract with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo, Norway

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has issued this statement regarding a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport:

SAS has, along with the Lufthansa Group and KLM, signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport.

SAS was first off the ground in Norway and from Stockholm Arlanda in Sweden with a biofuel mix around a week ago and this agreement shows the airline takes its corporate social responsibility seriously in reducing its green house gas emissions.

Via an agreement signed with Avinor and the above named airlines, Statoil Aviation is to supply 2.5 million liters of biofuel to the refueling facility at Oslo Airport. With a 50% biofuel mix, this will fuel around 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen and make OSL the first major airport in the world to offer a regular supply of biofuel as part of daily operations from March 2015.

Via a continuous renewal of its airline fleet and a comprehensive environment efficiency drive in the air and on the ground, SAS has reduced its total CO2 emissions by the airline by around 13% since 2005.

The airline has also enjoyed an increase in production over the same period. SAS is also the first and only airline in Scandinavia whose fleet consists exclusively of next generation jet aircraft.

From next year, the most energy efficient short and long-haul aircraft will be rolled out one after the other: Airbus A330 Enhanced, Airbus A320 Neo, followed by the Airbus A350.

SAS aims to use synthetic fuel on an increasingly regular basis in the next few years, and expects biofuel to become competitive with the fossil fuel alternative. For this to happen, a general environment and tax policy will be required from governments, based on aviation being a form of internationally competitive public transport with thin profit margins.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A319-132 OY-KBO (msn 2850) in the 1952 retrojet scheme taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

SAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Canadian North unveils a Canadian Football League logojet for the Grey Cup

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL)(Grd) YEG (Sam Hawkins)(LR)

Canadian North (Calgary and Yellowknife) today (November 18) unveiled this new Canadian Football League (CFL) logojet at its Edmonton hangar for the upcoming Grey Cup Championship Game. The right side of Boeing 737-36N C-GCNO (msn 28596) carries the team logos of the Eastern teams and left side the western teams.

The airline issued this statement on November 18:

On November 18, at an exciting “reveal” ceremony, the CFL and Canadian North jointly unveiled a custom-painted Boeing 737-300 aircraft, emblazoned with the CFL logo and the logos of all nine CFL franchise teams. This eye-catching plane will be used to fly the 102nd Grey Cup Champions home from Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday, December 1 and will serve as a highly visible billboard for the CFL and its teams wherever it lands.

Canadian North is the premier charter provider for Canada’s resource sector, top sport franchises and air-inclusive vacationers. The CFL and Canadian North announced a three-year partnership earlier this year that made Canadian North the official airline of the CFL.

Photos Below: Canadian North. Both sides are displayed at the unveiling event:

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL-left)(Grd) YEG (Canadian North)(LRW)

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL-right)(Grd) YEG (Canadian North)(LRW)

Video: The painting of the aircraft:

Canadian North is the official airline of the CFL.

Canadian North CFL logo

On July 9, 2014 the airline announced it had become the official airline of the CFL:

Canadian North is proud to become the official airline of the Canadian Football League. This new three-year partnership will include flying the East and West Division Champions to the 102nd Grey Cup game in Vancouver this November.

“There is nothing more Canadian than the CFL and we are excited to be partnering with both the league and the Grey Cup,” said Steve Hankirk, President of Canadian North. “We’re thrilled to broaden our relationship with the CFL and believe this creates opportunities for more teams to charter with Canadian North.”

Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, said: “Canadian North prides itself in contributing to the communities it serves, and that makes the airline a great fit for our league, which has a long history of doing the same.”

In other news, the company is planning to expand with more charters to warmer climates in early 2015.

Top Copyright Photo: Sam Hawkins/Canadian North.

Canadian North aircraft slide show:

JustPlanes Video:

Saurya Airlines starts operations in Nepal

Saurya CRJ200 (Saurya)(LR)

Saurya Airlines (Kathmandu) has now commenced scheduled passenger operations with a Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet (9N-ALE, msn 7493) on the Kathmandu-Biratnagar route.

Image: Saurya Airlines.

Saurya logo (large)

United to upgrade the travel experience at its Newark Liberty International Airport hub

United logo-1

United Airlines (Chicago) has issued the following announcement about the on-going improvements to its Newark Liberty International Airport hub:

United Airlines and OTG Management have unveiled a collaboration of chefs and designers, along with leading-edge electronic payment technology, that will create an unmatched travel experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport.

In September, the two companies announced that United had selected OTG to transform the shopping and dining experience in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, with a $120 million project funded by OTG. Today, specifics of those plans were announced, including design renderings, chefs and restaurant concepts.

The Largest Collection of Chef-Driven Restaurants Anywhere in the Country

Internationally and regionally acclaimed chefs—including four with Michelin stars—are creating restaurant concepts that will make the terminal itself a destination for travelers. Saison, a classic French bistro by Alain Ducasse; Vesper Tavern, a gastropub-style tavern by Paul Liebrandt; Riviera offering French country fare by Alex Guarnaschelli; Mario Carbone lending his take on classic Italian with an Italian steakhouse; and Josh Capon’s SRF Bar, featuring a surf bar and sushi oasis with a fresh catch every day are among the inspired dining offerings.

Food halls are being reinvented as a global bazaar of exciting culinary choices, with chefs hand- pulling fresh noodles at Kaedama, Shoushin Yanaura’s ramen bar; authentic Mexican street fare at Alex Stupak’s Taqa Taqueria; Nonna’s Meatball Cafe by Amanda Freitag; and hand-crafted treats at Jacques Torres’ Melange Bakery.

In total, more than 55 new dining venues will provide travelers with an array of culinary choices, offering menus at all price points that emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients and highlighting regional and local dining experiences. OTG owns and operates all restaurants with the chef partners driving restaurant concepts and menus.

State-of-the-Art Designs by Rockwell Group, Creme Designs, David Mexico Design Group, Parts and Labor Design

Renowned architects and designers will reshape the dining and retail space of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free-flowing spaces, seamlessly integrating technology, craftsmanship and design. Design partners include David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, Jun Aizaki of Creme Designs, David Mexico of David Mexico Design Group and Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt of Parts and Labor Design.

Nearly 60 gate areas will also be updated with custom seating and tables creating a lounge-like atmosphere. And, as in the restaurants, travelers can use iPads throughout the gate areas to track their flights in real time and order food, beverages and other amenities via a visual menu available in 20 different languages, with orders delivered to customers’ seats within 15 minutes. Additionally, travelers will not have to search for a power outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating, along with complimentary Internet browsing on nearly 6,000 OTG iPads.

Art will play another key role in the revitalization of the terminal. Local artists’ works will be on display in the gate areas, as well as the main atrium that welcomes travelers as they come through security.

Leading-edge Electronic Payment Technology: Pay With MileagePlus Award Miles| A New Flyer-Friendly Way to Pay for Airport Purchases

In an industry first, United MileagePlus members will be able to use award miles to purchase dining and retail amenities at Newark Liberty Terminal C restaurants and stores using OTG’s unique iPad customer experience platform. This innovative technology marks the first time travelers will have the option to use mileage redemption for in-person purchases.

Customers will be able to scan their boarding pass or enter their MileagePlus number on any of the almost 6,000 iPads that will be available throughout the terminal’s restaurants, bars and gate areas when the project is complete. The iPad will display the customer’s up-to-date flight information and offer dining or beverage options in up to 20 different languages. The cost of the items will be displayed in both dollars and miles, and at check out, MileagePlus members will have the option to pay with award miles, offering a seamless experience for the savvy traveler.

With this integration, United and OTG are reimagining the airport experience at Newark Liberty’s Terminal C through elevated dining, design and technology.

“United is committed to providing a flyer-friendly experience for our customers on the ground as well as in the air,” said Kate Gebo, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “At our Newark hub, we’re creating new dining and retail options to provide an exceptional customer experience that incorporates the amenities and convenience that our customers tell us they want when they travel.”

“The United Experience at Newark Liberty will be a world-class setting that combines beautiful spaces with cutting-edge technology and some of the finest dining options anywhere,” said Rick Blatstein, OTG CEO. “We view travel as a lifestyle, and our mission is to treat the airport itself as a destination, and more than just a place travelers pass through on their way to somewhere else. We are so pleased to work with United and our culinary and design partners to make this vision a reality.”

“World-class amenities help make airports world-class, and OTG Management and United Airlines have produced an array of superb culinary offerings at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “OTG has proven itself with top-notch offerings already at both John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, and we welcome them to Newark Liberty in what will surely make the traveling experience there even better.”

“OTG Management and United Airlines have combined to help usher in a new era of restaurant concepts for Newark Liberty International Airport that almost will make passengers sorry they have to leave the terminal to catch their planes,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deb Gramiccioni. “This effort dovetails perfectly with the Port Authority’s ongoing efforts to modernize Newark Liberty and its other major airports, so they will truly be world-class gateways to New Jersey, New York City and the nation.”

With the redesign already underway at Terminal C, more than 45 of the new restaurants and retail markets will open over the next seven weeks in a transition program. Offering a taste of what’s to come, menus will highlight the chef-curated dishes and customers will be able to experience the new technology with an initial 1,000 iPads. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months, with the first permanent installations debuting in the summer of 2015.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

EWR Airport Terminal Map:

United EWR Terminal Map

Finnair decorates two Airbus A321s with Santa Claus, starts a contest for those taking pictures

Finnair A321-200 OH-LZL (14-Santa Claus Finalnd)(Finnair)(LR)

Finnair (Helsinki) took delivery of its new Airbus A321-231 OH-LZL (msn 6083) with Sharklets from Airbus on April 30, 2014. The new airliner along with another A321, has become the canvas for this large “Santa Claus Finland” emblem. The airline has long promoted Santa Claus on its aircraft.

The airline has announced a new contest to fly to Rovaniemi, Lapland. Contestants need to snap a photo pf OH-LZL (with the new emblem) to be eligible for the contest drawing:

Spot Santa’s aircraft and snap a photo for a chance to win flights for two to Rovaniemi, Lapland. Use the hashtag #officialairlineofsanta and post it on Twitter or Instagram until November 30. The winner will be announced in the first week of December.

As Santa’s offical airline, two of our newest Airbus A321 aircraft with Sharklets wear a special Santa livery. You can spot the special aircraft flying into some of Finnair’s European destinations.
Get your cameras ready. The competition is ready to start!

For more information: CLICK HERE

Finnair Official Airline of Santa

Images: Finnair.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to cut flights and jobs at Denver International Airport

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is planning to cut the number of flights and jobs at its Denver International Airport hub according to The Denver Post.

CEO Dave Siegel has told employees that increased taxes and landing fees has made the DEN hub unprofitable. In the past year the airline has been adding routes at other locations including Trenton and Cleveland as we have reported.

Siegel sites the 30 percent increase in landing fees over the past three years as the main culprit in making DEN connections unprofitable.

Currently the airline operates 85 daily flights but this will decrease to around 70 in January according to the report.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look arrives in Raleigh/Durham.

Frontier aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: Recent changes at Frontier (including new owners):

Current Route Map:

Frontier (2nd) 11.2014 Route Map

Norwegian calls on the DOT again to approve its NAI application

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) has again called on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve its pending Irish application to operate its Boeing 787s as Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin). The 787s are currently operated by Norwegian subsidiary Norwegian Long Haul although the aircraft are registered in Ireland. The airline issued this statement claiming the DOT has “received strong opposition from those interests seeking to undermine competition, limit consumer choice and maintain the status quo”. Here is the full statement:

Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjørn Kjos, who will address a standing-room only audience on November 20 at the International Aviation Club, will reinforce the benefits Norwegian Air International (NAI) service will bring to competition in the transatlantic market, the traveling public, and the global aviation industry. Kjos will again call on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to once and for all approve Norwegian’s application for a foreign air carrier permit that will provide American consumers lower fares and greater choice in air travel.

“Norwegian’s vision is ‘Everyone Should Afford to Fly,’ and it is a principle we intend to bring to individuals and families seeking to travel between the United States and Europe,” said Mr. Kjos. “NAI will provide the traveling public with an innovative, low-cost option that offers award-winning service to new and underserved destinations on brand-new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft. DOT approval of NAI’s application is the final barrier preventing American consumers from the choice they so desperately want and deserve.”

Norwegian Air International, which completed its DOT foreign air carrier permit application in February 2014, has received strong opposition from those interests seeking to undermine competition, limit consumer choice and maintain the status quo. Close to 90 percent of transatlantic air traffic is controlled by the three airline mega-alliances that are permitted to operate with immunity from U.S. antitrust laws. As a consequence, airfares have risen significantly without commensurate improvements in service, and “capacity discipline” by the alliances has severely limited growth in the number of available passenger seats while pushing U.S. airline profits to record levels.

“I believe the values of innovation, competition and the rule of law – so highly prized here in the United States – will serve to overcome the opposition NAI has received from entrenched interests,” said Kjos. “I am confident that adherence to international agreements and the law will be the factors upon which DOT ultimately relies to decide this matter. I am equally confident NAI’s application will be approved by DOT, albeit far overdue.”

Norwegian Air International will open a market of new travelers previously unable to afford the high fares currently offered by the legacy carriers, while serving more destinations worldwide. NAI will directly contribute to President Obama’s goal of generating 100 million foreign visitors to the United States by 2021. Norwegian already employs 300 American cabin crewmembers in Fort Lauderdale and New York, and currently is recruiting American pilots at its New York pilot base. Of the 300 cabin crew, for which Norwegian received more than 7,00 applications, the vast majority worked previously for U.S. airlines and chose to join Norwegian for the pay, benefits and team-spirited environment.

NAI meets all statutory and regulatory requirements to serve the United States and is entitled to DOT approval “with minimum procedural delay” under the U.S.—E.U. Air Transport Agreement. Nevertheless, a full nine months after applying to DOT, NAI continues to await a decision that will allow it to begin low-fare transatlantic service to and from the United States.

“The time is well-past due for the Department of Transportation to fulfill its legal responsibility and approve NAI’s application,” said Kjos.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNG (msn 35314) with Edvard Munch, Norwegian artist, on the tail, arrives in Los Angeles.

Norwegian aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: By sjcbenw. Description: Cockpit view of Norwegian Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner landing Runway 01R at Stockholm Arlanda (ARN).

From JustPlanes:

 

SkyWest Airlines to remove all remaining Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias from service

SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George, Utah) has announced fleet transitions and contract updates designed to improve SkyWest’s overall efficiency and long-term profitability.

Specifically, SkyWest announced that SkyWest Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, intends to transition to an all-jet fleet by removing all remaining 30-seat Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft from service by summer 2015. The EMB-120 fleet retirement comes, in part, in response to increased costs and additional challenges associated with new FAR117 flight and duty rules, implemented in January 2014.

Separately, SkyWest announced that ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, has executed an agreement with United Airlines, Inc. to reduce the term of the existing 50-seat ERJ 145 contract between ExpressJet and United from November 2020 to December 2017, subject to certain extension rights by United. ExpressJet Airlines anticipates the reduction in the ERJ 145 operations will improve its overall operational reliability and financial results.

As a result of the decision to remove the EMB-120 aircraft from service by June 2015 and as a result of the reduced term to operate the ERJ 145 aircraft, SkyWest, Inc. anticipates recording pre-tax special charges (primarily non-cash) ranging from $55-70 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

It is unclear how the grounding and retirement of the Brasilia fleet will affect air service to remote communities.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines mainly operates its Brasilias under the United Express brand however 13 EMB-120s wear the SkyWest house livery (below). Embraer EMB-120ER brasilia N294SW (msn 120321) arrives in Los Angeles.

United Express-SkyWest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

SkyWest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N217SW (msn 120286) arrives in Las Vegas.

WestJet reaches a tentative agreement with the WestJet Pilot Association

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with its more than 1,200 pilots, represented by the WestJet Pilot Association (WJPA). The agreement’s highlights will be available in early December and voting will begin later in the month.

The WJPA and WestJet leadership teams began negotiations in September 2014 to develop a tentative agreement to replace the previous agreement, which has been in place since May 2009.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GWBN (msn 34155) arrives in Los Angeles.

WestJet aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kenya Airways slumps to a fiscal first half loss of $116.1 million, retires its last Boeing 767-300

Kenya Airways (Nairobi) reported a fiscal first half net loss of 10.45 billion Kenyan Shillings ($116.1 million) for the six months ending on September 30, 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Kenya Airways quietly retired its last Boeing 767-300 ER when 5Y-KYV (msn 29386) was returned to ILFC per ch-aviation.

The new Boeing 787s replaced the older 767s.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 767-36N ER 5Y-KQY (msn 30841) is seen at Heathrow Airport near London.

Kenya Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

 

Video: Skateboarding in HEL

No one equates skateboarding with secure airports, until now…

Video by Match Made in HEL:

For two days in October 2014 some of the best skateboarders from East and West were connected to share their passion on the top of the world at Helsinki Airport. This first-ever skate session was hosted by Arto Saari and his world-class crew. See the amazing footage of when these skaters got access to totally unique skate spots to test the limits of the gateway between East and West.

 

A different perspective video: Slow motion landings and takoffs at Oslo

 

Video by ebgmvideo:

Recorded at 60 fps and slowed down to 25 fps in post, results in stunning slow motion with details difficult to view in real time video.

 

Western Global Airlines starts cargo operations from Miami

WGA logo

Western Global Airlines-WGA (Sarasota/Bradenton and Lakeland) launched new cargo service from Miami International Airport on Friday, November 14, becoming the 39th all-cargo airline to serve the global gateway.

Western Global is scheduled to operate four weekly international cargo flights from MIA to South America using its fleet of owned and operated McDonnell Douglas MD-11F freighter aircraft. WGA’s inaugural Miami arrival was celebrated with a traditional water cannon salute (below).

Western Global MIA inaugural

Photo credit: Miami International Airport (MIA).

The new carrier, which began operations on August 4, 2014, will serve the major cargo centers of South America, including Colombia. Colombia is MIA’s top international trade partner by weight, with 241,000 tons of goods valued at $7.1 billion moving between the two markets in 2013, headlined by cut flowers. Those strong numbers directly contribute to MIA’s standing as America’s #1 airport for international freight, and the addition of WGA will further strengthen the Gateway of the Americas’ top ranking.

Western Global Airlines’ founder and CEO Jim Neff, who previously founded and owned Southern Air Inc. before selling it in 2007, said, “The driving force behind WGA is to offer the marketplace a new, large-scale, customer-oriented wet lease and charter platform focused on low cost, flexible service, and high reliability. We are pleased to build on our extensive resources and experience to support the Miami-South America air trade as it continues to reach record levels.”

The MD-11Fs are painted white but do not carry any titles.

Oman Air takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER

Oman Air 737-900ER WL A40-BI (08)(Grd) BFI (JGW)(LRW)

Oman Air (Muscat) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER.  The pictured Boeing 737-91M ER A40-BI (msn 40069) was handed over on November 12.

The remaining four aircraft are due to be delivered by November 2015.

Oman Air and Boeing (Chicago) on June 19, 2013 announced an order for five Boeing Next-Generation 737-900 ER airplanes at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 737-91M A40-BI exits the runway after a test flight at a very dark and rainy Boeing Field in Seattle.

Oman Air logo-1

Oman Air aircraft slide show:

Estonian Air’s loss for the first nine months widens to $7.9 million

Estonian Air (Talinn) reported a deepening loss of $7.9 million for first nine months of 2014 due to increased competition.

The company issued this full report:

The total revenue of Estonian Air was 52.2 million and loss 6.4 million euros ($7.9 million) in nine months. Last year the revenue was 55.4 million, and the loss 6 million euros ($7.4 million) in the same period.

“The results of the third quarter were below our earlier forecasts. Although we have increased the number of passengers, added flights to several existing routes and opened new destinations, at the same time the pressure on ticket prices has increased remarkably. Intensified competition on the aviation market and continuous unstable situation on our Eastern market has significant impact on our financial results,” commented Jan Palmér, the CEO of Estonian Air.

In the third quarter 2014, the revenue was 19.3 million and the net loss 1.4 million euros.

Within the third quarter Estonian Air carried altogether 161 000 passengers, out of which 152 000 on regular flights. In nine months Estonian Air carried 403 000 passengers which is 5 per cent less than the same period last year.

Estonian Air has increased its share on Tallinn based charter market. In addition, Estonian Air has signed charter agreements with several Estonian travel agencies to operate during the winter and summer flight period which will help the company to utilise the free capacity of the aircraft more efficiently.

The Council of Estonian Air approved the modified restructuring plan to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of October this year. Upon approval of the restructuring plan Infortar Group will invest into the company, which is anticipated in Spring 2015. The changes in the ownership structure must be approved beforehand by the Government of Estonia.

Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, is the biggest operator at Tallinn Airport. The airline flies regular routes to Stockholm (Arlanda and Bromma), Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Oslo, Moscow, Munich, St Petersburg, Kiev, Vilnius and Trondheim. In addition, from December 2014 to March 2015, Estonian Air will add seasonal flights to Munich and from April to November 2015 to Milan.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEA (msn 17000093) arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Estonian Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Blue Air to add the Bucharest-Milan Linate route

Blue Air (Blue Air Transport Aerian S.A.) (Bucharest) will add the Bucharest-Milan (Linate) route on December 18.

According to the airline, the flights will be operated six times a week, until the end of the 2014-2015 winter season.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Blue Air’s Boeing 737-42C YR-BAO (msn 24813) taxies at Brussels.

Blue Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Avianca Holdings reports an operating profit of $70.3 million for the third quarter

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) reported operating income (EBIT) of $70.3 million for the third quarter (3Q).

As a result the operating margin for 3Q 2014 reached 5.7%, an increase of 130 basis points over the 2Q of 2014. The operating income (EBIT) for the nine-month period of 2014 was $170.1 million; as a result, the operating margin for the first nine months of 2014 was 4.9%.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Avianca’s (Colombia) Airbus A320-233 N603AV (msn 5840) with Sharklets arrives in Los Angeles.

Avianca aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways and China Eastern Airlines announce a closer relationship

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today (November 17) announced a new joint venture, marking the start of a deeper level of commercial cooperation on flights between Australia and China.

The airlines will now submit an application for authorization to Australian and Chinese regulators. Subject to regulatory approval, it is anticipated that the joint agreement will commence in mid-2015.

The five year agreement was signed today by QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce and China Eastern Chairman Liu Shaoyong at Parliament House, in a ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

Under the agreement, the airlines will deliver substantial benefits for customers and support the growing trade, tourism and corporate travel links between Australia and China. It is designed to complement the QANTAS-Emirates partnership for Europe, Middle East and North Africa and the QANTAS-American Airlines partnership for the US.

Through the new partnership, the airlines hope to ultimately open up new routes between Australia and mainland China, such as between Brisbane and Perth to Shanghai.

A key benefit of the agreement will be the co-location of both carriers’ operations in Terminal 1 at Shanghai International Airport, which will cut transit times by about an hour, open up a better range of onward connections and provide more choice for customers.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Boeing 737-800 to wear the new 2014 China Eastern brand is this 737-89P registered as B-5689 (msn 41512) passing through Honolulu on delivery on November 7, 2014.

China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways introduces its first retrojet

QANTAS 737-800 VH-XZP (71) + John Travolta (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has formally introduced its first retrojet in the form of its newly delivered Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) painted in the retro 1971 ochre livery.

The company issued this statement and photo:

QANTAS has gone back to the future by unveiling its first ever “retro” inspired livery on one of its brand new Boeing 737 aircraft.

The eye catching design is a flying tribute to 70 years of the iconic flying kangaroo logo – a widely recognized symbol of home to millions of intrepid Australian travellers.

QANTAS Ambassador and self-confessed aviation enthusiast, John Travolta (above) was on hand to witness QANTAS and Boeing unveil the aircraft at a special hangar event in Seattle, which is timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo logo.

QANTAS ambassador, John Travolta said the retro livery has brought back lots of memories for him.

“It’s great to see a piece of QANTAS history flying in the sky today,” said Mr Travolta.

“I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences with QANTAS over the years, from getting my 747 wings to having my own 707 painted in the original 1960s QANTAS livery. This is a great celebration of the brand’s heritage and incredible reputation over the years.

The signature element of the 1971-1984 livery design was the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft. Ochre reflected the colors of the outback where QANTAS was established in 1920.

The winged kangaroo logo is used on the tail and was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim.

In 1984 the flying kangaroo discarded its wings, evolving to its current slender and stylized form.

The 737 will operate across all QANTAS domestic routes from November 20, acting as a flying reminder of where QANTAS has come from, as well as showing new generations of young Australians some of the history behind Australia’s biggest airline.

The livery is also timed to mark the QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which also falls in November.

Happy Birthday QANTAS.

Photos: QANTAS Airways.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

Kangaroo Logo evolution:

QANTAS historic logos

QANTAS 737-800 WL VH-XZP (71)(Tail)(QANTAS)(LRW)

Boeing expands its contract with composite supplier Toray Industries for the 777X wings

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has signed a memorandum of agreement with leading composite supplier Toray Industries to expand its current contract for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to include the 777X wings. Once finalized, the long-term contract extension will take effect in 2015 and meet Boeing’s customer affordability goals through the Partnering for Success program.

Emirates 777X (Boeing)(LRW)

The addition of the 777X to the current 787 contract represents a significant increase in the material provided to Boeing by Toray. Boeing and Toray will also collaborate to improve commercialization of composites in the aerospace market. Specific areas the companies will address include increased consistency and performance of composites across the production system and a cost structure that is more competitive with metals.

Boeing and Toray pioneered the use of prepreg composites – a combination of high-strength carbon fiber and toughened epoxy resin – in the 1970s. By 1994, assemblies including the empennage and floor beams were being produced for the 777 program, the first commercial airplane featuring structurally significant composite parts. That early success culminated in the launch of the 787 in 2004, the world’s first largely composite commercial airplane.

With this agreement, Boeing will have contracts in place for more than 75 percent of the major structural material for the 777X. The wingspan of the 777X measures 71.7 meters (235.4 feet), 6.95 meters (22.8 feet) longer than the span of today’s 777-300ER. Its raked wingtip and optimized span will deliver greater efficiency and significant fuel savings while being compatible with today’s airport gates. The 777X wings will be manufactured at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., site.

In 2013, Boeing spent more than $4 billion on goods and services in Japan. Including this agreement for the 777X composite wing, Boeing expects to purchase an additional $36 billion of goods and services locally by the end of the decade, supporting tens of thousands of aerospace jobs.

Images: Boeing.

Finnair announces new scheduled services to Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will be offering new scheduled flights to popular holiday destinations for next winter season, including Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira. Several of these destinations have previously been served with flights chartered by tour operators, but by now offering scheduled services, Finnair is catering to increasing demand from travelers who prefer to tailor their own holiday experience.

Flights to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City will be operated once a week between December 10, 2015 and March 24, 2016. Ho Chi Minh City, previously named Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, with 9 million people living in the metropolitan area.

Finnair will operate to Eilat from Helsinki once a week between October 28, 2015 and March 23, 2016. Located where the Negev Desert meets the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat averages 360 sunny days per year and is well regarded for its beaches, water sports and nightlife.

Finnair will fly to Lanzarote once a week between October 31, 2015 and March 26, 2016. Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is known for its volcanic origin and unique nature, charming beaches and small beautiful villages.

Finnair will fly to Fuerteventura once a week between October 25, 2015 and March 20, 2016. Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and is a magnet for surfers, sailors and kayakers.

Finnair will start scheduled flights to Madeira in the summer of 2015, and will fly to the island on Mondays all year starting on April 27, 2015. Madeira is a popular year-around holiday destination that combines beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities and the many attractions of the busy harbor city Funchal.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A320-214 OH-LXL (msn 2146) taxies to the runway at London (Heathrow).

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Vietnam Airlines to bring the Boeing 787 to London Gatwick in July

Aerial View of Coastline of Tahiti

Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) is planning to launch the new Boeing 787 from both Ho Chi Minh City (twice-weekly starting on July 1, 2015) and Hanoi (three days a week starting on July 3, 2015) to London Gatwick per Airline Route.

The airline has eight Boeing 787-9s on order from Boeing with the first due for delivery next year but is expected to lease additional 787s.

The company also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order.

Image: Boeing.

Vietnam Airlines aircraft slide show:

Kenya Airways to introduce the Boeing 787 on the London Heathrow route

Kenya Airways (Nairobi) will introduce the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the daily Nairobi-London (Heathrow) route on January 19, 2015 replacing the current Boeing 777-200 ER equipment per Airline Route.

The airline is very satisfied with the operational performance of its new 787s which are achieving a dispatch reliability rate of 99.4 percent for its five Dreamliners per Boeing and the airline.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, the airline reported its first half financial results: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. A beautiful ramp portrait of Kenya Airways’ first Boeing 787-8 (5Y-KZA, msn 35510).

Kenya Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Eastern Airways and Wideroe sign a new codeshare agreement

Eastern Airways (Humberside) has signed a new codeshare agreement with Wideroe (Bodo) which will provide UK travellers greater Norwegian connections via Aberdeen and Newcastle, along with improved access to the Norwegian carrier’s comprehensive network of Scandinavian destinations.

As part of the codeshare partnership, Eastern Airways “T3” flight code will continue to be placed on services between Aberdeen and Stavanger and Newcastle and Stavanger. It will also be added to Aberdeen – Bergen services, which are bookable on Eastern Airways website and via travel agents from today (November 17).

This codeshare partnership and ticketing agreement will enable Eastern Airways to offer UK connections on its services from Cardiff, Durham Tees Valley, East Midlands, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Norwich, Southampton, Stornoway and Wick John O’Groats to Stavanger and Bergen via Aberdeen.

Onward connections in Norway are also available on Wideroe’s network, including those to Haugesund, Kristiansand, Skien, Kristiansund, Molde and Sandefjord. In turn, Wideroe will be able to offer connections on Eastern Airways’ network to Norwegians travelling onwards within the UK.

Wideroe is Scandinavia’s largest regional airline operating to more than twice as many airports in Norway than any other airline. It flies to 48 international and domestic destinations.

Humberside Airport based Eastern Airways has been providing flights from Aberdeen since 1997 and Newcastle since 2003.

Top Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Eastern Airways currently has a fleet comprising of 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145s, 50-seat SAAB 2000s, 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135s and 29-seat British Aerospace (BAe) Jetstream 41 aircraft. SAAB 2000 G-CERY (msn 008) prepares to depart from Manchester.

Eastern Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Wideroe aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Boeing rolls out the first Boeing 787 for Royal Air Maroc

787-8 RAM #248-ZA152

Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) will soon take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured CN-RGB (msn 43817) has been rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing. Boeing has released this photo on Randy’s Journal.

As previously reported, the carrier is planning to introduce the new type on January 8, 2015 between Casablanca and Paris (Orly) followed by Casablanca-New York (JFK) on February 22, 2015 according to Airline Route.

The airline will also operate the new type to Montreal (Trudeau) starting on March 29, 2015, Algiers (June 14, 2015) and Jeddah (June 14, 2015).

Copyright Photo: Boeing/Tim Stake.

Royal Air Maroc aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways unveils new economy class inflight dining services

New Economy dining experience - service (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has announced a new economy class inflight dining experience:

QANTAS has unveiled details of its new inflight dining offering, which is set to re-define the travel experience for international Economy customers when it rolls out across the network from November 25.

Customers will enjoy a wider choice of meals, fifty per cent larger servings and faster service.

Alan Joyce launches new Economy dining experience (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce (above) said the dining experience will set a new standard for the five million Economy customers travelling across the airline’s international network each year.

Some of the new dishes on the menu include smoky barbecue beef with roasted sweet potato, broccoli and corn; honey roasted chicken farro salad and seasonal vegetables with pumpkin and sesame seeds; scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, tomato, hash brown and baked beans; and Ruby & Roy’s traditional Greek yoghurt with granola.

Pulled beef sliders with capsicum and tomato relish, Weis ice-cream bars, Maltesers and fresh fruit are among the self-serve grazing options. Shortly after take-off passengers will be served a welcome drink from Bickford’s signature range, featuring flavours exclusive to Qantas such as Lemon & Elderflower, and Pink Grapefruit.

A team of QANTAS food and beverage experts spent 12 months researching and developing the new menu and service, speaking with customers, visiting local producers and suppliers and researching food and dining trends. Trials were run on a number of international flights and customer satisfaction on those flights almost doubled, hitting record highs.

The new Economy dining experience will be available on the following dates:

November 25, 2014: Melbourne-Dubai-London

November 26, 2014: Sydney-Dubai-London

November 28, 2014: Tasman

December 5, 2014: Perth-Auckland seasonal service

December 9, 2014: US services; Los Angeles, New York and Dallas/Fort Worth

January 3, 2015: Vancouver seasonal service

January 13, 2015: Singapore

February 10, 2015: Hong Kong

March 1, 2015: Santiago, Johannesburg, Honolulu, Bangkok, Shanghai, Narita, Manila, Jakarta and Noumea

QANTAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: According to the airline, “QANTAS Economy customers will soon enjoy a new inflight dining offering, set to re-define the travel experience on QANTAS international flights when it rolls out across the network from November 25, 2014″:

Ryanair announces a new base at Bratislava

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its first Slovakian base (overall the 71st base) at Bratislava in March 2015 with two based aircraft and 16 routes including a new route to Madrid.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVK (msn 40298) roars into the sky at the Dublin home base.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

Ryanair logo-3

Destinations from Bratislava:

Ryanair Bratislava destinations

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