At least two passengers used stolen passports to board Malaysia flight MH 370, U.S. Navy joins the search for the missing Boeing 777
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) still remains missing. However a vessel from Singapore participating in the search has found “suspicious objects” according to the Los Angeles Times. The objects have no yet been conformed as coming from the aircraft. 40 ships 22 airplanes are searching a larger area around the discovered oil slick (see above). The U.S. Navy has joined the search. There are also some indications that the aircraft may have turned around according to the radar records.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile at least two passengers travelled on flight MH 370 with stolen passports (some media reports have it at four passengers) adding to the suspicion of terrorism in bringing down the flight. According to CNN, the two passengers who used the stolen passengers appear to have purchased the tickets together. The passengers were using Beijing as a connection point for on-going travel to Europe.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
5 theories on what could have happened to MH 370 according to the The Straits Times: CLICK HERE
Malaysia Airlines issued this latest statement:
More than 24 hours after the lost of contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, the search and rescue teams are still unable to detect the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.
The airline is doing its utmost to provide support to the affected family members, this includes immediate financial aid.
The airline has deployed a team of 94 caregivers consisting of well-trained staff and also Tzu Chi Foundation members to provide emotional support to the families. The airline will also be deploying another set of caregivers to Beijing later today.
Last night, a Malaysia Airlines’ Senior Management team arrived at Beijing to address the media and met with family members. Families of affected passengers in Kuala Lumpur were also met by the team.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines will set up a command center at Kota Bharu, Malaysia or Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam as soon as the location of the aircraft is established and the airline will make the necessary arrangements.
The airline is continuously working with the authorities in providing assistance. In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time.
Video: Follow MH 370 on radar via Flightradar24:
Video: The latest press briefing in Malaysia:
Map: Google Maps.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday reported “hairline cracks” on about 40 787s in production according to Reuters. The wings are made by Mitsubishi. The cracks were also discovered on the new 787-9 which could delay the introduction of the new type. No cracks were found on aircraft currently flying with the airlines.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
IndiGo Airlines (Delhi) flight 6E 031 from Delhi to Kathmandu with 175 passengers, one infant and six crew members was evacuated on landing today (March 8) at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. Smoke and fire was detected in the undercarriage of the Airbus A320 (the pictured VT-IEU) according to The Times of India. There were no injuries in the evacuation.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 VT-IEU (msn 5092) prepares to land in Dubai.
Breaking News: Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is missing, Vietnamese Navy says it crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc Island, oil slick spotted, two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 (operated with the pictured Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO, msn 28420) departed Kuala Lumpur at 0041 local time on March 8 bound for Beijing, China. The flight has gone missing and did not enter Chinese airspace. Radar contact was lost with the aircraft near Vietnam airspace over water (Gulf of Thailand). The aircraft was last reported to be flying at 35,000 feet. There was no communication from the crew about any problem. Search and Rescue units are now searching for the aircraft.
According to CNN, “the Vietnamese Navy confirmed the plane crashed into the Gulf of Thailand. According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, a regional commander, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc island.”
However no debris has been located.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read the latest report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
A 12-mile oil slick has been discovered between Malaysia and Vietnam by a Vietnamese Navy Antonov An-26 according to the New York Times. The last reported position of the aircraft was between Malaysia and Vietnam. It is unclear if this is from the aircraft.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
There are now reports that at least two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft which is now raising the question that this may have led to a possible terrorist attack.
The Telegraph explores this issue (along with a picture of the oil slick): CLICK HERE
Phu Quoc Island is on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, southwest of Phnom Penh and west of Ho Chi Minh City (Google Maps):
The airline initially issued this statement:
We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH 370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning (March 8) bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30 am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40 am (local Malaysia time).
Flight MH 370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities. Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft. Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.
Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members. The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.
The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Meanwhile, the public may contact +603 7884 1234 for further info.
Malaysia Airlines issued this latest update midday on March 8:
Malaysia Airlines is still unable to establish any contact or determine the whereabouts of flight MH 370. Earlier today (March 8), Subang ATC had lost contact with the aircraft at 2.40 am. The last known position of MH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude).
We are still trying to locate the current location of the flight based on the last known position of the aircraft. We are working with the International search and rescue teams in trying to locate the aircraft. So far, we have not received any emergency signals or distress messages from MH 370. We are working with authorities and assure that all sources are deployed to assist with the search and rescue mission.
The passenger manifest will not be released until all families of the passengers have been informed. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members.
We are deploying our “Go Team” to Beijing which will depart Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 4.30 pm with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
The passengers are of 14 different nationalities. All crew on-board are Malaysians.
Please take note that the earlier statement did not include the number of Indian nationals. This was due to confusion between the country code of Indonesia and India.
The below table shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:-
|China/Taiwan||154 including infant|
|USA||3 including infant|
Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize our full support.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.
Shortly after midnight, Sunday March 9 local time, Malaysia Airlines issued this update:
Malaysia Airlines humbly asks all Malaysians and people around the world to pray for flight MH 370.
It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH 370 at 1.30 am. The search and rescue team is yet to determine the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
An international search and rescue mission from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam was mobilized this morning (March 8). At this stage, they have failed to find evidence of any wreckage. The sea mission will continue overnight while the air mission will recommence at daylight.
We are dispatching all information as and when we receive it. The situation in Beijing is also being monitored closely. As many families of passengers are in China, we have deployed our “Go Team” to Beijing with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
Immediate families of passengers are advised to gather at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Travel arrangements and expenses will be borne by Malaysia Airlines. Once, the whereabouts of the aircraft is determined, Malaysia Airlines will fly members of the family to the location.
Our sole priority now is to provide all assistance to the families of the passengers and our staff. We are also working closely with the concerned authorities in the search and rescue operation
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is pictured arriving at Stockholm (Arlanda) before the accident.
We will update this initial report with more information as it becomes available.
Satellite Weather – Southeast Asia from Meteoblue. The current weather appears to be mostly clear over Vietnam:
Other Airline News: CLICK HERE
WestJet (Calgary) will start a new route linking the Toronto (Pearson) hub with Phoenix, Arizona starting on October 26. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft on a daily basis per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWSO (msn 32759) plans to land in Las Vegas.
SriLankan Airlines (Colombo) will become a full member of oneworld®, offering the alliance’s complete range ofservices and benefits with effect from Thursday May 1, 2014 – as the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to become part of any global airline groups.
The national airline of Sri Lanka received clearance to board oneworld, the world’s leading quality airline alliance, after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Cathay Pacific Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team.
Its addition to oneworld will come a month after the alliance welcomes TAM and US Airways on board, on March 31, concluding the group’s biggest yet expansion program.
SriLankan will bring two new destinations on to the oneworld network – Sri Lanka’s new Hambantota International and India’s Tiruchirapalli.
SriLankan already code-shares with oneworld members Malaysia Airlines and S7 Airlines with code-share agreements with a number of other oneworld partners at an advanced stage of discussion.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The Airbus A340s will be phased out and replaced by newer A330s by late 2015. The company also has seven A350-900s on order. Airbus A340-311 4R-ADB (msn 033) completes its final approach at Bangkok.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have announced the addition of new regional service in June from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, West Virginia, Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky, and Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Memphis, Tennessee, adding three new routes to the airline’s network.
Following the launch of the new service, American Airlines and US Airways will serve 127 destinations in 25 countries from Philadelphia.
US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Charleston will be operated once daily (except Saturday) by regional partner Piedmont Airlines with a Bombardier DHC-8 aircraft.
US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Lexington will be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.
US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Memphis will also be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Piedmont Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-102 N936HA (msn 145) approaches Washington’s Reagan National Airport for landing.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has released the 2015 SkyMiles U.S. Award redemption charts as part of its commitment to inform members of upcoming SkyMiles program improvements. Of the 44 Award level pricing changes, more than 95 percent of the changes reflect a decrease in the miles needed for Award Travel redemption by SkyMiles members.
The new SkyMiles U.S. Award chart: CLICK HERE
According to the airline, “With the release of the U.S. Award chart, members can learn even more about Delta’s 2015 SkyMiles program including how the new five-tier Award structure will be implemented. The lowest level for SkyMiles Saver Awards will remain at 25,000 miles plus taxes and fees for an Economy Class Award ticket for travel within the U.S. andCanada excluding Hawaii. The introduction of two additional redemption tiers will offer members more price points for Awards and is designed to complement new features such as new One-Way Award tickets which will start as low as 12,500 miles plus taxes and fees within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii and the ability to redeem Miles + Cash Award options. In addition, members will experience significant improvements to award-redemption functionality at delta.com and Delta reservations in 2015.”
Delta is moving the emphasis of the mileage awards program to its premium flyers who pay more for their tickets.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-432 ER N841MH (msn 29714) with the special “100 Years – American Cancer Society – The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” logo and inscription arrives in Las Vegas.
United Airlines (Chicago) today unveiled a new wide body aircraft maintenance hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport.
United invested $35 million to construct the facility, which will help support the airline’s widebody aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB, which United will begin flying in 2018. The hangar also expands United’s maintenance capability for widebodies by 33 percent at Newark Liberty.
United has more than 13,000 employees in the New York metropolitan area, 700 of whom are dedicated to technical operations and maintenance at Newark Liberty. Construction of the 90,000-square-foot hangar also had a significant economic impact on the region, as more than 600 local workers helped build the facility.
In November 2013, United also completed construction of a 125,000-square-foot maintenance hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport. Together with this new hangar at Newark, United has significantly increased its maintenance capabilities on the East Coast.
Although this video has been out for a while, I came across this great “inside look” video of an Airbus A380 of Lufthansa approaching and landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from the cockpit perspective of the flight crew. If you are not a pilot, I think you will enjoy the professionalism of the crew as they give us an inside glimpse of their highly precise world. Thank you Lufthansa.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com.
Video: PilotsEye TV:
EVA Air (Taipei) wants to expand its route map with more flights to North America. The airline is planning to add new routes to both Chicago (O’Hare) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) according to the Taipei Times.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Earlier this year EVA Air put out this statement on its North American expansion:
Starting in June 2014, EVA Air will increase North American service from 45 flights per week to 55, boosting frequency to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. By adding 22 percent more flights, EVA will also expand capacity, offer passengers greater convenience and provide more flights between North America and Taiwan than any other airline.
Since joining Star Alliance in June 2013, EVA has experienced growing demand for its services among business travelers. There has been a substantial increase in the numbers of business passengers flying the airline from North America to Southeast Asia via its hub in Taipei, Taiwan. Bookings for EVA’s Royal Laurel Class business cabin have also climbed. The luxurious service was launched on the New York – Taipei route in June 2012.
The average load on EVA’s North America flights surpassed 80 percent in 2013 and company officials expect bookings to keep climbing in 2014. It will accommodate this growth and the added frequency by taking delivery of three Boeing 777-300 ERs in the second quarter of 2014 and deploying the new aircraft on long-haul flights between North America and Taiwan. EVA will add the service in two phases. It will increase:
- Vancouver from three to four flights per week on 2 June, 2014.
- Los Angeles from 17 to 20 flights per week, New York from five to daily flights and Toronto from three to four flights per week on 4 June, 2014.
- San Francisco from 12 to 14 flights per week and Los Angeles from 20 to 21 flights per week on 3 July, 2014.
North America is a major market for EVA. In addition to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, it operates five flights a week to Seattle/Tacoma. The airline has seen stable market-share growth in all six cities it serves, lifted by not only Chinese and Asian passengers but also American business travelers.
※EVA Frequency Increase in North America
|City||Current Frequency||Added from||New Frequency|
|Vancouver||3 per week||2 June||4 per week|
|Toronto||3 per week||4 June||4 per week|
|New York||5 per week||4 June||7 per week|
|Los Angeles||17 per week||4 June/3 July||20 per week/21 per week|
|San Francisco||12 per week||3 July||14 per week|
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. EVA Air is proud to be in the Star Alliance and is benefitting from the membership. Boeing 777-35E ER B-16701 (msn 32639) now displays the Star Alliance colors and is seen arriving at the popular destination of Los Angeles.
EuroLOT (eurolot.com) (Warsaw) on March 4 started operations into Brussels from Gdansk, Poland.
Since February 28, EuroLOT passengers can also fly to Milan from Gdansk Airport with stopovers in Lublin. The connection will be operated twice a week – on Fridays and Sundays.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) SP-EQG (msn 4423) arrives at Brussels.
Routes from Gdansk:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced details of its upcoming expansion at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with new low-fare service to three destinations beginning June 19, 2014: Charleston, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; and Nassau, Bahamas (subject to receipt of government operating authority).
JetBlue plans to offer twice-daily service to both Charleston and Hartford/Springfield, as well as once-daily year-round service to Nassau. In addition to these three new destinations from Washington, JetBlue will boost its existing service to Tampa, Florida, with a second daily flight effective July 2, 2014.
Together, these six new daily departures represent half the new flights JetBlue has earned the right to operate by acquiring slots as a result of the recent American Airlines-US Airways divestiture proceedings. More details of JetBlue’s DCA expansion, which will bring the airline’s daily departure count to 30, will be announced later this year.
This summer JetBlue will offer customers 24 daily roundtrip flights from DCA to eight cities: Boston, Charleston, Hartford/Springfield, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Nassau, Orlando, and Tampa, as well as the only nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Washington’s popular downtown airport.
JetBlue’s three newest Reagan National destinations will be served with 100-seat Embraer ERJ 190 jets, featuring spacious two-by-two seating, the most legroom in coach (c), seatback entertainment including 36 channels of free DIRECTV® programming and more than 100 channels of free SiriusXM® satellite radio (d), unlimited free snacks and soft drinks, and JetBlue’s acclaimed in-flight customer service. With JetBlue, customers can also enjoy a first checked bag free of charge (e).
Schedules for JetBlue’s New Reagan National Destinations
|DCA – CHS||CHS – DCA|
|12:20 p.m. – 01:53 p.m.||07:25 a.m. – 08:52 a.m.|
|06:30 p.m. – 08:06 p.m.||02:35 p.m. – 04:04 p.m.|
|Saturday schedule varies slightly|
|DCA – BDL||BDL – DCA|
|09:25 a.m. – 10:46 a.m.||06:35 a.m. – 07:59 a.m.|
|07:25 p.m. – 08:50 p.m.||06:30 p.m. – 07:54 p.m.|
|DCA – NAS||NAS – DCA|
|09:55 a.m. – 12:29 p.m.||01:55 – 04:30 p.m.|
|Saturday schedule varies slightly. *Subject to receipt of government operating authority|
In addition to its presence at Reagan National, JetBlue also serves the National Capital Region with daily flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N258JB (msn 19000047) in the Windowpane tail design arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Mandala Airlines (Tiger Airways Indonesia) (Jakarta) continues to lose money. As we previously reported, the airline was resurrected on April 5, 2012 as a joint venture between Tigerair (Singapore) (49%) and Saratoga Capital (51%) under the Tigerair brand. According to this report by Jakarta Post, Saratoga will continue to support the Indonesian carrier. There are unconfirmed reports that Tigerair will leave the joint venture.
Mandala suspended nine routes last month as it tries to cut its losses. The airline blamed high fuel costs.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 PK-RMQ (msn 5335) approaches the runway at Bangkok. Under the joint venture, Mandala removed its very colorful Mandala logo on the tail and instead adopted Tiger stripes on the tail. It is still operating under the Mandala name but under the Tigerair low-fare business plan.
Current Tigerair routes:
South Korea has criticized a North Korea missile launch after the test rocket came close to a Chinese airliner flying with more than 200 passengers from Tokyo to Shenyang in China according to the BBC. China expressed concern and Beijing is seeking more information!
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
American Eagle (Envoy) (Dallas/Fort Worth) flight AA 3400 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Moline, Illinois (Quad Cities) diverted to Greenville, Texas last night (March 5) after the pilot reported “smoke in the cockpit”. The flight with 45 passengers and three crew members landed safely according to the Dallas News.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is celebrating the accomplishment of becoming the latest FAA designated Flag/Domestic Air Carrier. The airline issued this statement:
National Airlines is proud to announce that on February 28, 2014, the FAA approved National to become the United States’ newest Flag/Domestic air carrier. National Airlines has a long history of supporting governments and militaries around the world — by, among other things, flying ad hoc cargo shipments in and out of crisis areas and also operating charter passenger operations for sports teams in the United States, visitors to/from Cuba, and contractors traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. US Flag/Domestic authority will allow National Airlines to expand its services to include conducting scheduled passenger flights throughout the United States and across the globe. It also provides an opportunity for National Airlines to continue its support of the US government travelers under the Fly America Act, whereby US government funded travelers fly on US Flag Carriers whenever available.
National Airlines maintains the highest standards of safety, security, and compliance. “This is nowhere more important than in the Middle East, which has been a significant market for National Airlines,” said Glen Joerger, National Airlines’ President. “This operating authority will further strengthen our position as an emerging passenger carrier of choice for discerning customers seeking US Flag service in the region,” he added. “This tremendous addition to National’s operating certificate reinforces our corporate commitment to serve every facet of transportation and logistics for our key clientele around the globe,” continued Joerger.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) prepares to land at Dubai.
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced plans to suspend its thrice-weekly service to Taipei, Taiwan in April and reassign that route’s 294-seat Airbus 330-200 aircraft to its nonstop service to Seoul, South Korea, which will operate five times per week.
Up-gauging to the newer A330-200 aircraft will provide South Korean passengers with enhanced amenities including in-seat in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft and the airline’s new Extra Comfort preferred seating product. The new aircraft will be available on all flights to Incheon International Airport from April 23, 2014.
Hawaiian Airlines flight HA 807 will operate its final flight from Honolulu to Taipei on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Return Flight HA808 will operate for the final time on Monday, April 7, 2014 from Taipei to Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines’ reservations department will be contacting passengers booked to fly after that date to accommodate them on other airlines.
Also in April, Hawaiian Airlines will launch thrice-weekly service to Beijing, China, subject to government approval, its 10th international gateway launched since November 2010. The airline has also scheduled new nonstop summer service from Los Angeles and Oakland, California to Kona, Hawai‘i Island and Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Airbus A330-243 N382HA (msn 1171) climbs away from the Honolulu hub.
Jet Airways (Mumbai) launched a new daily nonstop service from Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi staring on March 1, 2014.
Jet Airways flight 9W 550 departed Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 2025 and arrived in Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2310 (LT). On the return leg, the flight 9W 549 will depart Abu Dhabi at 1045 (LT) and arrive in Hyderabad at 1610.
Jet Airways currently operates a daily flight each from Delhi, Kochi and Chennai and 11 flights a week from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi.
The airline will deploy Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the new route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JBF (msn 35082) arrives in Bangkok.
Fly Romania (Bucharest) is a new airline that is planning to launch operations in April with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80s (MD-80s). The new carrier is planning to launch operations on April 15. The first routes will be from Bucharest to Timisoara and Verona followed by Genoathe next day. Bergamo and Tulcea join on April 18. The route map will be expanded in June with new service to Antalya, Barcelona and Hahn (near Frankfurt).
The airline issued this first schedule:
Qatar Airways (Doha) will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in June and will inaugurate A380 luxury flights with a daily flight to London (Heathrow). The airline has 13 on order. The first Airbus A380-861 will be registered A7-APA (msn 137) and is already painted pending delivery.
Qatar Airways is also the launch customer for the new Airbus A350, with 80 A350s on order. The first will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year and will reportedly be assigned to the New York (JFK) route (not yet conformed by the airline).
Qatar says it has a total of 300 Airbus and Boeing jets on order, including options.
The fast-growing airline issued this statement and photos today:
At a press conference this morning (March 5), on the first day of ITB Berlin, Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker together with the airline’s new Country Manager for Germany and Austria, Günter Saurwein, made a series of announcements regarding the airline’s highly anticipated first Airbus A380-800, with the first display of the new luxury First Class seats (above) that will form part of the aircraft’s tri-class configuration.
With a customized interior meeting the high demand specifications of Qatar Airways, the airline´s new A380s will undoubtedly be the talk of aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike when the first aircraft enters service this year, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.
The new First Class A380 seat, revealed by Mr. Al Baker at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Berlin, Mr Klaus Wowereit as Guest of Honour, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 19-inch television screens.
Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new First Class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the United Kingdom, who will also benefit from our Premium Terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.
The arrival this year of the airline´s first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed with specifications required for the super jumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which will be the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.
Qatar Airways is also celebrating a year of intensive fleet growth and recently becoming a member of the oneworld global alliance network, as well as exclusive codeshare partnerships with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines, offering customers seamless journeys.
In addition to the 13 A380 aircraft the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’s launch customer. This forms part of Qatar Airways plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft, worth more than US $50 billion, on order, including the Boeing 787 and 777X.
Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker continued: “The last 12 months have been witness to huge strides taken forward by Qatar Airways in our desire to be the world’s leading airline, flying the youngest and most modern fleet. Most notably, we became the only airline in the Gulf to join the prestigious oneworld global alliance and I am thrilled for what this means not just for us as an airline, but for our passengers as well.”
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 136 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
As part of its aggressive expansion program, Qatar Airways will launch routes to a further six new destinations during 2014: Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has agreed to be the launch customer in Europe for Exede® In The Air in-flight Internet service from ViaSat Inc. To begin, ViaSat plans to deliver the service to El Al Boeing 737s flying routes from Tel Aviv into several European cities. The two companies plan to immediately begin working toward certification and installation of the Exede terminals on EL AL aircraft with a target date to launch service within one year.
For El Al, ViaSat is responsible for providing and managing a complete in-flight Internet service to the aircraft, including airborne terminals, antennas, radomes, and air time from the Eutelsat KA-SAT high-capacity Ka-band satellite. Additional details of what services will be offered to EL AL passengers will be announced closer to the launch of service.
Exede in-flight Internet service is designed to eclipse the service quality and speeds of other in-cabin airline broadband services. The major differentiator is an innovative, high-capacity Ka-band satellite system developed by ViaSat. The more favorable economics of the ViaSat system enable airlines to provide a consistent, high-speed service level to each passenger, rather than simply an aggregate amount of bandwidth to the plane that leaves passengers competing for service. The system is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q 4X-EKO (msn 30287) climbs away from Geneva.
Canadian North (Yellowknife) will launch a new weekly and seasonal Iqaluit-Halifax-St. John’s route from June 20 through September 5. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36Q C-GCNW (msn 28760) departs from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
Current route map with the new seasonal route to the Maritimes:
Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced plans to significantly expand its Dallas presence by operating new daily nonstop flights from Dallas’ Love Field (DAL) to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). In addition to adding new service from Love Field to major business destinations such as New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, the airline plans to increase flights to current destinations (San Francisco and Los Angeles) from Dallas. Virgin America is seeking to secure two Love Field gates in order to expand flight options for Dallas travelers, as the airport’s centralized location makes it a more convenient choice for Dallas-based and Dallas-destined business travelers. If successful, the airline would move its current operations from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Love Field in October 2014. Virgin America would be the only carrier at Love Field to offer guests three classes of service, WiFi, in-seat power outlets and touch-screen seatback entertainment (including live TV) on every flight. In addition, the airline operates a new fleet of Airbus A320-Family aircraft, which are significantly quieter than the commercial aircraft currently in use at Love Field.
Virgin America’s ability to offer these new flights to Dallas travelers is contingent on obtaining two Love Field gates that are being divested by American Airlines as part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreement resolving American Airline’s merger with US Airways. As part of the merger settlement, DOJ required the divestiture of gates at several domestic airports to facilitate entry and expansion by low-cost airlines, where consumer competition could be negatively impacted by the unprecedented consolidation this latest merger represents. Virgin America’s new flights from Dallas would provide vigorous competition in a market where at present one carrier controls 80 percent of the gates at Love Field (16 of 20 gates). Earlier this year, Virgin America invested in divestiture assets being sold as part of the merger settlement, including 12 airport slots at LGA (six slot pairs) and eight slots at DCA (four slot pairs), both airports where legacy carriers have historically dominated operations and where consumers have suffered from lack of service competition and higher fares as a consequence. With the planned divestiture of Love Field gates, Virgin America would be able to offer Dallascustomers a competing network of flights to large business markets from Love Field.
The Love Field plans would significantly expand Virgin America’s presence in Texas, which now consists of three daily nonstop flights from both LAX and SFO to DFW as well as its popular SFO-Austin flights. In addition, the new routes would expand the airline’s presence in both Washington D.C. and the New York area. The carrier will be only the second low-cost airline to serve all three major New York-area airports. Virgin America has built a loyal following of bi-coastal flyers with its nonstop flights from LAX and SFO to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and EWR.
Virgin America’s service to and from DAL would begin from October 2014, after the expiration of the Wright Amendment, which has restricted flights at Love Field since 1979. The airline would plan to operate daily nonstop flights from October 2014 and would announce full schedules for the following routes should the Love Field gates be approved:
- DAL to LGA (four roundtrip flights a day).
- DAL to DCA (four roundtrip flights a day).
- DAL to LAX (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
- DAL to SFO (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
In addition, the airline would add two roundtrip flights a day from DAL to Chicago O’Hare in early 2015.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N524VA (msn 3204) “Dark Horse” approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The move by Virgin America to offer their highly-rated services at Love Field brings back memories of short-lived Legend Airlines (please click on the photo for additional information).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (March 5) is ending scheduled McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82/83 (MD-82/83) “Super 80″ service at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) according to Airline Route. The aging type was being deployed on the Chicago (O’Hare)-LGA route.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The older AA aircraft are now being repainted in the new livery as they will be replaced. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N3507A (msn 49801) departs from runway 27R at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Garuda Indonesia Airways (Jakarta) today (March 5) has become the 20th member of SkyTeam. SkyTeam issued this statement:
SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has welcomed Garuda Indonesia as its 20th member and second airline from Southeast Asia. Garuda’s membership adds Jakarta as an alternative gateway to and from South East Asia, as well as 40 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network served uniquely by the alliance.
Garuda flies to 64 destinations in 12 countries, including 40 domestic destinations. SkyTeam customers from every continent will benefit from easier access to Indonesia’s key business and tourism destinations, facilitated by Garuda’s partnerships with alliance members.
The airline boosts SkyTeam’s presence in Australia with service to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney; and in Tokyo with flights to both Narita and Haneda airports. Garuda will increase its service to Europe in May this year with a new route between Jakarta and London’s Gatwick airport.
As part of the requirements of joining SkyTeam, Garuda is implementing the alliance’s customer-focused initiatives. These include SkyPriority – priority airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide – which has been rolled out at over 900 airports globally. Effective immediately, Garuda’s 19 million annual passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles when flying on SkyTeam member-operated flights. Members of other SkyTeam airlines’ frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on Garuda Indonesia operated flights.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Garuda Indonesia has added new Boeing 777-300 ERs for its long-range routes. Boeing 777-3U3 ER PK-GIC (msn 40075) departs from Paine Field near Everett.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) today announced new, nonstop jet service on 12 routes, including a new destination in the Allegiant network – Palm Beach, Florida.
New routes announced include:
Seasonal Nonstop Service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from:
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa - begins June 6, 2014 with fares as low as $92*
- Great Falls, Montana - begins June 6, 2014 with fares as low as $88*
- Kalispell, Montana - begins June 5, 2014 with fares as low as $89*
- McAllen, Texas - begins June 5, 2014 with fares as low as $99*
Seasonal Nonstop Service to Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) from:
- Cincinnati, Ohio - begins May 30, 2014 with fares as low as $59*
- Columbus, Ohio - begins May 29, 2014 with fares as low as $54*
- Lexington, Kentucky - begins May 29, 2014 with fares as low as $54*
- Syracuse, New York - begins May 29, 2014 with fares as low as $64*
Seasonal Nonstop Service to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) from:
- Cincinnati, Ohio - begins May 15, 2014 with fares as low as $59*
Year-Round Nonstop Service to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) from:
- Asheville, North Carolina - begins May 5, 2014 with fares as low as $64*
Year-Round Nonstop Service to Phoenix-Mesa International Airport (AZA) from:
- Colorado Springs, Colorado - begins May 15, 2014 with fares as low as $49*
- Stockton, California - begins May 15, 2014 with fares as low as $58*
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N420NV (msn 49424) prepares to land in Las Vegas.
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) on March 2 launched a new daily service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong with a first flight celebration that included a lion dance and traditional roast pig cutting ceremony.
The new service complements Cathay Pacific’s current four-times-daily service from John F. KennedyInternational Airport (JFK) in New York.
The Newark service is operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Newark is Cathay Pacific’s fifth gateway in the United States, and seventh in North America. The airline currently serves Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, New York (JFK), San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.
The flight schedule for Cathay Pacific’s Newark (EWR) service, is as follows (all times local and subject to change):
|Flight no||From||To||Departure/Arrival||Days of operation|
|CX899||EWR||HKG||0110/0600 +1 day||Daily|
Daylight saving time:
|Flight no||From||To||Departure/Arrival||Days of operation|
|CX899||EWR||HKG||0150/0540 +1 day||Daily|
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPC (msn 34432) climbs away from Los Angeles.
Air China (Beijing) following up on our report last month, will commence Beijing-Washington (Dulles) nonstop service on June 10, 2014, making Washington the 7th North American destination that Air China serves alongside New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Honolulu and Vancouver.
The four-times weekly service CA 817/8 will be offered on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The outbound flight leaves Beijing at 13:00 and arrives in Washington at 14:35 local time. The return flight leaves Washington at 16:35 local time and arrives in Beijing at 18:15 Beijing time the following day.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-39L ER B-2040 (msn 38680) climbs away from Paine Field near Everett, Washington.
Nordwind Airlines (Moscow) has announced a long term lease agreement for four new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2015.
Nordwind’s fleet is 51 aircraft today, including Boeing 777-200 ERs, 767-300 ERs, 757-200s, 737-800s and Airbus A321s.
Nordwind says it has been able to successfully operate a mixed fleet of aircraft despite difficulties because of its keen understanding of the environment it operates in. The airline has been able to maintain profitability with modern aircraft and technology.
According to the airline, “the company is focusing on running the airline efficiently, reducing inefficient flying and implementing strong capacity discipline by “matching” the right size aircraft with each market, while improving customer satisfaction.”
Further from the company, “According to 2013 statistics, Nordwind transported 3.7 million passengers (up 69% from 2012). Among the top-ten Russian airlines, Nordwind is the fastest growing, having a 4.8 times higher rate than the industry average. In 2014 the company plans to scale new heights – begin scheduled flights and expand its fleet even more to reach 6 million passengers”.
“With this brand new aircraft commitments, Nordwind will continue to gradually grow and modernize its operating fleet with more frequencies and destinations for the convenience of our passengers. It provides best-in-class efficiency, economics, reliability and passenger comfort that Nordwind needs for its fleet renewal initiative.” said Oguz Senol Yuce, a Member of Board of Directors. He added ”Nordwind expects to finalize more brand new 737-800s for 2015.”
Passenger traffic carried by Nordwind grew 38.7% in January 2014 compared with January 2013 with a 93.8% load factor. This is the highest load factor in the country.
Copyright Photos: Nordwind Airlines.
TAM Linhas Aereas (TAM Airlines) (Sao Paulo) will introduce Fortaleza-Miami weekly flights with Airbus A330 aircraft starting on May 31 according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 PT-MVO (msn 949) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Air Canada (Montreal) first Boeing 787-8 (C-GHPQ, msn 35257) has been painted and is due to be delivered soon. The carrier is expected to introduce the new type domestically on May 1 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) and will operate on select routes as the new type is introduced to the system (reportedly on select flights from Toronto to London Heathrow and Zurich). However the new type will be dedicated to the Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) route starting on July 1 and the Toronto-Tel Aviv route also in July.
Read more about the new type: CLICK HERE
Video: Air Canada.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced the next phase of its international service by offering Customers new Southwest Airlines flights to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico, as well as other new domestic and international flying, as the carrier extended flight schedules through October 31, 2014.
Beginning August 10, 2014, Southwest Airlines will operate daily, nonstop flights between:
- Cancun, Mexico, and Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, and (Saturdays only) Milwaukee
- San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, and Santa Ana/Orange County
- Nassau, Bahamas, and (Saturdays only) Atlanta
As the planned conversion of wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways’ destinations continues, Southwest intends to serve five countries previously served by AirTran by the end of this year. Southwest previously announced service to Aruba, Nassau, and Montego Bay, beginning on July 1, 2014, and throughout this booking window is adding domestic connectivity through international gateway cities to many of the more than 80 cities served by Southwest Airlines across the United States.
Southwest’s phased rollout of international nonstop with domestic connecting service also brings new options for Denver customers who have made Southwest Airlines the largest air carrier in Colorado.
Beginning in October 2014, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop service between Denver and:
- Cancun, with daily roundtrip flights beginning on October 7, 2014; and
- San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, with Saturday-only service beginning on October 11, 2014
Some flights will be operated by AirTran Airways which is being slowly integrated into Southwest Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N730SW (msn 27862) completes its final bank on the river approach into downtown Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continues to fill-in the void left by United Airlines (Chicago) at the slowly disappearing Cleveland hub. Delta will launch Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ700 service from Hartford/Springfield to Cleveland with one daily flight starting on June 5 per Airline Route. The operator is not specified, although GoJet Airlines is a likely candidate.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N390CA (msn 10106) of GoJet Airlines operating as a Delta Connection carrier taxies at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
Cities served by GoJet Airlines for both Delta and United:
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) is planning to launch its second route to Canada, this time Toronto (Pearson). According to Airline Route, the new route will be started on June 25 with Airbus A340-600s operating three days a week.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 B-6053 (msn 577) in SkyTeam livery rotates at Los Angeles.
Seaborne Airlines (San Juan) starting today begins new nonstop daily service from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) to The Princess Julianna International Airport (SXM) in St. Maarten becoming the 19th airport Seaborne has launched during its expansion throughout the Caribbean.
Nonstop Daily Flights:
San Juan, PR (SJU) Departure Time 6:45 pm
St. Maarten (SXM) Arrival Time 7:45 pm
St. Maarten (SXM) Departure Time 8:00 am
San Juan, PR (SJU) Arrival Time 9:10 am
Fares from San Juan to St. Maarten begin as low as $88 one way, taxes and fees included.
Copyright Photo: Raul Sepulveda/AirlinersGallery.com. Seaborne has embraced the Pacific Coastal livery as its own with its SAAB 340 fleet. The carrier has modified the tail emblems to more appropriate Caribbean animals. SAAB 340B N353SA (msn 351) sits on the San Juan ramp.
Current Route Map: Seaborne’s expanding route system with an enlarged SJU hub:
Air Armenia (Yerevan, Armenia) on April 30 will launch twice-weekly Airbus A320 service to Paris (CDG). The Armenian carrier will also start twice-weekly flights to Athens on the same day per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EK32039 (msn 1439) approaches the runway at Moscow (Vnukovo).
British Airways (London) today (March 3) launched the new London (Heathrow)-Austin, Texas Boeing 787 route with the help of Texan Jerry Hall (formerly married to Mick Jagger). The inaugural flight is utilizing 787-8 G-ZBJC (see below).
Austin is British Airways’ 25th North American gateway and third in the state of Texas (Houston and Dallas being the other two). This is the first trans-Atlantic route between Austin and London.
The callsign for British Airways aircraft is Speedbird. The Speedbird symbol was designed by Lee-Elliott for Imperial Airways in 1932. It represents speed, flight and power – and became one of the most successful motifs of the twentieth century.
Speedbird 191 will arrive in Austin later today.
Read the full report from the Daily Mail: CLICK HERE
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways today launches its inaugural flight between Austin, Texas and London, England. This marks the first regular trans-Atlantic nonstop service for the city of Austin. The inaugural flight into Austin Bergstrom International Airport will be met by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and British Airways EVP Americas Sean Doyle.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and inaugural British Airways Captain Dave Willsher flying the 787 Dreamliner Simulator and welcoming British Airways to Austin, Texas. (PRNewsFoto/British Airways)
For this much anticipated route, British Airways will operate one of the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The service will be available five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May. The first flight is perfectly timed to help accommodate travelers from Europe heading to the international South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals.
The new aircraft features three cabins: Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy). The cabins feature stylish new interiors with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full-service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJD (msn 38619) was delivered on September 27, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJC touches down in Austin on the historic first flight.
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) meanwhile posted a half year loss of A$83.7 million ($75 million US). The carrier blamed the loss on too much capacity.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile Virgin Australia has responded back to QANTAS, claiming the airline is flooding the market so that both carriers lose money. Read the response and video from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW VH-ZPR (msn 19000424) arrives in Perth in Western Australia.
Australian government wants to relax ownership rules for QANTAS Airways, won’t back any loans for the state airline
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) may get a break on the restrictive ownership rules and allow for more foreign ownership. The Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott has agreed to relax ownership rules for the state airline after it posted a large first half loss. Currently the airline is restricted to 35 percent for any foreign airline or 25 percent for any single foreign private investor.
However any reforms would need the approval of the Senate which is concerned about the possibility of any loss of jobs overseas due to increased foreign ownership. In return, the government is also ruling out guaranteeing a loan for the struggling flag carrier.
Read the full report from the Associated Press via ABC: CLICK HERE
QANTAS has issued this statement in response to several issues involving the carrier in the Australian media:
ISSUE: Potential removal of elements of the Qantas Sale Act rather than removing fundamental element that limits foreign ownership to 49 per cent.
FACTS: The government has recognized that the Qantas Sale Act puts us at a disadvantage.
The field is either levelled or it’s not; tilting it a bit won’t fix the fundamental problem, especially given Virgin has a two year head start on attracting foreign investors.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas did not meet its obligations to consult with the Australian Services Union (ASU) on redundancies at Sydney International Airport.
FACTS: Qantas intends to run a voluntary redundancy program for full-time employees at Sydney International Airport to better align staffing levels with flight scheduling.
There will be changes to the mix of customer service staff to better suit the peak periods at the airport. This will result in an increase in part-time staff and a reduction in full-time staff. This was announced on 27 February.
Qantas met its obligation to consult and is meeting again with the ASU on our intention to offer voluntary redundancies to employees at Sydney International Terminal.
ISSUE: Claims by Senator Nick Xenophon that Qantas should open its books to prove it is not cross-subsidising Jetstar
FACTS: These claims have been made a number of times over the past few years and Qantas has categorically denied them each time.
Qantas has obligations as an ASX listed company, which require us to publish accurate financial data.
Qantas has previously offered the unions an opportunity to have our financial accounts audited independently on the condition that they would cease making baseless claims about cross subsidisation when it was shown it wasn’t occurring. They didn’t take Qantas up on this offer.
ISSUE: Claims that the carbon tax is a key issue facing Qantas
FACTS: The major issues faces Qantas are not related to carbon pricing.
We have been clear that levelling the playing field is the most important policy measure that needs to be fixed, and with some urgency.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas’ partnership with Modern Family may have cost us up to $4 million.
FACTS: For commercial reasons we don’t disclose the cost of partnerships such as Modern Family, but the $4 million figure is grossly inflated and simply wrong. There are several partners involved in this deal and a large part of Qantas’ contribution has been providing flights.
We’re very comfortable with the investment we’ve made and the return we’re getting. This is not exactly new territory for us and we know that exposure through things like Ellen and Modern Family equals more visitors flying Qantas to Australia.
There are things we will need to cut back on as a business, but investing in Australian tourism and encouraging more people to fly here is key to running an airline.
The Queensland Government (through Tourism Queensland and Screen Queensland) has been closely involved in the Modern Family promotion.
Last year, Qantas helped to bring the Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia in a move that saw a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone, as well as an overall boost in destination awareness for Australia.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
Norwegian Long Haul‘s (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today launched the first nonstop flight between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Los Angeles in California with twice weekly service. As of April 30, Norwegian will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the first time that Sweden has a nonstop flight to Los Angeles.
Twice-weekly nonstop Stockholm – Oakland flights will begin on May 3, 2014 and will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Currently Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm Arlanda operate to New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale/Fort Lauderdale and Bangkok.
Norwegian is currently attempting to transfer the Norwegian Long Haul operations to Norwegian Air International (Dublin). All of the 787s are registered in Ireland.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) lands at Malaga with Olympic skater Sonja Henie on the tail.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is currently now planning to retire its last Airbus A300-600 on July 31, 2014 (moved up from October 25, 2014) per Airline Route. The airline is operating the type of flights from the Bangkok hub to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen and Phuket.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300B4-622R HS-TAZ (msn 787) arrives at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will end American Eagle Bombardier CRJ200 service between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara on April 1 according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. How much longer will AA contract for the small 50-seat CRJ200s on feeder routes? Operated by SkyWest Airlines on contract, CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N864AS (msn 7502) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) according to Bloomberg ”is struggling to find buyers for 11 of its earliest 787 Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion after two airlines dropped orders for the holdover models from the jet’s troubled birth.”
The partially built 787s, now sitting unfinished at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, are known as the “terrible teens” (due to the line numbers). The undelivered aircraft start at line number 10. The “terrible teens” weight more than the current production and flying 787s and will not be able to fly as far if they are finished and delivered to a willing customer looking for a bargain. Most have been parked for around four years according to the report.
Garuda Indonesia is reportedly considering buying the under-performing “terrible teens” according to the report.
The 11 aircraft were originally destined for Lion Air, RwandAir and Transaero Airlines.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Bloomberg originally reported in January 2010 how Boeing was working on trimming the weight of the early 787 Dreamliners.
Read this report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Most of the “terrible teens” are sitting in a sealed manner like the pictured Air India 787-8 VT-ANB (msn 37274, line number 26) once did. VT-ANB was just delivered to Air India on January 31, 2014.
Ryanair (Dublin) on February 27 opened its second base in Belgium at Brussels (Zaventem) with four based Boeing 737-800s. The ultra low-fare airline will operate to 10 destinations (Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga, Palma, Porto, Rome, Valencia and Venice) with 200 weekly flights.
In other news, the carrier on February 26 added extra flights on nine London Stansted routes to Bologna, Dublin, Lanzarote, Marrakech, Paphos, Riga, Salzburg, Santiago and Tours.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVV (msn 40314) with special “Krakow and Malopolska” sub-titles departs from the lunar-like landscape of Tenerife (Sur) in the Canary Islands.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) on February 26 in partnership with Family Mart (a national chain of Japanese stores) unveiled this special “Samurai Blue Jet” livery on Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The new logo jet supports Japan’s national football team in the upcoming FIFA World Cup championship series in Brazil this year.
The special sticker (above) includes the logo of the Japan Football Association (JFA) and photos of 400 supporters who submitted their photos for selection according to the airline.
JA8985 was previously one of JAL’s six Disney Happiness Express logo jets which are being retired. The special logo jet will fly over Japan until July 2014.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Japan Airlines:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will open the carrier’s first East Coast flight attendant crew base in June 2014, at the Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, New Jersey. The new crew domicile will initially be home to 50 Flight Attendants by the end of July, with potential to grow to support Frontier’s expanding operations from the Trenton-Mercer Airport. By June 2014, Frontier will operate service to 17 nonstop cities from Trenton-Mercer airport.
Frontier started service from Trenton-Mercer Airport in November 2012.
The new crew base will join Frontier’s existing crew bases in Chicago and Denver.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N931FR (msn 2253) with Jo-Jo, the Black Bear Cub, on the tail, arrives for landing in Las Vegas.
The number of routes from Trenton is growing as Frontier has found an unserved niche:
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (February 28) commemorated the 15th anniversary of the carrier’s first scheduled service from Fresno, California to Las Vegas, Nevada on February 28, 1999.
Starting with just one plane, Allegiant has grown to a fleet of 68 planes, flying over 7 million passengers last year. Allegiant now serves 99 cities, more than any other domestic low cost carrier.
Over the years, Allegiant has carried over 40 million passengers, and the Company continues to grow, offering more nonstop service in more communities. In 2013, Allegiant announced service in 15 new cities and added 39 new routes to its network, at a time when many airlines are consolidating and cutting service. The company recently announced its 44th consecutive quarter of profitable operation while keeping its average one-way fare under $100.
Allegiant differs in many ways from other U.S. airlines. The Company is focused on low-cost, nonstop leisure travel, providing customers with low base fares while giving passengers the option to pay for the amenities they want, like luggage, seat assignments and priority boarding, without including the cost of things they don’t need in the price of the ticket.
Allegiant operates under the ultra low-fare model and charges extra for additional services.
Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured former SAS Douglas DC-9-21 N127NK (msn 47361) in the original 1998 colors was leased by Allegiant in June 1998 when it received its FAA Part 121 and DOT certification.
Skymark Airlines (Tokyo), Japan’s third largest airline has taken delivery of the first two A330-300s (JA330A and JA330B) out of a total of ten on lease. Skymark Airlines becomes the first Japanese carrier to operate the Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft.
Skymark Airlines’ A330s, configured in a very high comfort, all ”Green Seat” cabin with 271 seats, will start scheduled flights on May 31, 2014 (delayed from April 18) from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka. Skymark Airlines has also announced plans for A330-300 services from Tokyo Haneda to Sapporo and Naha at a later date.
The A330-300 received Validation Type Certificate (VTC) from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in January 2014. Skymark Airlines signed a Flight Hour Services (FHS) components contract with Airbus covering support for all of 10 leased A330 aircraft. Airbus Customer Services will provide spare parts availability guaranteed through an extensive scope of more than 700 line replaceable units. Skymark Airlines’ A330s will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.
Skymark Airlines will soon be adding its first Airbus A380.
Read more from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photos: Airbus. The pictured A330-343 F-WWKH (msn 1483) became JA330A on the handover.