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London Gatwick Airport turns to Amadeus’ cloud-based airport-collaborative decision making portal, will handle 55 flights per hour on one runway

Amadeus Control Room (LRW)

London Gatwick Airport is the first to implement Amadeus’ cloud-based Airport-Collaborative Decision Making Portal (A-CDM) to improve collaborative decision-making processes, Amadeus has announced.

London gatwick logo

Gatwick is now one of a forward-thinking group of airports to join the European-wide A-CDM standard, with airports such as Munich, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid and Zurich.

However, Gatwick followed an innovative approach opting for Amadeus’ cost effective cloud technology to speed up the implementation time of A-CDM, rolling out the Amadeus portal to 300 users in just 8 weeks. Assisted by the Amadeus portal, LGW will handle 55 flights per hour from the world’s busiest runway and estimates up to 2 million additional passengers.

The A-CDM standard’s aim is to bring the entire airport ecosystem, of airport operators, airlines, ground handlers and air traffic management, together to operate more efficiently and transparently, sharing accurate information in a timely manner. This results in better air traffic management with fewer delays and increased capacity, as well as an improved passenger experience thanks to an integrated approach to operations.

Michael Ibbitson, Chief Information Officer of London Gatwick commented: “We have received extremely positive feedback from our Amadeus A-CDM Portal stakeholders. It is easy to use and enables them to make better decisions that contribute to smoother and more efficient operations. The portal supports all partners at the airport involved in activities from refuelling and de-icing and to ground handling and cargo. Those employees have access to real-time data about what’s happening across London Gatwick – it’s a game changer.”

He continued: “We constantly strive to embrace new technologies at London Gatwick that will improve the travel experience and operating environment. We estimate that thanks to Amadeus’ A-CDM Portal, we will be able to increase capacity to more than 40 million passengers on a single runway following wider adoption of the portal in the next year or so.”

John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT at Amadeus added: “Communication gaps still prevail in the airport ecosystem – a collaborative approach is key to align on aspects such as disruptions, flight information, number of bags on board and passengers in transit. We hope to see other airports follow Gatwick’s innovative use of the Amadeus A-CDM Portal to facilitate improved communications and operational efficiency.”

The Amadeus Portal and its customisation for London Gatwick is part of Amadeus’ broader commitment to work with airports to improve the passenger experience. Earlier this year, Amadeus published a whitepaper focused on attitudes to cloud computing in the airport industry. This included the viewpoints of over 20 senior IT leaders from the airport industry to investigate the business case for adopting cloud-based Common Use systems at airports.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Top Photo: Amadeus.

Bottom Copyright Photo: London Gatwick Airport.

London Gatwick ATC Tower (LGW)(LRW)

London ATC goes down temporarily

LHR (9-04)(Aerial)(KDB)(LRW)

Dozens of flights to and from Heathrow airport were delayed or cancelled due to a power outage at air traffic control, European air traffic control authority Eurocontrol said on Friday. London airspace was briefly closed.

Heathrow, which is the UK’s busiest airport, reported earlier: “There is a power outage at the NATS control center in Swanwick which is affecting UK airspace.”

“Flights are currently experiencing delays. We will update passengers as soon as we have more information.”

London Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports are accepting arrivals but have suspended departures.

A number of flights were held over the English Channel.

Manchester Airport meanwhile says it is unaffected by the airspace closure and claims it is ready to accept any London bound diverted flights..

London airspace has been effectively closed until 7pm due to a power outage at a control centre.

People travelling have been warned to expect severe delays.

NATs have said: “We can confirm that a technical problem has been reported at Swanwick air traffic control centre. We apologise for any delays and our incident response team has been mobilised. Every possible action is being taken to assist in resolving the situation and to confirm the details. Further information will be released as it becomes available.”

The state-of-the art centre at Swanwick has been subject to a number of computer glitches since Nats moved there from its old headquarters in West Drayton in west London in the early part of the last decade.

One of the worst problems was a year ago – on Saturday December 7 2013 – when thousands of passengers were left stranded when hundreds of flights were grounded following a technical fault at the Hampshire centre.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial photo of London Heathrow Airport.

Bottom Image: SPA. A rare radar image – no flights airborne over the London area during the ground stop.

London Radar

“Living in the Age of Airplanes” is coming in April


<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/101896187″>Living in the Age of Airplanes — Trailer #1</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/airplanesmovie”>Living in the Age of Airplanes</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

National Geographic Studios has acquired the global theatrical rights to the film “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” which takes audiences on an epic journey through 18 countries and across all seven continents as it presents a unique perspective on how the airplane has changed the world. It will be available to 15/70 flat and dome film screens and to all digital screens when it is released worldwide on April 10, 2015.

Produced and directed by Brian J. Terwilliger (“One Six Right”), “Living in the Age of Airplanes” is narrated by actor and pilot Harrison Ford and features an original score by Academy Award®-winning composer and pilot James Horner (“Avatar,” “Titanic”). The film was shot in 95 locations around the globe, from remote places like the South Pole and the Maldives to historically significant sites of ancient civilizations. The narrative weaves together the profound ways that aviation has transformed our lives, connecting countries and cultures while expanding horizons and minds.

“Since we were all born into a world with airplanes, it’s hard to imagine that jet travel itself is only 60 years old, just a tick on the timeline of human history,” said Terwilliger. “Yet practically overnight, our perception of crossing continents and oceans at 500 mph has turned from fascination to frustration. I want to reignite people’s wonder for one of the most extraordinary aspects of the modern world.”

“‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’ is the perfect film for National Geographic,” said Mark Katz, president of distribution for National Geographic Studios. “Its visuals are breathtaking, it tells an amazing story and will engage audiences on a variety of levels, from adventure to geography to exploration and more, which aligns completely with National Geographic’s mission to inspire, illuminate and teach.”

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.

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.


Red Alert: Pavlof Volcano intensifies again in Alaska, flights advised to avoid the ash cloud

Pavlof Volcano

The Pavlof Volcano in the Alaska Peninsula has been a long-running safety concern in Alaska for aviators. The volcano has caused red alerts in the past. The ash cloud from the Pavlof Volcano has again reached 30,000 feet triggering a new round of aviation alerts.  The National Weather Service warned aviation interests that the ash cloud from the erupting volcano was spreading to the west and northwest of the volcano. The volcano intensified yesterday prompting the new aviation warnings. The volcano is the most active volcano in Alaska.

The volcano lies along major Asia-North America air traffic great circle routes.

Pavlof Volcano Information

The Alaska Volcano Observatory issued this statement yesterday (November 15):

55°25’2″ N 161°53’37” W, Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

The eruption of Pavlof Volcano that began on November 12 has intensified and the Aviation Color Code was raised to RED and the Volcano Alert Level to WARNING earlier today.

The intensity of seismic tremor remains at high levels and pilot reports though 12:30 AKST (21:30 UTC) indicate that the ash cloud height has increased to 30,000 ft above sea level. Satellite, pilot reports, and wind data show the ash cloud moving towards the northwest over the Bering Sea. Ash cloud height and direction will vary significantly through an eruption and aviation users should refer to the National Weather Service for updated SIGMETs on the ash cloud hazard (http://aawu.arh.noaa.gov/sigmets.php).

No reports of ash fallout on nearby communities have been reported, and the ash cloud is currently moving away from populated areas. We encourage observers to contact AVO should it occur (https://www.avo.alaska.edu/ashfall/ashreport.php). The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the possibility of ash fall in the vicinity of Pavlof and towards the northwest.

Description of the volcano:

From Miller and others (1998): “Pavlof Volcano is a largely snow-covered, cone-shaped mountain with a high ridge extending to the southwest towards the rim of Emmons Lake Caldera. The volcano is approximately 7 km in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides close to the summit (McNutt and others, 1991). It is situated high on the northeastern flank of Emmons Lake Caldera along a northeast-trending alignment of vents that includes Pavlof Sister, and several intracaldera cones (Kennedy and Waldron, 1955). The stratovolcano is relatively undissected and is mostly Holocene in age. Pavlof lies within the Shumagin seismic gap (Davies and others, 1981).” The name Pavlof comes from Russian, translating to “Paul” or “Saint Paul”. This volcano name was first published as “Pavlovskoi Volcan” by Captain Lutke in 1836.

Ash Cloud Forecast: CLICK HERE

Top photo and map: Alaska Volcano Observatory/Carol Damberg.


Videos: View from the Cockpit: A flight from Punta Cana to Montreal Trudeau

Video Above: A flight from Punta Cana to Montreal Trudeau.

Both videos from the 737 Channel.

Video Below – Rejoicing: Episode 11, “Rejoicing” features a compilation of clips recorded while flying over North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Enjoy the views and stay tuned.


Video: A drone’s view of Mexico City International Airport

MEX logo

Mexico City International Airport gave permission for this unusual view of its airport by drone in close coordination with air traffic control:

The CPI of the UK presents its case for windowless airliner fuselages

CPI Windowless Fuselages

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has visualized and presented a case for windowless jetliners for the future to save fuel and also to offer a better passenger experience. The CPI has issued this concept on it website:

CPI logo

Imagine a cabin where the windows are display screens, relaying a choice of views from around the aircraft. If you’re not sitting in a window seat, your large seat-back display becomes your window on the world as well as a source of entertainment.

Supplement this with subtle cabin lighting from gently glowing walls and you create a unique travel environment. Screens that are ultra thin, very light and highly flexible are integrated with the fuselage or the seat backs with no unsightly, clumsy or heavy housings.
Less weight more savings

Weight is a constant issue on any aircraft. Over 80% of the fully laden weight of a commercial airliner is the aircraft itself and its fuel. For every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75%. If you save weight, you save fuel. And less fuel means less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and lower operational cost… everyone wins.

CPI is a member of the UK’s prestigious High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a network that combines seven world class centres of industrial innovation to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging technologies into world beating products, for aerospace and other high value industries. CPI owns or has access to the best research and development facilities in the UK, aviation products and processes can be tested for proof-of-concept within CPIs laboratories and validated at scale through to commercial exploitation, on the ground and in the air.
CPI and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult would use their extensive networks to create a consortium of partners to deliver the benefits of such a programme. By creating an efficient manufacturing supply chain for windowless fuselage technology, the solutions developed can be rapidly commercialized.

Images: CPI.

Video: A look at what the future may hold for air travel as current technological developments mature and find applications in markets such as the aerospace industry.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opens its extended south runway

FLL Extended Runway 10R-28L (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) yesterday (September 18) opened its rebuilt and extended south runway, 10R-28L. JetBlue Airways flight 1028 was the first flight to landed on the longer runway.

Copyright Photo: FLL.

Los Cabos and La Paz, Mexico Airports damaged by Hurricane Odile

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico logo

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP), the operator of the airports at La Paz and Los Cabos in Baja, Mexico, has issued this statement late on September 15:

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (PAC) informs that operations at the Los Cabos and La Paz International Airports were suspended as of yesterday afternoon, September 14, 2014, as Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm, struck the area of Baja California.

Fernando Bosque, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “Our main concern is the safety of our passengers and employees. As such, we are fully cooperating with the state and federal authorities to ensure that are precautions are taken. Flights have been suspended since yesterday afternoon; at this time we are not fully aware of the extent of the damage to the operations and will keep the community posted as information becomes available. Our goal is to resume normal operations as soon as is possible.”

The Company is currently in the process of surveying the airports in order to determine the extent of the damage. Once additional information is available, GAP will be issuing an updated press release.

Activities at GAP’s 10 other airports are operating normally.

Several small aircraft are believed to have been destroyed.

Pictures of the damage to the terminal at Los Cabos: CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

LOT Polish Airlines returns to the black

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) is enjoying a financial turnaround, especially with the help of its new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. The airline issued this statement:

LOT Polish Airlines has consistently improved its financial standing and is now in the black. At the end of August, the airline exceeded the cumulative breakeven point, thus making a profit on its core business of flying following years of losses. This is in line with the assumptions of the restructuring plan.

Sebastian Mikosz, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines said, “Compared to the corresponding period of 2013, we have attained a better result of PLN 100M ($30,934,000). LOT is seeking to achieve sustainable profitability and we have consistently pursued our goals to meet our annual financial forecast. According to the Restructuring Plan, approved by the European Commission, we are expected to achieve a return of approximately PLN 70M ($21,654,000) in 2014. Our improved effectiveness is marked in all aspects of our operations. Reaching the breakeven point is the exclusive success of the company’s activities. There are no market-specific factors, such as aviation fuel prices or currency exchange rates that helped us achieve these results, as was the case partially last year.”

LOT began to improve its financial results in 2013. Last year closed with a slight loss on the core business of PLN 4M ($1,237,360). This result was still better than assumed in the Restructuring Plan. Last year was also the first year of many in which LOT recorded a net profit. It amounted to PLN 26M ($8,042.840).

LOT continues to finance the difficult restructuring process exclusively with its own resources. By the end of September, the airline will not apply for the second tranche of public aid, which will be smaller than assumed.

LOT owes its positive results to continuous transitions. The carrier continues to improve the quality of services, launch new products, expand its portfolio and approach new passenger groups.

LOT has also increased its transit capacities by as much as 40%, meaning passengers travelling via Warsaw are able to change more comfortably on their way to other cities in Poland and destinations in Central and Eastern Europe.

2014 marks the first year of the “Dreamliner’s effect”. The first LOT Boeing 787 jets started flying in June with now all long-haul flights operated with Dreamliners since August. This aircraft is not only popular among the passengers, but brings tangible benefits, such as fuel savings.

In July 2014, the European Commission made a positive decision about LOT. The Restructuring Plan was approved and public aid was granted. The restructuring process of the company will end at the end of 2015. Until that time, LOT may not operate new flights. However, the first new flights are to be announced at the beginning of 2015.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The restructuring program and the new Boeing 787s are game changers for LOT. The 787s have also changed the way people think of the airline. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRC (msn 35940) arrives in Toronto (Pearson).

LOT Polish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov An-12 crashes in Algeria, 7 killed

Ukraine Air Alliance An-12 UR-DWF (Grd) LGG (RBX)(LRW)

Ukraine Air Alliance (Kiev) Antonov An-12BK registered as UR-DWF (msn 8345802) (above) operating a cargo flight from Prestwick, Scotland to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea crashed on takeoff from Tamanrasset, Algeria yesterday (August 30) after making a fuel stop. All 7 crew members on board were reported to have died in the crash.

According to Wikipedia the airline was established on February 18, 1992 and started operations in 1993.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. UR-DWF is pictured at Liege before the crash.



Red Status: Update on the Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland

Iceland Volcano Status

From the Icelandic Met Office:

Two M5 earthquakes took place in Bárðarbunga caldera during the night:

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred at 5 km depth just after midnight, at 00:09. Its origin was at the northern rim of the caldera. Another earthquake, magnitude about 5, occurred at 05:33 and originated at the southern rim. These are the strongest events measured since the onset of the seismic crisis at Bárðarbunga and the strongest since 1996 (the Gjálp eruption). The magnitude is already confirmed by the European EMSC network and the GEOFON network of GFZ Potsdam in Germany.

Probably, earthquakes near the Bárðarbunga caldera are a consequence of adjustment to changes in pressure because of the flow of magma from under the caldera into the dyke which stretches to Dyngjujökull, more than 25 km away.

Great seismic activity is also near the intrusive dyke in Dyngjujökull. The activity is concentrated at the section which advanced northwards yesterday morning. Analysis shows that the origin of the quakes, there, has migrated a little towards north. Their depth is mainly in the range of 8-13 km. The largest earthquake in the Dyngjujökull area was 3.5 at 04:39.

No signs of tremor, indicative of eruption, were detected during the night.

Map: Icelandic Met Office.

Airlines for America projects 2 percent more passengers to fly during Labor Day travel period, net profits up for nine U.S. airlines for the first half of 2014

Airlines for America logo

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has delivered its Labor Day air travel forecast and first half 2014 results for U.S. passenger airlines, which reported improving profitability, enabling carriers to invest in their workforce, reduce debt and enhance the customer experience for airline passengers.

“Airlines are key drivers of jobs and economic growth, and improving finances have further accelerated their investments in people, products and technology to enhance the travel experience for customers”

A4A projects a 2 percent year-over-year increase in the number of passengers flying on U.S. airlines during the seven-day Labor Day travel period. From Wednesday August 27 through Tuesday, September 2, A4A expects 14 million air travelers will take to the skies, up from an estimated 13.8 million in 2013, with the busiest day of the period occurring on Friday, Aug. 29. Airlines are adding seats to the marketplace to accommodate the expected increase in demand.

First Half 2014 Financial Performance

Nine U.S. passenger airlines – Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United – collectively reported a net profit of approximately $3.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion during the same period last year. This translated to a net margin of 5 percent, or 5 cents on every dollar of revenue, an improvement from the 2.1 percent margin reported in the first half of 2013.

The year-over-year improvement was driven by a 6 percent increase in operating revenues, which outpaced the 2.2 percent increase in operating expenses, including rising wages and benefits, airport landing fees, terminal rents and aircraft ownership costs. Despite remaining their largest and most volatile cost, fuel costs dipped 2.4 percent. Airlines also saw modest relief in maintenance expenses and aircraft rents.

“Airlines are key drivers of jobs and economic growth, and improving finances have further accelerated their investments in people, products and technology to enhance the travel experience for customers,” said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. “With U.S. personal incomes continuing to outpace airfares, air travel is far more accessible to customers than it was in the past.”

While airfare remains affordable, airlines and their customers continue to pay more than their fair share in federally imposed taxes. From 2000 to 2013, adjusted for inflation, base fares dropped 8 percent while taxes rose 49 percent. Four decades ago, taxes and fees accounted for less than one-tenth of the price of an airline ticket. Today, the amount has skyrocketed to 21 percent of the price or $62 on a typical $300 roundtrip domestic ticket. That amount further increased in July to $63 when the passenger tax more than doubled to $5.60 on a one-way trip. It could go even higher if other taxes proposed by the White House become law.

In the first half of 2014, these nine airlines invested $7 billion – more than $1 billion per month – to benefit customers. New and refurbished aircraft are being delivered at a rate of nearly one per day, including 149 received in the first six months and 168 additional units slated for delivery in the remainder of the year. Additional investments include route expansion, development of mobile technology, enhanced airport check-in areas, lounges and gates. Additionally, airlines were able to further reduce gross debt by $1.8 billion.

First Half 2014 Operational Performance

U.S. airlines overcame numerous extreme weather events, such as the polar vortex and severe thunderstorms, to post a completion factor of 96.9 percent and an on-time arrival rate of 74.2 percent. According to the Department of Transportation, 99.6 percent of passengers had their bags properly handled and complaints remained low at 1.49 per 100,000 passengers.

“Customers continue to benefit from the proactive approach airlines are taking to cope with extreme weather and minimize travel disruptions,” said Heimlich. “Despite some of the worst winter weather conditions in recent memory, airlines continued to meet the needs of their customers, while connecting communities and economies and creating jobs.”

Airlines of America 27,000 Flts a Day banner

Is there another Icelandic ash alert coming for Europe?

Bárðarbunga volcano map

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) has raised the threat level to orange and issued this latest statement on a current earthquake swarm at the Bárðarbunga volcano (see above). Currently there is no sign of magma moving towards the surface. Here is the full report:

Icelandic Met Office logo

Since the onset of the earthquake swarm at Bárðarbunga on Saturday morning August 16 03:00am, around 2.600 earthquakes have been detected with the earthquake monitoring network of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), of these around 950 since midnight (17/18th August). Several of these events were larger than magnitude 3. The swarm initially started in the Bárðarbunga caldera and has been migrating in two clusters towards the north and the east of the volcano.

On Sunday August 17, these two clusters were active east and north of Bárðarbunga. The activity in both clusters was migrating northeastwards. While the strongest events were located in the northern cluster, the highest number of events was detected in the eastern cluster. The strongest event since the onset of the swarm was detected on Monday morning 02:37 in the northern cluster. Detailed analysis revealed that its magnitude was 4.5 and it was felt in Akureyri and Lón. By Monday evening, activity has significantly decreased in the northern cluster.

The eastern cluster remains active. Two stronger pulses of activity have occurred between 10:45 and 12:00 as well as 16:50 and 17:30 this morning. Within the first pulse around noon, the cluster was again migrating northeastwards, most events are now located between Bárðarbunga and Kverkfjöll. As reported earlier, GPS ground deformation data has evidenced that the earthquake swarm is caused by magma intrusion.

Throughout the whole sequence until now (August 18 bat 20:45) the majority of events has been at 5-10km depth. No signs of migration towards the surface or any other signs of imminent or ongoing volcanic activity have been detected so far. IMO is monitoring the area around the clock very closely and will update in case of any changes.

Read the full story from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Map: Google Maps.

Scoot and Tigerair win anti-trust immunity for their alliance

Scoot (subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) (Singapore) and Tigerair (Singapore) have been granted anti-trust immunity by the Competition Commission of Singapore for their new alliance.

The two airlines issued this joint statement:

Singapore-based budget airlines Scoot and Tigerair Singapore (Tigerair) are pleased to announce that the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has granted the carriers anti-trust immunity (ATI), following their notification for decision to the CCS on January 28, 2014.

The approval follows a thorough review by the CCS which included a public consultation. Both carriers operate highly complementary networks, with Tigerair focusing on shorter-haul journeys while Scoot’s emphasis is on medium-long haul routes of four or more hours. On relevant routes operated by both Tigerair and Scoot, the ATI will enable the airlines to coordinate schedules and pricing which promises to offer customers a better spread of flight choices, and thus greater flexibility when organising their itineraries.

The alliance will also enable Scoot and Tigerair to collaborate closely on connecting traffic via Changi airport, supporting the Singapore aviation hub and broader economy. Scoot’s customers from its network in China, such as Tianjin and Nanjing, will be able to enjoy fuss- free connections onto Tigerair’s extensive network in South East Asia and India. Conversely, Tigerair’s customers will have a greater choice of destinations currently served by Scoot’s medium haul operations.

Commenting on the ATI approval, Group CEO of Tigerair, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, said “We are extremely delighted to have been granted ATI by the CCS. Besides allowing us to further strengthen our alliance with Scoot, this development will also empower both Scoot and ourselves to deliver even greater flexibility and value to our customers through the coordination of schedules and routes. This is not just a positive development for Tigerair and Scoot – it is also win-win partnership between the alliance and our customers.”

Scoot’s CEO, Mr Campbell Wilson, said “We are very pleased that the CCS has granted immunity, in so doing recognising the value closer co-operation will bring to the residents, hub and economy of Singapore. We look forward to working more closely with Tigerair, building on the foundation already laid, to fully realise these benefits and bring even greater connectivity, choice and convenience for all our guests.”

The ATI also allows for closer cooperation in other areas such as sales, pricing, scheduling and systems integration. Scoot and Tigerair have an existing interline cooperation and the ATI approval allows the airlines to build upon the current arrangements.

Taken together, Scoot and Tigerair Singapore operate a total of 33 aircraft, comprising 6 Boeing 777-200s and 27 Airbus A320/319s, serving a total of 46 destinations in 15 countries from Singapore and offer more than 450 weekly flights and about 169,000 seats every week.

On the financial side, Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tigerair) reported an operating loss of $16.4 million (Singapore dollars) for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2014 (1QFY15), compared to an operating loss of $6.2 million recorded in the previous corresponding quarter (1QFY14).

Top Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212 ER 9V-OTC (msn 28509) of Scoot departs from Tokyo (Narita).

Scoot: AG Slide Show

Tigerair: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 9V-TRK (msn 5697) with Sharklets arrives in Bangkok.

Scoot’s Current Route Map (Scoot also has an alliance with Nok Air of Thailand):

Scoot logo

Scoot 8.2014 Route Map

Tigerair Destinations:

Tigerair logo

Tigerair 8.2014 Route Map


63% of Americans do not have a preferred airline

TheStreet Annoying Air Travel Infographic

Despite efforts by U.S. carriers to build brand loyalty and frequent flyer programs, a poll by TheStreet indicates there may be a lot more “brand unloyality” than previously thought. In addition, the add-on fees for checked bags and other “extras” still angers a lot of the traveling public. TheStreet issued this statement about their survey:

Despite the airline industry’s best efforts to encourage brand loyalty and to convince passengers that paying for checked bags is logical, most Americans do not favor any specific airline. A new poll, conducted for TheStreet (NASDAQ: TST) by GfK1, took a look at consumer preferences when it comes to flying.

The survey found that:

63% of Americans do not have an airline they prefer to fly and only 5% consider getting frequent flier miles to be the most important consideration when selecting a flight.

When it comes to what annoys consumers the most, 73% are annoyed by high ticket costs, 70% find bag fees to be annoying, 68% are annoyed by cancelled or delayed flights, 64% are annoyed by uncomfortable seats, 63% are annoyed by rude staff, 56% are annoyed by charging for snacks and 48% are annoyed by closing the gate early.

When selecting a ticket, outside of price, consumers say non-stop service is the most important consideration, which was cited by 28% of respondents; followed by time of departure, with 20% saying this is the most important; airline’s reputation, with 15% and frequency of service, with 11%. Of the options, fewer see getting frequent flier miles as the most important consideration, cited by just 5%.
Asked whether they had ever complained to an airline, 23% of respondents said they had. Of those, 60% said they were satisfied with the response.

“The airline industry believes that bag fees are immensely logical and that airlines are able to build customer loyalty, but our new poll shows that most Americans still hate bag fees and feel little loyalty to individual airlines,” said Ted Reed, TheStreet’s Transportation Reporter.

The full story from TheStreet is available online: CLICK HERE

About the Survey

Methodology: OMNITEL is a weekly national telephone omnibus service from GfK, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The sample for this OMNITEL wave consists of 1,004 total completed interviews, of which approximately 750 consist of landline telephone exchanges and about 250 are made up of cell phone exchanges. Interviews were conducted from July 25-27, 2014. The margin of error on weighted data is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

About TheStreet

TheStreet, Inc. (www.t.st) is the leading independent digital financial media company providing business and financial news, investing ideas and analysis to personal and institutional investors worldwide.

Delta announces free entertainment options on all domestic aircraft

Delta 777-200 Economy Inflight Entertainment (Delta)(LRW)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today announced it will begin offering free entertainment options on all of its domestic aircraft and two-cabin regional jets beginning on August 1.

According to the airline;

“The move is the most far-reaching effort by an airline to provide hit movies, popular television shows, music and video games for free. With the introduction of Delta Studio and the airline’s investments to update the interiors of its aircraft, Delta is setting the standard for customers when it comes to free entertainment across more than 1,000 aircraft.”

All Delta customers, in every class of service on flights longer than one and a half hours, will have access to a selection of free entertainment options, either at their seat or through their laptops, mobile and tablet devices. Free entertainment options are available on flights with seat-back entertainment systems or on demand video streaming onboard Delta’s Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft.

“Through the introduction of Delta Studio our customers have yet another reason to choose Delta and a different travel experience,” said Tim Mapes, senior vice president – Marketing. “Delta continues to be driven by customer feedback which has consistently placed the desire to be entertained at the top of the list of ways to improve our customers’ time in the air.”

Delta customers seated in BusinessElite, First Class and Economy Comfort will have free, unrestricted access to in-flight entertainment on all international flights worldwide. Customers traveling in economy on all international flights will also have access to free content. Delta completed installation of seat-back entertainment systems on its international fleet in 2013.

Customers traveling on domestic flights in BusinessElite, First Class and Economy Comfort will have free access to all in-flight entertainment. Domestic economy customers will have access to free content which includes all of Delta’s live satellite TV channels, music selections and game options through seat-back entertainment systems as well as movie or TV selections such as ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ or ‘Frozen’ on seat-back systems in August as well as streaming content through in-flight Wi-Fi.

Additional premium content will be available for purchase in economy including the latest movie titles such as ‘Need for Speed’ or ‘Rio 2,’ HBO and SHOWTIME programming as well as on-demand TV shows like ‘About a Boy’ or ‘The Middle.’ Delta’s full entertainment line-up for the month of August is available in Sky magazine.

Delta 737 Economy In-Flight Entertainment (Delta)(LRW)

Seat-back In-flight Entertainment

Delta offers 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and up to 250 movies, hundreds of TV shows, 2,300 songs and a selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems. Delta is the only U.S. carrier to offer personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

Delta has 140 domestic aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems installed and recently announced that it will be updating more of its domestic narrowbody aircraft through 2016. These fleet interior modifications will add seat-back entertainment to 56 Boeing 757-200, 43 Boeing 737-800s and 57 Airbus A319 aircraft. Additionally, more than 100 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft are already scheduled to be delivered with seat-back entertainment through 2018.

In-flight streaming through onboard Wi-Fi

Customers traveling on any domestic Delta or Delta Connection two-cabin aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi will be able to stream free movies and TV options directly to their mobile devices while in flight by using Gogo’s video player app. The Fly Delta app will include an integrated player for iOS devices. Customers who have downloaded the app before their flight can easily access streamed content from Delta aircraft for playback while in-flight.

With more than 900 domestic and international aircraft equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi, Delta operates the world’s largest fleet of internet connected aircraft available to more than 400,000 customers on more than 4,000 flights daily. Delta’s in-flight connectivity continues to expand with the installation of the service on its international fleet. All Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and trans-oceanic Boeing 757 aircraft are scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, bringing the total number of Wi-Fi connected aircraft in Delta’s fleet to more than 1,000.

Artist Spotlight and Billboard Partnership

In June, Delta also launched its new music discovery platform for popular and emerging artists called Delta Artist Spotlight. The monthly program kicked off with newcomer Sam Smith and his debut album, ‘In The Lonely Hour’ by introducing his music to millions of passengers through overhead music during boarding and deplaning as well as offering custom content selections for aircraft equipped with seat-back entertainment systems. July featured Scottish electronic band Chvrches and Canadian-born songstress Kiezsa will be highlighted in the month of August.

Delta launched an industry-first partnership with Billboard in July to provide new ergonomically designed earbuds on flights more than 250 miles that feature seat-back and overhead entertainment. As one of the world’s most influential music brands, Billboard brings a new level of expertise to the redesigned earbuds resulting in better sound quality and improved comfort. The earbuds are complimentary for all customers traveling on all international flights as well as flights between New York and Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle/Tacoma. Customers seated in domestic economy or Economy Comfort can purchase the earbuds for $2.

Copyright Photos: Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show (Current Livery): AG Slide Show

Norwegian continues to build up its presence at London’s Gatwick Airport, reports a 2Q net profit of $20.5 million

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) route network from London Gatwick continues to expand. Norwegian is adding four new destinations this winter; Madeira and La Palma for the sun-seekers and Grenoble and Salzburg for the ski enthusiasts.

Norwegian is also increasing the number of weekly departures on its routes from London Gatwick to Lanzarote, Rome and Larnaca.

From October 28 and November 1, respectively, Norwegian offers sun-seekers two weekly flights from London Gatwick to the Portuguese island of Madeira and one weekly flight to La Palma in the Canary Islands. Those more keen on white and powdery conditions in the Alps this winter, can from December 13 fly nonstop to Grenoble and Salzburg once a week.

Today, Norwegian is a major player at London Gatwick airport. The airline established a crew base at the airport in 2013 and now offers 41 routes from London Gatwick. Norwegian has eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft based at London Gatwick today as well as around 90 pilots and 200 cabin crew members.

On the financial side, Norwegian (NAS) reported a second quarter 2014 net profit of 128 million NOK ($20.5 million). According to the carrier, “The second quarter is characterized by strong growth and a record high load factor, and influenced by significant, one-off costs, a weak Norwegian currency and high oil prices. The strike from labor union Parat earlier this year alone cost Norwegian over 100 million NOK in lost revenue.

The second quarter figures also reflect Norwegian’s growth strategy and the company’s goal to fill all its new seats. Despite significant costs related to the start-up of the long-haul operation and higher costs due to the weak Norwegian currency, the unit cost (CASK) is down, strengthening Norwegian’s competitive advantage further. Over the past year, Norwegian has introduced seven Dreamliner aircraft to its long-haul operation.

The total revenue in the second quarter was over 5 BNOK, up 26 percent from the same quarter last year. The pre-tax result (EBT) was -137 MNOK. 6.4 million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian during the second quarter, which is an increase of 16 percent and almost 900 000 passengers more than the same period last year. The company’s traffic growth (RPK) was considerably higher at 46 percent, which reflects that each of Norwegian’s passengers on average flies significantly longer than they did a year ago.”

Record high load factor

Norwegian realized a strong production growth (ASK) of 41 percent. The growth is, naturally, stronger in new markets. Despite Norwegian’s strong capacity growth, the company is still filling its seats. The load factor in this quarter was 80 percent, up three percentage points from the same quarter last year, which is record high for a second quarter.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NGT (msn 41125) taxies at Palma de Mallorca (PMI) with Anton K.H. Jakobsen on the tail.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Current routes from London Gatwick:

Norwegian 7.2014 LGW Route Map (LRW)

Yeti Airlines introduces a new livery in Nepal

Yeti Jetstream 41 9N-AHW (14)(Grd) KTM (Aashik Pokhrel)(LRW)

Yeti Airlines (Kathmandu), the second biggest domestic carrier in Nepal, has introduced this new livery, replacing the original 1998 color scheme. The new livery was designed by designer Aashik Pokhrel.

Currently the airlines operates a fleet of seven BAe Jetstream 41 aircraft. The pictured Jetstream 41 9N-AHW (msn 41078) is the first to be painted in the new design, soon to be followed by the others. Yeti Airlines currently flies from its base of Kathmandu to 10 destinations in Nepal.

Copyright Photo: Aashik Pokhrel.

American Airlines Group to repaint the American and US Airways Boeing 757 fleets

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has informed its employees about the repainting of the American Airlines and US Airways fleets into the 2013 American brand.

In the June 26 issue of Arrivals, the employees were briefed on the repainting process.

Highlights: As expected, the aging fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82s (MD-82s) and DC-9-83s (MD-83s) of American will not be repainted. This type is being phased out and will be gone in 2018. However the AAG has made the decision to repaint the 35 Boeing 757-200s of American and the 16 Boeing 757-200s of US Airways into the new livery. So far none have been repainted. We are likely to start seeing some soon, especially at US Airways. All will be repainted by the fourth quarter of 2016.

All of the American 777-200s have now been repainted (above).

US Airways has started repainting the Airbus A320 family aircraft: 700, 701, 702, 703, 809, 814, 819, and one other have been repainted. 579, 580, and 581 were all delivered new in American colors. The first Airbus aircraft to be repainted were the former Star Alliance liveried aircraft.

All new arrivals for both American and US Airways are of course, painted in the new American look.

We are likely to still see the American 1968 classic livery lingering on until the fourth quarter of 2017. The American Boeing 737-800s will be the last type to be fully repainted.

Here is the graph sent to the employees:

American-US Airways repainting of the fleet (LRW)

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Triple Sevens have been repainted. Boeing 777-223 ER N790AN (msn 30251) arrives in New York (JFK).

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: Painting a Boeing 777:

Middle Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. American currently operates 35 Boeing 757-200s as the type is gradually being retired. Boeing 757-223 N624AA (msn 24582) of American Airlines taxies to the gate at the Miami hub painted in the classic 1968 livery.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now down to just 16 Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-2B7 N938UW (msn 27246) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Arke takes delivery of its first Boeing 787, PH-TFK arrives in Amsterdam

787-8 BRI #182-ZA334

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Arke (formerly Arkefly) (Amsterdam) today celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first 787-8 Dreamliner at the Dutch carrier’s base at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The pictured 787-8 PH-TFK (msn 36427) departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on Wednesday (June 4) on its delivery flight to the Netherlands. Arke is part of TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.

Arke will use the 787 on its service between Amsterdam and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. The airplane is the first of three Dreamliners to join the carrier’s all-Boeing fleet that also includes Next-Generation 737s and 767-300 ERs (Extended Range). TUI Travel has ordered a total of 15 787-8s, of which six have been delivered and are currently in operation with three of the six airlines it operates; Thomson Airways, Jetairfly and now Arke.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Arkefly: AG Slide Show

Oman Air posts a loss of nearly $295 million for 2013

Oman Air (Muscat) reported a financial loss of nearly $295 million for 2013. This loss deepened from the previous year.

Oman Air reported strong increases in revenues and passenger numbers, supported by growth in seat capacity, cargo operations and the number of passengers carried in 2013. Oman Air blamed the loss on its investment in new aircraft.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by Muscat Daily: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 A40-DF (msn 1120) of Oman Air lands in Zurich.

Oman Air: AG Slide Show

Oman Air logo

Current Route Map:

Oman Air 4.2014 Route Map (Oman Air)

Norwegian flies over 1.8 million passengers in March, an increase of 25 percent

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) is growing fast and its traffic is booming. The passenger volume grew by 25 percent alone in March. The company issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):

Norwegian flew over 1.8 million passengers in March 2014, an increase of 25 percent over the same month last year. Capacity growth was in the high 51 percent, in absolute terms the largest capacity growth that Norwegian has ever had in a month.

In March flew 1,805,551 passengers on Norwegian, an increase of 25 percent compared with the same month last year. The total traffic growth (RPK) increased by 52 percent in March, while capacity growth (ASK) increased by 51 percent. This represents an increase of 1.2 billion seat kilometers, the largest capacity growth ever during a month. The passenger load factor was 77.8
percent in March, up 0.2 percentage points compared with the same month last year.

Despite the increased load factor, this year’s late Easter had a negative impact on the load factor in March.

We have a record capacity growth this month, something that depends on the establishment of new bases outside Scandinavia and the launch of several new routes and flights throughout its route network. Despite strong growth in capacity and this year’s late Easter filled planes slightly better than the same period last year. It shows that Norwegian holds the promise of good quality and low prices, said CEO Bjørn Kjos.

In March came two brand-new aircraft; a Boeing 737-800 and a 787 Dreamliner. In 2014, Boeing will deliver 14 Boeing 737-800s and four 787 Dreamliners. Norwegian’s fleet is among the most modern and environmentally friendly in Europe.

Norwegian completed 99.7 percent of scheduled flights in March, of which 87.1 percent departed at the scheduled timetable.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N LN-NOJ (msn 37884) with Danish astronomer Tycho Brache on the tail lands at Tenerife Sur (South).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Routes from Oslo:

Norwegian 4.2014 OSL Route Map


Flybe paints the first aircraft in the new purple color scheme

Flybe DHC-8-400 G-JECY (14)(Grd) EMA (Flybe)(LR)

Flybe (Exeter) today (April 1) unveiled its new “Faster than road or rail” purple livery. The pictured Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECY (msn 4157) was the first and was painted at East Midlands as part of its new advertising campaign.

Copyright Photo: Flybe.

Flybe: AG Slide Show

Do you like the new color scheme?

Vote in our poll:

InterSky to operate Zurich-Dresden flights this summer

InterSky Luftfahrt (Bregenz and Friedrichshafen) for the summer season will operate six weekly flights from Zurich to Dresden starting on May 5 per Austrian Aviation Net.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-314 OE-LIA (msn 505) in the special Steirmark livery arrives in Zurich.

InterSky: AG Slide Show

InterSky logo

Route Map:

InterSKy 3.2014 Route Map


Goodyear unveils a new state-of-the-art blimp

Goodyear 2014 Blimp (Goodyear)(LRW)
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today (March 14) unveiled an all-new, state-of-the-art version of its world-famous icon, the Goodyear Blimp. The new airship is larger, faster, and more maneuverable and builds on the company’s legacy as the world’s leading builder and operator of airships.
Goodyear logo
The new blimp was introduced to media, Goodyear associates and dealers at an event held at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake hangar in Suffield, Ohio. The blimp is scheduled to begin test flights over Northeast Ohio later this month before going into service in the summer.
Copyright Photo: Goodyear.

Video: Crosswind landings and takeoffs this winter at Birmingham, England

This winter in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe has seen its share of stormy weather. This video by flugsnug compiles some of more interesting crosswind landings and takeoffs at Birmingham Airport (BHX) in Birmingham, England this winter. The video is really a showcase of excellent piloting skills dealing with these challenging wind conditions.

Be careful when you fly past North Korea: A missile firing may be near!

BBC logo

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

CNN: 35% increase in demand for air travel will lead to a pilot shortage worldwide

CNN logo

CNN examines the growing demand for air travel and raises the question of whether there will be enough flight schools and pilots to fly all of the new airplanes on order. There also will be a shortage of mechanics and ground crews.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Orange Air plans to fly with a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82)

Orange Air logo

Orange Air (flyorangeair.com) (Sanford, Florida) is a new paper airline that is in the process of obtaining its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). The airline on its website is advertising as “Coming Soon” although no announcement has been made. The would be airline has reportedly taken delivery of the former Spirit Airlines (N804NK) and Belle Air (ZA-ARD) McDonnell Doug;as DC-9-82 (MD-82) as N918AV (msn 49104). N918AV was ferried from Sanford to Opa-locka on January 30 with an Orange Air tail logo according to Skyliner.

Bloomberg Businessweek: If you live near an airline hub, you probably pay more

Bloomberg Businessweek logo

Not all airports are equal according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In this article by Justin Bachman, the writer compares ticket prices and finds prices at major airline hubs are higher than non-hub airports.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

HK Express unveils a bold new look, will add Seoul on March 30

HK Express A320-200 (14)(Flt)(HK Express)(LR)

HK Express (formerly Hong Kong Express) (HK Express) (Hong Kong) which has been re-inventing itself as a low-fare airline, yesterday (January 21) unveiled a bold new look. The airline issued this statement:

HK Express held a press conference today to review HK Express’ business performance for 2013 and announce exciting new developments planned for Hong Kong’s one-and-only low fare airline, including its brand new logo and livery as well as the first new destination for 2014, Seoul.

“Since going on sale as an LCC last September, we’ve experienced overwhelming demand. The team is thrilled with the excellent sales performance. Almost 200,000 Guests have flown with HK Express already, with Tokyo and Osaka being the most popular destinations. Additionally, HK Express’ on time performance (OTP) is the best of all Hong Kong-based airlines, according to official independent statistics,” said Andrew Cowen, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HK Express, before delivering the business strategy for 2014. “In 2014, we are planning on adding more than 12 new destinations to our network, offering our Guests the opportunity to travel to over 20 destinations across Asia with unbelievably low airfares. To cater for the increase in demand for our service, we’ll also be expanding our current fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft from five to 11 by the end of the year with an aim to recruit over 250 cabin crew and other key operational staff,” said Andrew.

At the press conference, HK Express announced its newest destination, the first of 2014 and one that is sure to prove popular with the people of Hong Kong, Seoul. From Sunday, March 30 HK Express will fly once daily from Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon International Airport, allowing Hong Kong residents to surf the Korean wave at the amazing prices for which HK Express has become known. Seoul has become one of the top destinations for Asian travellers eager to catch a glimpse of their favourite K-POP star, try some authentic Korean barbecue, visit some traditional temples or even indulge in some of Seoul’s world-famous shopping.

Another key highlight of the press conference was the announcement of the new livery and brand logo. HK Express might be recognisable by its incredibly low prices, but the familiar red and gold logo is stepping aside to make way for a funkier, fresher brand image that better

matches the airline’s new direction. A new logo and livery design were unveiled during the press conference, both of which incorporate elements of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour immediately associating the airline with the city it’s proud to call home. The ‘H’ and ‘K’ of HK Express are extended to remind the onlooker of Hong Kong’s stunning skyline, which is graphically reinterpreted on the rear and tail of the plane, all in a vibrant violet and red that breathe energy and life into the branding.

Mr. Andrew Cowen, Deputy CEO of HK Express explained, “The new logo and livery design will be rolled out across all of our branding towards the end of March. We wanted to establish a new brand for HK Express to reflect and support the amazing transition that HK Express has undergone in the past year, and the fresh, youthful and dynamic sense that the new design inspires fits perfectly with our ethos as Hong Kong’s one-and-only low fare airline. We look forward to the adventure continuing in 2014 and beyond!”

The airline will hold a launch event for the new brand in late March to celebrate the arrival of the first new aircraft to Hong Kong.

HK Express commenced flights on October 27, 2013 from their home in Hong Kong, as Hong Kong’s only low fare airline. HK Express flies to Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Taichung in Taiwan, Kunming in Mainland China, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Penang in Malaysia, Seoul in Korea (commences from March 30, 2014), and Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka Kansai in Japan.

HK Express A320-200 (14)(Flt-1)(HK Express)(LR)

All images: HK Express.

Hong Kong Express logo

Current Destinations:

Hong Kong Express 1.2014 Route Map

The WSJ ranks the best and worst U.S. Airlines

WSJ 2013 Rankings of Airlines

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (New York) has ranked the the largest nine U.S. major carriers in seven categories. Alaska Airlines was ranked best. United Airlines was ranked worst of the 9.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Miami International Airport reaches 40 million passengers for the first time in 2013

MIA logo

Miami International Airport (MIA) ended 2013 by reaching the 40-million passenger mark for the first time in the airport’s 85-year history and setting a new record for annual passengers for the fourth year in a row. Preliminary numbers show that the watershed moment for MIA came on Friday, December 27, just five days before the end of the year. Since 2010, when MIA hit the 35.7 million passenger mark for the first time, annual passenger traffic at the airport has increased by more than 12 percent.

Thank You For Helping Us Hit 40 Million!

Since December 1, more than 3.1 million passengers have travelled through MIA, including a new single-day record of 139,940 passengers set on December 21.

Miami International Airport 

MIA continued to expand internationally with seven new foreign destinations in 2013: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cozumel, Milan, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, all by American Airlines; and Calgary by Canadian carrier WestJet. MIA’s global route network will expand further with three new route launches scheduled in the first six months of 2014: Belem, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium; and Doha, Qatar.

Vote on your favorite MIA photo on the Miami International Airport Facebook page. Here is one of the entries:

MIA Photo of the Week

What do 40 million passengers look like? The following facts offer some perspective:

In 2013, MIA moved the equivalent of Argentina’s entire population – or the combined populations of Florida and New York.

The Miami Heat would have to sell out every single regular season home game at the 19,600-seat American Airlines Arena for the next 50 years in order to match MIA’s 2013 passenger total.

Congratulations to the Miami Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and the airlines serving MIA.

Video: Miam Aviation History 1920s to 1980s:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum (all others by MDAD). Miami International Airport’s well known MIA airport code embraces the initials of the airport and the first three letters of the city of Miami, a very unique combination in airport codes.

Happy New Year Greetings to all of our loyal readers and supporters

Happy New Year Fireworks

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our loyal readers and supporters the best in holiday wishes for a successful and healthy 2014. Happy New Year to you and your family!

We thank you for your readership and contributions, especially news, photos, corrections and most importantly your friendship during 2013. Readership of  the World Airline News soared by 20 percent this year. Viewership of our “new look” flagship AirlinersGallery.com photo library more than doubled in 2013.

For those who ordered our AG color prints and posters in 2013 we thank you for your financial support which makes all of this possible. In 2014 we will be introducing the AG Store which will bring you best in aviation books (including some new airline history and photo books not available anywhere else) and display models.

Thank You.

Bruce Drum and the AG Team

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com.

Coming Soon:

AG Store (Square)

Antonov An-12 crashes in Irkutsk, Siberia, nine dead

Irkut Research and Production Corporation Antonov An-12 crashed in Russia last night (December 26). The An-12 was carrying aircraft parts from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk. The aircraft crashed at about 21:45 local time, (12:45 GMT) in the  Batareinaya station of the East Siberian railway during the approach into Irkutsk according to the Voice of Russia.

The six crew members and three passengers died in the crash.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Story and Photos from New York Daily News: CLICK HERE


Belle Air of Albania ceases all operations

Belle Air (Tirana) ceased all operations yesterday (November 25). The private Albanian airline had launched operations on March 1, 2006 to seven airports in Italy. The company blamed the failure on the “general economic situation, the decline of the purchasing power, recession in the markets it operates as well as from the freezing for over 18 days of its bank accounts”.

It is unclear if this suspension also includes the operations of Belle Air Europe (Prishtina).

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 F-ORAD (msn 558) taxies past the camera at Antalya, Turkey.

Belle Air A320 and FAs (Belle Air)(LR)

Belle Air (Albania): AG Slide Show

Belle Air (Albania) logo

Route Map:

Belle Air (Albania) 11.2013 Route Map

Upcoming Airline Collectible Shows

Airline Shows 11.2013

Aer Lingus reports a third quarter operating profit of $126.8 million

Aer Lingus Group (Aer Lingus) (Dublin) for the third quarter reported an operating profit of €94.9 million ($126.8 million) which is 4.4% ahead of last year.

Read the full financial report: CLICK HERE 

Read the analysis by Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330-302X EI-ELA (msn 1106) lifts off the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show


US Airways joins the PED airline list

US Airways (Phoenix) customers as of yesterday (November 7) can now use certain portable electronic devices (PEDs), including e-books, tablets and smartphones, during taxi, takeoff and landing while in “airplane mode” – a departure from the previous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restriction on use below 10,000 feet.  Customers on US Airways domestic mainline flights will now be permitted to use small PEDs during all phases of flight.

In approving the use of PEDs, the FAA ensured that all US Airways mainline aircraft are equipped to safely handle implementation of the new recommendations.  US Airways continues to work with all partner airlines operating as US Airways Express to ensure timely implementation of their individual programs which require separate FAA approval.

Travelers should keep in mind the following details with regard to the new policy:

  • The FAA’s new recommendations regarding onboard PED use apply only to domestic flights flown by US Airways mainline aircraft.
  • Phone calls are not permitted once the main cabin door is closed or before a flight attendant makes an announcement upon arrival.
  • Customers should adhere to all crewmember safety instructions and refrain from using PEDs during pre-flight safety announcements.
  • During takeoff and landing, customers are now permitted to secure items lighter than two pounds by holding them (with the option of securing them in seatback pockets).  PEDs heavier than two pounds must be secured for taxi, takeoff and landing in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of them.
  • PEDs must be operated in “airplane mode” or with cellular services disabled.
  • In-flight Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft once it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet and an onboard announcement has been made.

US Airways’ adoption of the new policy is the latest step in the company’s effort to upgrade its customers’ in-flight experience.  Earlier this year, the airline installed Gogo Wi-Fi In-flight internet on 270 Airbus A319, A320, A321 and Embraer 190 aircraft along with 58 Embraer 170 and 175 US Airways Express aircraft – outfitting 90 percent of the company’s domestic aircraft with wireless internet capabilities.  US Airways’ Airbus A319, A320 and A321 planes are equipped with Gogo’s ATG-4 (air-to-ground) technology, which strengthens the wireless internet capacity and increases the available data rate for customers.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-211 N195UW (msn 3633) arrives at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Delta’s flight 208 diverts to Cold Bay, Alaska, population 60

Delta logo

Delta Air Lines‘ (Atlanta) flight DL 208 with a Boeing 767-300 ER from Tokyo (Narita) to San Francisco yesterday (October 30) was forced to divert and make a safe landing at Cold Bay, Alaska (population 60) in the Aleutian chain of islands . The crew diverted due to a possible problem with one of the engines. Passengers and crew members were taken to a small community center where they waited for another aircraft. The long 10,000 foot runway was built by the military during the Aleutian campaign during World War II. The 167 passengers and 11 crew members finally made it to their final destination of San Francisco after another aircraft came to their rescue.

Read the full story from the Anchorage Daily News: CLICK HERE

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show


SAS operates its last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) flight, ending a long relationship with Douglas airplanes

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) operated and quietly retired their last McDonnell Douglas DC-9. The last MD-80 was operated on October 26, 2013 on flight SK403 from Stockholm-Arlanda to Copenhagen. This is the first time SAS will be without a Douglas aircraft in its fleet. SAS has operated every Douglas and McDonnell Douglas type since the DC-3 (except the DC-5 and the MD-11).

The last revenue flight (flight SK 403) was operated by McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) SE-DIR “Nora Viking” (msn 53004) between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Copenhagen on October 25. A special employee-only farewell flight was flown by DC-9-82 (MD-82) LN-RMM (msn 53005) on October 26 over Denmark.

DC-9-82s SE-DIR, OY-KHE (msn 49604) and LN-RMM all operated on the last day of revenue operations (October 25).

One of the aircraft will be donated to the SAS Museum outside of Oslo.

According to a Danish newspaper, the SAS MD-80s operated 3,134,900 flights with the 66 aircraft in the fleet. 2,977,195,000 km were flown since the type was introduced in October 1985.

All of the above information is from Airliners.net.

In other news, SAS recently finalized its Airbus long-haul order. On June 25, 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the order of 12 new long haul aircraft.

This month, SAS and Airbus signed the final long haul aircraft order agreement comprising 4 A330-300 Enhanced and 8 A350-900 plus 6 options for A350-900. The Airbus A330 will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 will be delivered from 2018.

Copyright Photo: Moritz Riemer/AirlinersGallery.com. DC-9-82 (MD-82) OY-KHE (msn 49604) in the Star Alliance livery arrives at Copenhagen.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show


The Atlantic takes a look at the “Secret Language of the Skies”

Atlantic logo

For those WAN readers who are not pilots, you may find this article very interesting. It is written by Deborah Fallows of The Atlantic on the “Secret Language of the Skies” and how navigational waypoints get their odd names.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Boeing’s new stretched 787-9 to make its first flight today

787-9 Taxi Test, originally uploaded by The Boeing Company.

Boeing (Chicago) today (September 17) is planning to launch its new Boeing 787-9 from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The company issued this short announcement concerning the first flight:

Less than 2 years after delivering the first Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes is proud to introduce the second member of the amazing Dreamliner family. Sporting the new Boeing livery, the first 787-9 extends the efficiencies and innovations of this game-changing line.

Join us for the live webcast of the 787-9 Dreamliner First Flight.

September 17, 2013. Starting approximately 9:40 AM PST/4:40 PM GMT.

In other news, Boeing will expand its manufacturing site in Helena, Montana by nearly 50 percent to support demand for Boeing commercial airplanes and new work for the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney, joined by Senator Max Baucus and Governor Steve Bullock, made the announcement at the Montana Jobs Summit in Butte. The nearly $35 million expansion will add more than 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space, bringing the Boeing Helena facility to 167,099 square feet.

“Our further investment in Montana is testament to our Helena team’s ability to deliver on their commitments and establish themselves as a reliable, globally competitive supplier to our commercial airplane programs,” McNerney said.

Construction will begin this fall on the south side of the existing facility, with estimated completion by the fourth quarter of 2014. Boeing expects the expansion and increased work to add 20-25 people to the 144-person workforce.

“Boeing Helena has a great future ahead in support of unprecedented production rates,” said Eric Smith, director and site leader, Boeing Helena. “This expansion ensures we have the stable workforce, skills and now the manufacturing space we need to support production requirements and take on new production for the 787-10.”

Boeing Helena manufactures complex parts for the 737, 747, 767 and 787 models from hard metals like titanium. Combined with its supply network in Montana, Boeing contributes significantly to the state’s economy.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Bombardier Aerospace is issued a Transport Canada Flight Test Permit

Bombardier Aerospace (Montreal) has announced that the first CSeries aircraft – Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) – has successfully obtained Transport Canada’s Flight Test Permit, thereby clearing the way for its maiden flight, expected in the coming weeks.

This follows a series of pre-flight tests including low-speed taxi runs. FTV1 will now proceed with high-speed taxi runs whereby the aircraft simulates speeds for flight take-off.

“Five years in the making and today, following receipt of Transport Canada’s flight test permit, we are very close to the CSeries airliner’s first flight – a historic moment for Bombardier and a game-changing moment for the industry,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The CSeries aircraft teams have spent the last few weeks completing rigorous exercises to ensure the integrity and maturity of the aircraft are absolutely in check with the flight crew’s requirements. Pending optimal weather, the CSeries aircraft will soon take to the skies.”

Bombardier will provide regular updates on the first flight timing via its website dedicated to the CSeries Aircraft First Flight www.cseriesfirstflight.bombardier.com, where the latest news about the program and its maiden flight will be posted. On the day of first flight, the event will be broadcast live on the site.

CSeries aircraft

Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 percent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft’s productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four percent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat. The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.

As of June 30, 2013, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft that included firm orders for 177 CSeries airliners.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CSeries CS100 (BD-500-1A10) “FTV1″ C-FBCS (msn 50001) parked at Montreal (Mirabel) now wears a full color scheme as it prepares for its first flight.

The “New Look” Airliners Gallery Photo Library


Today we have unveiled a refreshed “new look” AirlinersGallery.com Photo Library. The new look includes larger photos, more slide shows (every gallery features a slide show option) and a new folder system. Due to the expanding library, we adopted this new folder system to expand and better organize the galleries by the geographical areas and subjects.

Due to the new folder system, many of the galleries are now located in new folders. Some of the older photo and gallery links used on World Airline News in the articles of the past may no longer work properly. All links going forth in World Airline News and our other news blogs will use the new links.

To find an airline photo gallery please use the “Galleries” button above or go right to AirlinersGallery.com. To find a previous airline news article on World Airline News, please see the “All Previous Articles” section in the lower portion of the “Right Column” below right on this page.

We will be doubling the size of the AirlinersGallery.com photo library in the next two years with more airline galleries and many great new and old photos. Our intent is to have a gallery for every airline, past and present, with the best photography from the best photographers around the world.

Every image in the library is available as a color print (in many finishes and styles) or as a large poster. We also supply images to editors, publishers and advertisers around the world with our stock images.

Thank you for your support of the Airliners Gallery and the World Airline News.

Bruce Drum

Managing Editor-World Airline News



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