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Brussels Airlines to serve Basle/Mulhouse/Freiburg

Brussels Airlines (Brussels) starting on May 21, will connect Brussels with the EuroAirport Basle/Mulhouse/Freiburg. The EuroAirport serves the region of the Alsace, Baden-Würthemberg and NordwestSchweiz in the border region of France, Germany and Switzerland.

Brussels Airlines will fly eleven times a week with BAe (AVRO) RJ85 or RJ100 jets with a capacity of 82 or 97 seats. Passengers can choose between 3 on-board products: b.business, b.flex economy and b.light economy.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton.

Brussels Airlines Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

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PSA Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants reach a tentative agreement

PSA Airlines (2nd) (subsidiary of US Airways) (US Airways Express) (Dayton) has announced through US Airways it has reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with Council 75 of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), which represents PSA’s 268 flight attendants. Details of the agreement will be made available by AFA.

The AFA Master Executive Council (MEC) must first approve the tentative agreement before it can be sent to its members for consideration. This first step is expected to take place in the coming weeks. The tentative agreement would cover the airline’s 268 flight attendants, who are based in Dayton, Ohio; Knoxville, Tenn. and Charlotte, N.C.

Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell.

US Airways Express-PSA Airlines Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Etihad Airways is coming to Washington

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will launch daily nonstop service linking Abu Dhabi and Washington (Dulles) starting on March 31, 2013 (subject to regulatory approvals) according to the fast-growing carrier.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross.

Etihad Airways Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Estonian Air takes delivery of its first Embraer 170 in a revised livery

Estonian Air (Talinn) has taken delivery of the first 76-seater Embraer 170. The new arrival landed at Tallinn Airport yesterday (February 22). ERJ 170-100 ES-AEA (msn 17000093, ex OH-LEE) was delivered to Estonian Air under a lease agreement with Finnair (Helsinki). The aircraft is the first one carrying the new livery announced a week ago. Altogether Estonian Air will get four Embraer ERJ-170s aircraft from Finnair.

The first Embraer will make its first regular revenue flight in a few days. The other three aircraft will be delivered to Estonia in the coming weeks.

Estonian Air has selected Embraer E-Jet family to support its long-term strategy. Estonian Air is estimating a requirement for 12 Embraer E-Jet aircraft that will enable the company to increase flight frequencies, open new destinations and to operate at least double daily services to its main destinations in Europe.

The company is currently negotiating with the manufacturer and lessors on the delivery schedules and conditions for the further eight aircraft. These aircraft will be a mix of ERJ-175 and ERJ-190 models, which offer 88 and 112 seats respectively. The aircraft are scheduled to enter the fleet in the 2013-2015 time period.

Concerning the new livery, the airline released the following information:

“The new livery is part of Estonian Air brand renewal to emphasize the company’s important attributes: comfort, smartness, reliability and positively surprising. New livery includes the well-known and traditional Estonian Air colors, which have became very popular among our customers, but presents them in a fresh and modern way. Estonian national flower – the cornflower – ornaments have been added as well as a new rising line, which covers Estonian Air fresh brand concept and symbolizes being forward-looking and innovative.”

Estonian Air Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo and Image Below: Estonian Air.

Ryanair to cut 5 routes from Edinburgh

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it it will cut its base at Edinburgh from 7 to 6 aircraft, with the loss of five routes.

According to the airline, this will mean “a loss of 300,000 passengers per year, leading to the loss of up to 300 jobs, following the breakdown of negotiations with the high cost BAA Edinburgh about a competitive cost base for further Ryanair growth at Edinburgh.

Ryanair also warned that BAA Edinburgh’s high cost base will lead to significant further cuts in Ryanair’s operation, if its 5 year agreement (which expires in Oct 2012) is not extended on more competitive terms.”

The routes being cut at Edinburgh Airport include routes to Berlin, Malmo, Murcia, Ibiza and Tallinn. The cuts become effective for the summer 2012 schedule (starting in April).

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

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Ryanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

MetJet proposes public charters from Green Bay to both Minneapolis/Paul and Orlando starting on May 25

MetJet (Green Bay) is a Wisconsin-based public tour operator, which was funded by local business leaders and individuals that are dedicated to providing affordable nonstop air service between underserviced cities (primarily Green Bay) and key markets. The company was incorporated on March 23, 2007 with shares issued on April 12, 2011.

The company is taking reservations for charters starting on May 25 with wet leased Boeing 737-800s (operated by Sun Country Airlines?) operating from Green Bay to both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Orlando.

Michael Heisman owns 50% of the shares with other shareholders and corporate shares holding the other 50% share.

Proposed Route Map:

Click on the map to expand.

 

Boeing announces the next segment of 787 Dream Tour

Boeing (Chicago) will conduct the fourth segment of the 787 Dream Tour beginning on March 1. Stops will include visits to cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

In addition, the Dream Tour airplane, the pictured “ZA003″, will be featured at the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, in late March to kick off the fifth segment of the tour.

The March schedule includes the following stops:

March 1-4: Toronto, Canada, to visit Air Canada and local suppliers.
March 4: Boston, Mass., in support of Japan Airlines, which has announced that it will offer 787 service on the Tokyo-Boston route.
March 5-7: Newark, N.J., to visit United Airlines and its local stakeholders.
March 8-9: Mexico City, Mexico, to visit Aero Mexico.
March 10-12: Phoenix, Ariz., to visit Honeywell, other suppliers and Boeing employees.
March 13: San Diego, Calif., to visit Goodrich and other suppliers.
March 14-15: Long Beach, Calif., to visit leasing companies, Boeing employees and suppliers.
March 15-17: Salt Lake City, Utah, to visit Boeing employees and suppliers.

The Dream Tour airplane is outfitted with the 787’s special cabin features, including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting. The airplane is configured with a luxurious business-class cabin, an overhead crew rest compartment and an economy class section.

Dates and locations for additional tour stops will be announced approximately one month in advance. At many of the stops, local media will have the opportunity to participate in tours of the airplane and discussions with Boeing executives and pilots.

For updates on the 787 Dream Tour, including videos, photos and reports from the tour stops, visit http://www.newairplane.com/787/dreamtour.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

More push back from American Airlines’ employees on proposed cutbacks

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is facing a new labor hostility front from the Ad Hoc Committee of Passenger Service Agents. The group issued this statement:

“The Ad Hoc Committee of Passenger Service Agents, representing agents at American Airlines, filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court on February 22, 2012 to prevent AMR Corporation from making unilateral changes in the wages, benefits and working conditions of American Airlines agents.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has helped the airport, cargo, and reservations agents create the Ad Hoc Committee so this group would have standing in bankruptcy court. On January 27, AMR attorneys and the bankruptcy judge recognized the standing of the committee; AMR has tried to ignore the committee but clearly that isn’t working.

On February 1, AMR Corp. announced it would make changes to compensation and other employment terms of non-management workers who do not have a union. On that same day, AMR presented specific proposals for changes it wanted in the collective bargaining agreements of the union groups and currently is bargaining with them. While AMR has not told those without union representation all of its plans for cuts for those workers, it has said it wants to terminate their pension plan, eliminate their subsidy for retiree health care, dramatically increase active employees’ health care costs, and cut jobs.

In its motion to Judge Sean H. Lane, the Ad Hoc Committee of PSAs strongly objected to such changes, especially since a petition for a representation election among agents was filed by CWA with the National Mediation Board on December 7, 2011. Passenger service agents already have been hit with wage and benefit cuts, beginning in 2003 when AMR cut wages by 4.75 percent and eliminated a scheduled wage increase of 3 percent. Workers who are classified as home-based employee agents, about 26 percent of all reservations representatives, receive lower wages and benefits.

Since CWA has filed to represent the workers, with strong support among passenger and reservations agents, allowing AMR management to make changes in the current compensation and working conditions of agents would violate the Railway Labor Act, which requires that “laboratory conditions” be maintained while the NMB is processing the petition.

The Ad Hoc Committee also told the bankruptcy judge that AMR should be prohibited from making unilateral changes during the period between CWA’s certification as the agents’ bargaining representative and the approval of an initial collective bargaining agreement.

Agents’ concerns that AMR management will act quickly to cut wages, benefits and working conditions are real. AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2011 with the express goal of reducing labor costs, despite having $4 billion on hand.

Bryan Wall is a Sacramento-based agent. He says: “The company has already said it wants to outsource jobs. I know as an agent in a small station my job is in jeopardy if we don’t get CWA representation. The company can’t do whatever it wants to with the union groups, it has to negotiate. With our upcoming union election, already in the works, I think the company should agree to wait to make changes until after our election. This way we can negotiate a contract that would work best for us and the company.”

Evelyn Eng, a Los Angeles-based agent, stressed that American Airlines’ cost-cutting will hurt passengers as well as workers. “If American Airlines outsources, you won’t get the same quality service as you would from an American Airlines employee. Our passengers deserve the best, and we long-serving agents are the best qualified people for the job!”

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. The “Working Together” sub-titles on this aircraft are becoming ironic given the growing toxic relations between management and the various ad-hoc labor groups. Ultimately the bankruptcy judge will have the final approval of any reorganization plan after hearing all parties.

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Delta expands partnership with China Eastern and China Southern

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today announced expanded codeshare agreements with China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) and China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou).

The agreements, recently approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, will allow both Chinese carriers to place their codes and flight numbers on Delta-operated flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Beijing. In addition, China Eastern will place its code and flight numbers on Delta-operated flights between Detroit and Beijing.

The airlines’ agreement already allows China Eastern to codeshare on Delta’s flight between Detroit and Shanghai; and allows Delta to codeshare on China Eastern-operated flights from New York and Los Angeles to Shanghai as well as China Southern’s service between Los Angeles and Guangzhou.

In addition, once the expanded codeshare is implemented, Delta and China Eastern will provide codeshare service to 34 cities within the U.S and China, while Delta and China Southern will provide codeshare to 18 cities in the two nations.

China Southern and China Eastern are both members of the SkyTeam international alliance, which also includes Delta. Later this year, Xiamen Airlines, which operates a network of domestic and regional services throughout China and Asia and whose major shareholder is China Southern, also will join SkyTeam.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

Delta Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

American Airlines’ flight attendants call for new management

American Airlines’ (Dallas/Fort Worth) is facing a new grass roots campaign by some of its flight attendants who are calling for a new management group.

Here is the released statement:

“A controversial series of YouTube videos mocking a flight attendant’s bosses at American Airlines has morphed into an all-out grassroots movement to remove the upper-management team now running American Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in November of 2011. The bankruptcy filing was followed by an announcement of extensive layoffs and planned pay cuts at the airline. Multi-million-dollar bonuses and lavish perks were paid to top executives while 15,000 employees expect to lose their jobs and benefits.

A website has been created, http://www.sAAveAA.com, to allow American employees, the traveling public and workers everywhere to sign the petition online asking that the leadership at American be replaced during the reorganization. Once 250,000 signatures are collected, the petition will be turned over to Judge Sean Lane, who is presiding over the American Airlines bankruptcy case. Gailen David, a 24-year flight attendant with American, has been joined in this campaign by thousands of supporters gained through the popularity of his videos and blogs.

Why would a flight attendant put his job at risk by speaking out so publicly against his employer?

“The current management team has led American though more than a decade of profound decline in customer service, leadership, financial stability and employee morale. The time has come to take a new direction. We ask Judge Lane to put an end to the madness and bring in proven, competent leadership to help create a new American Airlines,” says David, who recently released a series of videos on YouTube poking fun at the management of American Airlines.

A “Message to American Airlines Flight Attendants” was the first video released on YouTube by David — now on a leave of absence. In the video, dressed as a female airline executive with a Texas accent, Mr. David reads a letter sent to flight attendants by American’s Vice President of Onboard Services, Lauri Curtis. His tongue-in-cheek, saccharin-laced rendition of the letter resonated with employees and the public alike and quickly reached viral status on the Internet.

“The response from other American Airlines staff and the general public has been overwhelming and has only given me determination to shine a spotlight on the reckless mismanagement that has been occurring at American for over a decade. It is time for fresh, visionary leadership at AA that will make it an airline that people love to fly and to be a part of once again,” David says.

The next videos were based on the movie trailers for the motion picture “Iron Lady,” which starred Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the UK. The “Aluminum Lady” and “Aluminum Lady 2″ are his spoof on the “Iron Lady” trailers starring American Airlines’ fictional “Minister of Flight Attendants,” a character he created that embodies all of the most inhumane and avaricious qualities of today’s boardroom villains.

American Airlines was not amused and they quickly threatened to terminate David’s employment if he did not show up for an investigatory/disciplinary meeting. Following worldwide media coverage, American’s spokesperson, Bruce Hicks, issued a new statement to the media claiming that they had “no intention” of terminating David. They only wished to discuss the matter with him as he returns to work at the end of his leave of absence. The airline has not yet made a statement since the petition was launched on February 17, 2012.”

About Gailen David

Gailen David has flown for American Airlines for 24 years and is based in Miami. In 2007, he created “Dear Sky Steward,” his travel blog in which he leads a discussion about “Jetiquette — Civilized Travel.” Through his blog, social media and monthly television appearances, he reaches an audience of over 20 million viewers per month. He is passionate about customer service and hopes that he can bring honor and dignity back to air travel.

Website: http://www.dearskysteward.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dearskysteward

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/skysteward

VIDEO EMBED:

YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/skysteward

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

Dragonair to expand its fleet and expand in China

Dragonair (Hong Kong) has announced plans to add six more aircraft and extend its network in Mainland China and Asia in response to growing air traffic demand in the region. The airline will also speed up product upgrades, including new aircraft seats, inflight entertainment equipment and broadband connectivity, as part of its commitment to providing a premium travel experience.

The additional six aircraft, four Airbus A320s and two Airbus A330s, will enter the fleet this year, expanding the size of the Dragonair fleet from 32 to 38 aircraft. The carrier will resume services to Guilin, Xian and Taichung by the second quarter of 2012 and is looking into the possibility of adding two to three more new destinations in Mainland China and within the region later in the year.

Dragonair saw good demand in its premium cabins throughout 2011, though growth was slower in Economy Class. August was a record-breaking month for the airline with new highs for both the number of passengers carried and revenue. The airline’s performance in the first month of 2012 was buoyed by strong demand over the Chinese New Year period and on 29 January Dragonair set a new record for the number of passengers carried in a single day.

Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that Asia is driving the growth in aviation and shifting the industry’s center of gravity eastward. In 2010, about 33% of passengers travelled on routes to, from or within the Asia-Pacific region – more than both North America and Europe. Meanwhile, of the 877 million additional passengers that will be generated between 2010 and 2015, 212 million are expected to fly on routes associated with China.

Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard.

Buy this photo: CLICK HERE

Dragonair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Dragonair’s regional routes (in red):

Please click on the map to expand.

Kingfisher Airlines may get bank loans to keep operating, announces a new reduced schedule

Kingfisher Airlines (Bangalore and Mumbai) is fighting for its corporate life. The airline has submitted a reduced schedule in order to prevent more cancellations and will return some Airbus A320s. In addition, the carrier may receive some bank loans to continue operating per this article by the Deccan Herald.

Read the articles: CLICK HERE and also CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard.

Buy this Photo: CLICK HERE

Kingfisher Slide Show: CLICK HERE

A new crash investigation of Airblue’s flight ED 202 to be conducted

The government of Pakistan has informed the Peshawar High Court that it has decided to conduct another investigation into the Airblue (Islamabad) flight ED 202 crash on July 28, 2010. The Airbus A321 crash killed all 152 passengers and crew members on board. The first investigation report was rejected by the court.

Read the full report from The News: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Please click on the photo for additional information on the crash.

Airblue Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Routes from Islamabad:

Click on the map to expand.

Gulf Air to add 11 more weekly flights to Jeddah and Riyadh

Gulf Air (Bahrain) will added 11 extra flights to its existing flight schedule from Bahrain to Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to meet the increasing passenger demand.

The airline will operate four extra flights from Jeddah to Bahrain, increasing its frequency from 10 to 14 per week each direction starting on March 1, 2012, while adding seven flights from Riyadh to Bahrain increasing the frequency from its present 14 flights per week to 21 flights each direction, also starting on March 1, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton.

Buy this Photo: CLICK HERE

Gulf Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Regional routes from Bahrain:

Please click on the map to expand.

Nasair withdraws from India, graduates its first 30 Saudi pilots

Nasair (flynas.com) (Riyadh) has dropped its final route (Kozhikode) to India on February 1.

In other news, Nasair celebrated the graduation of the first 30 Saudi pilots under it’s “Future Pilots Program”. The airline has targeted the goal of 100 Saudi pilots for the growing airline.

Read the full story from Arab News: CLICK HERE

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Routes from the Riyadh hub:

Click on the map to expand.

KLM to repaint seven Boeing 777-200 ERs in KLM Asia livery

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) is repainting seven Boeing 777-206 ERs (PH-BQF/H/I/K/L/M/N) to KLM Asia markings so the aircraft can fly the rerouted Amsterdam-Taipei-Manila route according to Scramble. KLM uses the “KLM Asia” brand to fly to Taipei (Taiwan) and the aircraft must fly over China. Previously KLM used Boeing 747s for its services to Taiwan.

KLM Asia was established in 1995 in order to operate flights to Taipei, without compromising the traffic rights held by KLM for destinations in the People’s Republic of China. KLM Asia is no longer in official operation but its aircraft still fly in the KLM Asia livery.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

KLM Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Boeing: 55 Dreamliners have the potential “shimming problem”

Boeing (Chicago) has stated 55 of its 787 Dreamliners “have the potential” to develop a fuselage shimming problem, but the company reiterated again the fault was being fixed.

Read the full story from the Jakarta Globe: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

Southwest Airlines’ mechanics throw a wrench into the AirTran Airways integration

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has issued a statement regarding the “no” vote by its mechanics concerning the proposed integration plan with the mechanics of subsidiary of AirTran Airways.

Here is the statement:

“Southwest Airlines has offered a statement in response to the “no” vote by the Southwest Airlines Aircraft Mechanics, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) Local 11, on the tentative seniority integration agreement it had with the Company and with Aircraft Mechanics with AirTran Airways. This tentative agreement would have integrated the two groups’ seniority lists.

“With the rejection of the seniority integration proposal, we understand that Employees have different perspectives and opinions on this issue, but our goal continues to be the speedy resolution of seniority integration,” said Jim Sokol, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Maintenance Operations. “Our vested interest remains focused on our Employees, and we fully support a proposal that meets their needs without increasing complexity, creating division, or diminishing Southwest’s Culture.”
The next step in this process is the joint filing for arbitration by AMFA and IBT. The Company’s preference is that the two parties come to a resolution before arbitration begins, and it remains open to working with both Unions to reach a solution that supports a comprehensive integration. AMFA represents approximately 1,600 Southwest Airlines Aircraft Mechanics, and the IBT represents more than 400 AirTran Aircraft Mechanics.
Southwest and AirTran Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Flight Attendants have already successfully completed the Seniority Integration negotiation process. Work groups still in seniority integration negotiations include Aircraft Mechanics; Ramp, Operations, and Provisioning Agents; Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Service Employees; Dispatchers; and Materials Specialists.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

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Southwest Airlines Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

United Airlines to launch nonstop Newark-Istanbul service

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced plans to launch daily, nonstop flights between its Newark Liberty International Airport hub and Istanbul, effective on July 1, 2012, subject to government approval. Westbound service from Istanbul begins July 2.

Istanbul will be the 76th international destination that United serves from New York/Newark and the 37th city in United’s trans-Atlantic route network. With service to points in the Americas, Europe and Asia, United offers more flights from the New York area to more destinations worldwide than any other airline.

United flight UA 904 will depart from Newark daily at 7:27 p.m. (1927) and arrive in Istanbul at 12:20 p.m. (1230) the next day. Flight UA 905 will depart Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport daily at 1:55 p.m. (1355) and arrive at Newark at 6:02 p.m. (1802) on the same day.

The airline will initially operate the services with three-cabin Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 183 seats – six in United Global First, 26 in United BusinessFirst and 151 in United Economy, including 67 Economy Plus seats with added legroom. Effective on August 28, the airline will operate the service with two-cabin Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 214 seats – 30 in BusinessFirst and 184 in Economy, including 46 Economy Plus seats.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Air Zimbabwe fails to resume domestic flights after its unpaid pilots refuse to fly

Air Zimbabwe (Harare) was unable to resume domestic operations yesterday which were suspended last month. The pilots refused to fly until their unpaid back wages are paid according to News Day.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten.

Air Zimbabwe Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Virgin Atlantic adopts a “block IAG takeover and replace BMI” strategy

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is calling on the European Commission to block the IAG takeover of BMI (East Midlands). The company is also vowing to replace the critical UK-Heathrow feeder services provided by BMI with its own UK regional carrier.

Is Virgin Atlantic the undisclosed bidder for BMI Regional?

Read the full article from Travel Weekly: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Wingnut.

Virgin Atlantic Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

United Airlines finally repaints the last mainline aircraft in the 1993 blue and gray livery

United Airlines (Chicago), like Delta Air Lines in the past, was flying lately with three brands. Three brands at one time is not always the best marketing strategy as it often confuses the consumer. Now for the mainline, UA is now down to just two aircraft liveries. The last mainline aircraft to wear the pictured 1993 gray top color scheme is finally being repainted. Ironically the UA aircraft are being repainted into the older 1991 Continental color scheme. It is “back to the future” for the new United Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

United Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Fly Guam suspends charter operations

Fly Guam (Guam) has apparently suspended all scheduled charter operations and no flights are listed on their website. The pictured colorful Sky King Airlines (Lakeland) Boeing 737-400 has returned to Florida and is now flying charters from Miami still with the Fly Guam titles.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Fly Guam Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

PIA and Boeing finalize an order for five additional Boeing 777-300 ERs

PIA-Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi) and Boeing (Chicago) today announced a firm order for five 777-300 ER (extended range) airplanes. Valued at nearly $1.5 billion at list prices, the order also includes purchase rights to Pakistan International Airlines for five additional 777-300 ERs.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

PIA Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Southwest and AirTran announce new routes

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways (OrlandO) announced today new nonstop routes as they extend their flight schedules for travel bookings out through November 2, 2012. Southwest announced new nonstop service between Detroit and Las Vegas and AirTran announced new nonstop service between Des Moines and Chicago Midway. In addition, Southwest will now operate two daily nonstop flights between Atlanta and San Francisco as it transitions this route from an AirTran-operated city pair to one operated by Southwest. Southwest also will initiate one daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and Orlando, with AirTran continuing its nine daily flights between these cities.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines. WN and FL are now tail-to-tail at the Atlanta hub.

AirTran Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Southwest Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Kingfisher Airlines claims its cancellations are due to frozen bank accounts

Kingfisher Airlines (Bangalore and Mumbai) has cancelled a high number of flights since Saturday. According to this report by Reuters, the airline claims the cancellations are due mostly to frozen bank accounts.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: David Apps.

Kingfisher Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

OLT Express Poland to add 17 new routes in April

OLT Express (Poland) (formerly Yes Airways) (Warsaw) will add 17 new routes in Poland in April according to Warsaw Business Journal.

According to the WBJ, from Warsaw will add new services to Gdańsk, Szczecin, Poznań, Wrocław and Rzeszów. From Gdańsk, the company will add new flights to Szczeciń, Poznań, Wrocław, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź and Warsaw.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Damian Lesniak.

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LOT Polish Airlines to drop Hanoi on March 26, will add Beijing

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) will drop Hanoi due to poor load on March 26. Instead the flag carrier will add new service to Beijing.

On the financial side, the carrier lost over $44 million in 2011.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography.

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LOT Slide Show: CLICK HERE

airLithuanica is proposed in Lithuania as a new flag carrier

airLithuanica (Vilnius) is a newly-proposed airline in Lithuania to replace FlyLAL which ceased operations on January 16, 2009.

According to this report by ATO.ru, Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas stated city officials will possibly participate in the creation of a new airline named airLituanica. The proposed makeup is 34% of the new airline to be owned by the city of Vilnius, 49% by a prospective strategic investor and 17% by other shareholders in Lithuania.

Update: On June 18, 2013 at the Paris Airshow, Embraer issued this statement about the new carrier:

AirLituanica of Vilnius, Lithuania, has acquired two Embraer E-Jets. The carrier will launch scheduled service on June 30 with one Embraer 170 leased from a third party. In July, Air Lituanica will add another E-Jet, an Embraer 175, leased from ECC Leasing Company, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Embraer.

The E170 and E175 are configured with 76 and 86 seats in single class, respectively. AirLituanica will deploy the aircraft on its planned routes between Vilnius and Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich and Moscow. The airline intends to add three to four more aircraft to increase frequencies with the objective of serving a dozen European routes from Vilnius in three years.

Read the report (in Russian): CLICK HERE

Ryanair to open 8 new routes from Warsaw’s new Modlin Airport

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open eight new routes from Warsaw to Brussels, Budapest, Dublin, London, Milan, Oslo, Rome and Stockholm as soon as Warsaw’s new Modlin airport opens on July 16, 2012. These eight new Warsaw routes will deliver 700,000 passengers per year and will create up to 700 local jobs at Modlin Airport according to the airline.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

Ryanair Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Ryan International Airlines becomes a new Airbus operator

Ryan International Airlines (Rockford) has become a new Airbus operator. The pictured Airbus A330-343X N771RD (msn 1231, ex G-VINE) was leased from Virgin Atlantic Airways on November 23, 2011. The jetliner is operating in an all-white condition with a simple “Ryan” title on the forward fuselage and logo on the tail and the engines.

The airliner has been operating subservices for other carriers, military contract flying, college football bowl charter flights and other charter flights.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Airbus A330-343X N771RD (msn 1231) lands at Baltimore/Washington from Sanford on February 13, 2012.

Ryan International Airlines: AG Slide Show

Ryan

UPS makes a bid for TNT Express N.V. which is rejected but the two companies continue talking

UPS-United Parcel Service (Atlanta) is in talks to acquire TNT Express N.V. (Hoofddorp). TNT is the second-largest package-delivery company in Europe. TNT has rejected UPS’ initial $6.43 billion takeover offer.

The bid of 9 euros per share is 42 percent higher than Friday’s closing price of TNT’s stock according to Bloomberg.

TNT issued the following statement:

“TNT Express N.V. announces that it has received an unsolicited non-binding and conditional proposal from United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) for the acquisition of the whole of the issued capital of TNT Express at an indicative price of € 9 per ordinary share.

The TNT Express N.V. Supervisory and Executive Boards have carefully considered the indicative proposal and explored its rationale, merits and risks for shareholders and all other stakeholders.

The TNT Express N.V. boards have rejected the proposal. They have informed UPS accordingly but continue to be in discussions.”

TNT Airways S.A. (Liege) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the TNT Express.

The TNT fleet includes:

3 Boeing 777F freighters
4 Boeing 747-400ERF freighters
2 Boeing 767-200F freighters (ABX Air)
1 Boeing 767-300F freighters (Gestair)
2 Airbus A300-600F freighters (Air Atlanta)
3 Boeing 757-200SF Special Freighters (Icelandair and Gestair)
12 Boeing 737-300/400SF Special Freighters (Bluebird, Cargo Air and Ukraine International)
18 BAe 146 including 2 QC models

Read the full article by Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

TNT Airways Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

UPS Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

AeroMexico is coming to Atlanta on July 1 from Mexico City

AeroMexico (Mexico City) will add Atlanta and the Mexico City-Atlanta route on July 1, linking it with partner Delta Air Lines. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-700s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema.

Buy this Photo: CLICK HERE

AeroMexico Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Allegiant to drop four routes from Las Vegas in April

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will drop the Knoxville-Las Vegas route on April 9.

In addition, the carrier is also dropping service from Las Vegas to Lexington (April 7), Pueblo and Redmond in April.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Buy this Photo: CLICK HERE

Allegiant Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Singapore Airlines to retire the Boeing 747 with two special flights on April 6

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has announced it will operate special commemorative flights between Singapore and Hong Kong on April 6, 2012 to mark the retirement of the Boeing 747 after nearly four decades of service.

Flight SQ 747 from Singapore to Hong Kong and SQ 748 from Hong Kong to Singapore will be operated with this Boeing 747-400 (9V-SPQ), replacing existing flights SQ 860 and SQ 863, which are normally operated with Airbus A330-300s.

The special flights, which will be SIA’s last commercial passenger services with the Boeing 747, are now open for sale. In addition to more than 300 commercial passengers, on board will be employees who have worked on the aircraft throughout its storied history, as well as a group of underprivileged children and media.

The commemorative flights will have an extended flying time of one hour to enable those on board to be treated to a unique inflight experience. This will include specially crafted meal services and inflight entertainment. Customers will also receive limited edition Boeing 747 memorabilia.

First Class customers will be provided an additional experience – an exclusive tour of the Airline’s cabin crew training facilities and Boeing 747-400 flight simulator in Singapore.

A dedicated website has been set up to commemorate the jumbo’s retirement, at http://www.SIAjourneys.com, featuring milestones and records set over the years, historical photographs and video footage, including interviews with staff and customers. Information about fares for flights SQ 747 and SQ 748 can also be found on the website.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Singapore Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Worldwide routes operated by Singapore Boeing 747s:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Please click on the photo for additional details.

ANA announces its strategy for the coming years

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) has announced it strategic plans for the next two fiscal years (this is a common practice in Japan).

The highlights of the plan are:

1. A 22 per cent increase in ANA’s international operations in two years.

2. Increase in operating income to ¥110 billion in FY2012 and ¥130 billion in FY2013.

3. Adoption of multi-brand strategy and switch to holding company structure.

4. Further efficiency measures to reduce Group costs by ¥100 billion.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

ANA Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Lion Air signs a contract for 27 additional ATR 72-600s for Wings Air

Lion AIr (Jakarta) on February 16, 2012 signed a contract with ATR for the purchase of 27 additional ATR 72-600 aircraft. Once these aircraft will be integrated into the fleet of Lion Air’s regional subsidiary Wings Air, it will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in the world, with a total fleet of 60 aircraft (20 ATR 72-500s and 40 ATR 72-600s). Wings Air currently operates a fleet of 16 ATR 72-500s across its domestic network in Indonesia. The airline plans to receive its 60th ATR 72 by the end of 2015.

These next 44 ATR 72-500/600s to be delivered to Wings Air will continue to develop new routes departing mainly from Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua islands. Some of these aircraft will also replace and complement Wings Air’s MD-80s and Lion Air’s Boeing 737s operating from these airports, thus adding new frequencies into the network.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

United rebrands premium cabins, upgrades food, entertainment and amenities

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced the company is upgrading its premium-cabin services to offer customers new food and beverage options, additional choices in in-flight entertainment, and – on long-haul international flights – new amenity kits, pillows and blankets.

According to the airline, “United is also rebranding its international, long-haul premium-cabin services, introducing:

United Global First, the international first-class experience on three-cabin aircraft.

United BusinessFirst, the international business-class experience on two-cabin and three-cabin aircraft.

United Global First, United BusinessFirst

Beginning on March 3, 2012 on long-haul international flights and many flights within Asia and the Pacific, first-class customers on three-cabin aircraft will experience United Global First, with a higher level of privacy and comfort, a flat-bed seat, priority airport services and more-personal attention.

On most of United’s three-cabin aircraft, United Global First suites offer flat-bed seats, laptop power, USB ports, individual audio and video on demand with noise-reduction headsets, additional storage compartments and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.

Beginning in the second quarter 2012 , United will upgrade the long-haul first-class experience with new amenities, including:

More-comfortable bedding amenities.
Additional in-flight food choices.
New amenity kits featuring Philosophy-brand skin-care products.

United also will extend Continental’s award-winning BusinessFirst product to United, offering an elevated business-class service with new amenities that include:

An additional entree option, for a total of four, designed by United’s Congress of Chefs. United is also changing the way it prepares business-class meals to improve the quality and taste.

Expanded wine selections chosen by Doug Frost, Sommelier and Master of Wine.

New ice cream sundae dessert option with a choice of six toppings.

Improved in-flight entertainment including noise-reduction headsets.

New amenity kits featuring Philosophy-brand skin-care products.

Duvet-style blankets and higher-quality pillows and hot towels.

For customers flying United in North America, between North America and Central America, between North America and northern South America, and on some flights within Asia and the Pacific islands, the airline will continue to offer United First and United Business premium-cabin services.

On most flights, United has revamped its premium-cabin meal and snack choices to offer customers their favorites among options previously available only on United flights or Continental flights, including:

Warmed, all-natural scones and cookies, made from scratch exclusively for United.

Warmed cinnamon rolls on breakfast flights.

Pasta salads as a light snack.

Premium snacks including all-natural pop chips, Emerald nuts, Clif organic energy bars, Toblerone

Swiss milk chocolate and fresh fruit.

Warmed nuts offered in a small china bowl on all lunch and dinner services.

Ice cream sundaes offered with a choice of six toppings, available on many transcontinental lunch and dinner services.

On United Express flights longer than two hours, customers seated in the premium cabin may enjoy complimentary snack boxes.

The rebranding and expanded menu options come as United continues with plans to invest more than $550 million to upgrade aircraft interiors. The airline has installed Economy Plus seating on dozens of Continental aircraft. When fully deployed, United will offer customers more extra-legroom economy-class seats than any other airline in the world.

United continues to upgrade its widebody fleet with new premium cabins, with more than 130 aircraft outfitted with flat-bed seats. Once completed in early 2013, United will offer more premium-cabin flat-bed seats than any other airline.

Beginning later in 2012, customers will see additional improvements, including larger overhead bins on Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft – increasing the available carry-on storage space by approximately two-thirds – and satellite-enabled inflight internet service. United is also introducing on-demand entertainment on its popular transcontinental p.s. service, along with an expanded premium-cabin service with flat-bed seats.”

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

United Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Mokulele Airlines rebrands under its new ownership

Mokulele Flight Service (Mokulele Airlines) (Kailua-Kona), flying the skies of Hawai’i since 1994, was recently purchased by TransPac Aviation Holdings in late 2011 from the Mesa Group.

While rebranding its core business, the airline is maintaining its marketing relationship with Go!

Mokulele Airlines has introduced a new logo and branding and is taking a hard look at its core business. The airline will now focus on the commuter inter-island business.

Mokulele Airlines will continue all of its current routes – including flying the only shuttle between Kailua-Kona and Kahului and between Kahului and Molokai.

Mokulele offers over 40 flights a day connecting Maui and Oahu to the Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai using 9-seat turbine powered Cessna Grand Caravan 208 aircraft.

Destinations in Hawaii:

Alaska Airlines starts seasonal service between San Jose and Palm Springs, California

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today inaugurates new seasonal service between San Jose and Palm Springs, California. The new nonstop route operates through June 2. After a hiatus from June 3 to October 4, seasonal service will then resume on October 5, 2012.

The seasonal San Jose-Palm Springs route will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, with the fuel-efficient Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400).

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Alaska Horizon Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Spirit Airlines moves into Denver, what is the future of Frontier Airlines?

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced that it will start nonstop service from Denver International Airport (DEN) to the carrier’s four largest bases. On May 3, 2012, Spirit will begin offering nonstop service from Denver to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Las Vegas, with connections available to 29 additional cities throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America.

Spirit’s new service includes:

1. Daily service between Denver and Chicago O’Hare.

2. Daily service between Denver and Dallas/Fort Worth with a second daily flight starting on May 17, 2012.

3. Daily service between Denver and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

4. Twice daily service between Denver and Las Vegas.

Is this a strategic move by Spirit in preparation of a potential bid for Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver)? Frontier’s parent Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) still has not made up its mind on what it will do with Frontier. However their hand may be forced by this move. The ultra low-cost carrier’s move into the DEN market will further lower air fares and also further erode Frontier’s yield in its largest hub. It is already suffering at the Milwaukee hub.

What is the future of Frontier?

Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell.

Spirit Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

The updated Spirit Route Map. The Frontier Route Map would mess well with Spirit’s. Spirit’s recent moves have been mainly in the West setting the stage for this announcement.

Please click on the map to expand.

Air Australia goes into bankruptcy and the fleet is grounded

Air Australia (formerly Strategic Airlines) (Brisbane) on February 17, 2012, the Director of the Air Australia group of companies appointed John Park and Mark Korda of KordaMentha as Voluntary Administrators.

The fleet has been grounded.

The following statement was issue by Air Australia:

“It currently appears that there are no funds available to meet operational expenses so flights will be suspended immediately. For clarity, it also appears highly unlikely there will be any flights in the short to medium term. You should make alternate travel arrangements.”

Read the “behind the scenes” account of the over-spending by Air Australia by newscom.au: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Lloyd Fox. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Air Australia Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Strategic Airlines Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

QANTAS Group announces a half year profit of A$202 million

QANTAS Group (Sydney) issued the following financial statement (all amounts in Australian dollars):

“The Qantas Group has announced underlying profit before tax of $202 million for the half-year ended December 31, 2011, a decrease of $215 million compared with the prior corresponding period. Statutory profit before tax was $58 million.

The result reflects the $194 million financial impact of industrial action during the first half, as well as increased fuel costs compared with the prior corresponding period. Total fuel costs in the half were $2.2 billion, up $444 million (or 26 per cent).

The Group also today outlined measures that respond to global economic conditions and the structural challenges facing Qantas, including the European finance crisis, the changing Australian economy and the need to increase efficiency and competitiveness. These steps will position the Group for a strong, sustainable future and build long-term shareholder value.

They include a reduction in capital expenditure of $700 million over 2011/12 and 2012/13; a review of Qantas’ heavy maintenance footprint in Australia; and changes to Qantas’ catering and engineering operations.

Qantas’ underlying EBIT in the first half was $66 million, compared with $165 million in the prior corresponding period.

Jetstar achieved record underlying EBIT of $147 million, up $4 million on last year’s first-half earnings.

The following network changes will be made in order to adjust capacity to market conditions and route performance:

1. Withdrawal from the Singapore-Mumbai and Auckland-Los Angeles routes, effective 6 May 2012. This is in addition to previously-announced withdrawals from the Hong Kong-London and Bangkok-London routes, effective March 2012.

2. Aircraft changes on the following international and domestic routes: Sydney-Bangkok (Boeing 747 replaced with Airbus A330 from 10 June), Sydney-Perth (Boeing 747 replaced with Airbus A330 on certain services from 6 May) and Melbourne-Perth (additional A330 services added from 6 May).

3. Capacity increases on the Los Angeles-New York route from 6 May (Airbus A330 replaced with Boeing 747) and Sydney-Tokyo route from 10 June (one Airbus A330 service per week replaced with a Boeing 747 service, resulting in daily Boeing 747 services).

4. Early retirement of two further Boeing 747 aircraft (in addition to the four early B747 retirements announced in August 2011).”

QANTAS Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Rock Center’s feature on FedEx and interview with Fred Smith

FedEx (Memphis) was one of the feature sections last night on NBC’s Rock Center:

Watch the Video: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

FedEx Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

 

DirectAir to add three new destinations from Lakeland

DirectAir (Myrtle Beach) has announced it will add three new destinations from Lakeland (near Orlando). Flights from LAL to Columbus, OH, Gulfport/Biloxi and Pittsburgh will commence on May 18 and will be operated by Sky King Airlines (Lakeland).

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

Route Map:

Please click on the photo for the full view.

Horizon Air orders two additional Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s)

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) has signed a firm purchase agreement for two Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) NextGen airliners. Horizon Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, is the largest operator of Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft in the Americas with 48 aircraft in service today.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

Horizon Air Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Garuda Indonesia orders six Bombardier CRJ1000 jets

Garuda Indonesia Airways (Jakarta) has now been confirmed as the airline that ordered the six Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen regional jets and placed 18 options, announced by Bombardier on February 10, 2012 as an unidentified customer.

Including the order from Garuda Indonesia, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1,715 CRJSeries aircraft, with 1,661 delivered as of December 31, 2011.

Image: Bombardier.

Garuda Indonesia Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Ethiopian Airlines orders five Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s)

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has been confirmed as the airline that has ordered five new Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s). Two of the five aircraft will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines and three by its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo.

This order brings the total number of Q400s ordered by Ethiopian to 13.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photogaphy.

Ethiopian Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Drukair signs a MOU for an Airbus A319 with Sharklets

Drukair (Paro), the flag carrier of landlocked Eastern Himalayan mountain Kingdom of Bhutan, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for an Airbus A319-100 aircraft fitted with Sharklets to complement its existing fleet of two A319s.

Paro is the only airport in Bhutan which is located in a deep valley at an elevation of 7300 ft above sea level. The surrounding hills are high as 16,000 ft and approach into Paro airport is entirely by visual flight rules. Due to the difficult operating conditions, operations with the Dornier 228 caused many delays and diversions. With the growth of traffic and the expansion of flights, the need for a larger aircraft became necessary. After conducting numerous tests taking into account the difficult operating conditions the British Aerospace BAe 146-100 was selected and started operations in November 1988. Within a short span of its introduction the network of Drukair increased to link Paro with New-Delhi, Bangkok and Kathmandu. From two destinations in 1983 today Drukair operates from Paro seven times a week to Bangkok where five flights operate via Kolkata and two flights through Gaya (flights via Dhaka and Yangon are currently suspended), three times a week to Kathmandu and Delhi.

Drukair purchased and Airbus delivered two A319 in the largest transaction the country has ever taken. The final delivery of the A319 was made on December 3, 2004 and as of now, both the Airbus are operational.

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen.

Bottom Image: Airbus.

The country of Bhutan:

Norwegian’s loss widens in the fourth quarter

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) reported its fourth quarter loss widened to $23 million due to strong competition and rising fuel costs, despite taking delivery of more fuel-efficient Boeing 737-800s.

The company was still able to produce a $21 million net profit for 2011.

Read the full report from Norwegian: CLICK HERE

The expanding airline is looking at adding long-range routes to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and New York with the delivery of the pending Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Norwegian Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

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