KLM will now launch new service to Edmonton on May 19

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) was due to commence a new route to Edmonton on May 5, but the new route was postponed. Now the company will launch the new route with Airbus A330-200 equipment under flight numbers KL 675 and KL 676 on May 19. Flights to Edmonton will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and, from June 26, on Fridays.

The flight from Amsterdam departs at 14:45 hours and lands in Edmonton at 15:45 hours local time. The return flight departs at 18:10 hours from Edmonton and lands the next day at 10:45 hours in Amsterdam.

In other news, KLM has relaunched scheduled service to Bogota and Cali, Colombia. KLM now serves eleven destinations in Latin America and expanded its network to a total of 67 intercontinental destinations. KLM served Bogota from October 1992 through March 1995.

Finally KLM and Air France will adopt the EASA “two persons in the cockpit” rule in the wake of the tragic Germanwings accident. KLM issued this short statement:

The Agency recommends the operators to issue a safety and security risks assessment in order to require at least two persons in the flight crew compartment or guarantee an equivalent safety level. As previously announced, this recommendation followed a consultation of operators including Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Both KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France will implement the recommendations of EASA as soon as possible.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOE (msn 770) with the special “95 Years” logo taxies at the Amsterdam hub.

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Air Canada flight AC 624 crash lands at Halifax this morning, 23 people taken to hospitals

Air Canada (Montreal) flight AC 624 from Toronto (Pearson) to Halifax, Nova Scotia with 133 passengers and five crew members made a hard landing and “exited runway upon landing at Halifax” shortly after midnight (Atlantic time) this morning according to a statement by Air Canada and media reports. Weather at the time was gusty winds, low visibility and light snow. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines.

Here is the statement:

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Air Canada provides the following update on flight AC624, an Airbus A320, that was involved in an incident upon landing at Halifax International Airport, Nova Scotia. The incident occurred at approximately 24:43 AT Sunday March 29 (23:43 ET March 28).

The passenger list indicates the airplane was carrying 133 passengers and 5 crew members.

All passengers and crew deplaned the aircraft. Air Canada can confirm that 23 passengers and crew sustained non-life threatening injuries and have been transported to local hospitals for observation and treatment.

Air Canada personnel are currently on site providing assistance to passengers and additional Air Canada teams are on their way.

No further details are available at this time, however Air Canada will provide regular updates on Twitter and on its website at aircanada.com as information becomes known.

Air Canada will be cooperating fully with authorities in their investigation.

Later Air Canada issued this statement:

Air Canada confirms that all but one of the passengers and crew admitted to area hospitals for observation and treatment have now been released.

“We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured. Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience for our customers and their families, as well as our employees, and we are focused on caring for all those affected. We will also fully cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board as it begins an investigation to determine the cause,” said Klaus Goersch, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Air Canada.

Additional Air Canada management personnel have arrived in Halifax to provide assistance to passengers and their families.

No further details are available at this time, however Air Canada will provide regular updates on Twitter and on its website at aircanada.com as warranted.

Family members who seek information about passengers on Flight AC624 may telephone Air Canada at 1-800-961-7099Call: 1-800-961-7099.

Flight AC624, an Airbus A320 carrying 133 passengers and five crew, was involved in an incident upon landing atHalifax International Airport, Nova Scotia. The incident occurred at approximately 00:43 AT Sunday March 29 (23:43 ET March 28).

Video Above: From The National.

Read the full report from CBC: CLICK HERE

Below Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FTJP (msn 233), was delivered new to Air Canada on October 16, 1991. The aircraft is a probable insurance write off. C-FTJP sits between flights at the Toronto base before the accident.

Choice Aire to launch flights between Atlantic City, Nashville and Miami

Choice Aire (Miami) will debut its scheduled public charter service operated by Swift Air (2nd) (Phoenix) on May 21, 2015 serving new nonstop destinations Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Nashville International Airport (BNA) and Miami International Airport (MIA).

According to the company, “Choice Aire will offer affordable, convenient, full-service first and economy class flights, with convenient connections from Miami to Cuba, Aruba and Curacao.”

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The five-times-weekly service will be operated by Swift Air, and will use Boeing 737-300 and 737-400 aircraft with 126 and 150 seats, including first class and economy service.

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Schedule:

Choice Aire 3.2015 Schedule

Choice Aire Charters, LLC dba Choice Aire offers Scheduled Public Charter Flights operated by Swift Air, LLC filed under DOT PC-15-043″ “FLA.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Former US Airways Boeing 737-4B7 N447US (msn 24874), now with Swift Air (2nd) as N802TJ (msn 24874), taxies at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto without airline titles.

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ANA finalizes its order for three Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners

ANA 787-10 (82)(Flt)(Boeing)(LR)

ANA-All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) have finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $900 million at list prices. With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes Boeing’s newest 787-10 customer and first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners.

ANA, the launch customer of the 787, currently operates the world’s largest 787 fleet with 34 Dreamliners. The airline will further expand their future fleet with an additional 49 787s on order, leveraging the added efficiency and full flexibility of the complete 787 family.

The 787-10 is the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics.

The 787-10 will be 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the airplanes it replaces and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.

Image: Boeing.

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DOT announces a tentative decision to allow Delta Air Lines to keep the Seattle-Tokyo Haneda route (with stipulations), Hawaiian Airlines strongly reacts

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (Washington) has issued this tentative decision to allow Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) to retain the Seattle/Tacoma – Tokyo Haneda route provided the carrier operates daily, year-round service on the route. Here is the full statement:

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on March 27 proposed to permit Delta Air Lines to retain its authority to provide daily service between Seattle, Washington and Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport, but subject to additional conditions designed to ensure that Delta maintains a daily service in the Seattle market year-round.

DOT initiated this proceeding in late 2014 after it learned that Delta planned extensive winter season cutbacks for its Seattle-Haneda service. Instead of the daily service it had proposed in winning the route in a 2013 selection proceeding conducted by DOT, Delta would operate the service for approximately only one week every 90 days between October 2014 and late March 2015. American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, citing Delta’s failure to serve the route as it had proposed, each proposed to replace Delta and committed to operating daily flights from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Los Angeles and Kona, Hawaii, respectively.

In consideration of Delta’s recommitment to year-round daily service, DOT tentatively determined that it was in the public interest to permit Delta to retain the Seattle-Haneda route. However, any failure by Delta (absent DOT authorization) to operate any Seattle-Haneda flight, year-round, in either direction, would constitute a violation of its authority. Additionally, any failure by Delta (absent DOT authorization) to perform Seattle-Haneda service on two days of any seven-day period would mean the immediate loss of Delta’s authority.

DOT selected American Airlines’ proposal to provide Los Angeles-Haneda service as a backup should Delta fail to meet its requirements in serving the Seattle market.

Objections to the tentative decision are due by April 6, 2015. If objections are filed, answers to objections will be due April 13, 2015.

Delta issued this statement:

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“Delta thanks the U.S. Department of Transportation for its tentative decision to allow the airline to continue its service between Seattle and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. After an extensive review, the DOT concluded that Delta’s Seattle-Haneda service provides the best public use of the available slot pair between the U.S. and Haneda Airport. Earlier this month, Delta resumed its nonstop service between Seattle and Haneda after a temporary seasonal suspension. Delta will operate year-round, nonstop flights between Seattle and Haneda as we continue to grow Delta’s international gateway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.”

Meanwhile Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu), issued this strong response to the tentative DOT decision for Delta to keep the Tokyo Haneda slots:

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The tentative decision issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on March 27 to allow Delta Air Lines to retain the valuable right to fly from Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport for largely unused service to Seattle is tremendously disappointing. We are further disappointed that the U.S. DOT has determined that should Delta’s planned service continue to fail, the Haneda slots will be assigned to American Airlines.

Hawaiian is the only airline to have operated Haneda service continuously and successfully since the slot rights were granted. Our proposal provided more seats and would have resulted in more travelers flying between Japan and the United States than either Delta’s or American’s proposal. Kona is the largest unserved market in this proceeding, and Hawaiian’s proposed route would have generated more economic benefit than that offered by either Delta or American. None of these facts are in dispute by the DOT.

Sadly, by dismissing Hawaiian’s proposed Kona route as just simply being additive to the routes already serving Hawaii, the DOT has once more failed to appreciate the geography of the 50th state. Kona and Honolulu are separate markets, separate communities and indeed are located on separate islands. The tentative ruling also reveals a long-held institutional bias among decision makers favoring the interests of U.S. business travelers over those of U.S. travel-related businesses and travelers in general.

Hawaiian will be considering its next steps in this proceeding in the coming days.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Airbus A330-223 N860NW (msn 778) is pictured in action at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

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Delta to restart seasonal flights to Dublin from Atlanta

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will restart its seasonal nonstop flight between Dublin International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, effective March 30, 2015. The daily flight will complement Delta’s existing daily nonstop service between Dublin and New York-JFK.

Delta’s seasonal Atlanta service will be operated in conjunction with joint venture partner, Air France-KLM and Delta will fly a 225-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft on the route.

Delta’s nonstop flight between Dublin and Atlanta will operate until October 24.

In other news, Delta will restart Athens to New York-JFK five times weekly service from March 30, 2015 increasing to a daily operation from May 2, 2015. An additional flight will then be added five times a week from June 2, 2015, bringing the number of weekly services to 12 in the peak summer months.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N1611B (msn 30595) approaches the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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Lufthansa reverses course, will now adopt a “two person” cockpit rule

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Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has shifted its previous position and will now adopt a “two person” cockpit policy according to CNN for the entire Lufthansa Group. Yesterday in a press conference, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stated he felt their current procedures were sufficient although he left open the possibility the group would discuss this policy with German authorities. While having a second person in the cockpit at all times is not the complete answer, it may have prevented the Germanwings tragic crash.

Lufthansa issued this statement:

In coordination with the Luftfahrtbundesamt (Germany’s aviation authority), the other German airlines and the German aviation industry association (Bundesverband der deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft), the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are to adopt a new cockpit occupancy procedure as a precautionary measure. Under the new procedure, two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight.

The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will adopt the new procedure as soon as possible, in due consultation with their national aviation authority.

The Lufthansa Group is also expanding its safety structures. In addition to the safety pilots at each of its member airlines, the new position of Group Safety Pilot has been created until further notice. The new post will be assumed with immediate effect by Captain Werner Maas, who will hold it in parallel with his current function as Safety Pilot of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Captain Maas will have overarching groupwide responsibility for examining and further refining all flight safety-relevant procedures in his new capacity, in which he reports directly to Group CEO Carsten Spohr.

Related to this, our informal poll yesterday showed our readers favored this change by almost a nine to one ratio. There was strong public pressure on Lufthansa (and other airlines) to make this change.

As we previously reported, Norwegian, easyJet and Air Malta have already made this change. Air Canada, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Airberlin have also adopted this policy. Ryanair, following the lead of the FAA and U.S. airlines, already had this policy in place before the accident.

CNN’s interview with Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr: