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Falcon Air introduces a new livery

Falcon Air Express (Miami) has introduced a new color scheme as seen on newly-acquired ex-Avianca/Ufly Airways McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 N125MN (msn 53125).

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. N125MN departs from Seattle (Boeing Field) bound for San Diego on a rainy day.

Falcon Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE


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First Nation Airways accepts its first two Airbus A320s

First Nation Airways Limited (Lagos) has taken delivery of the first two (of three) former Gulf Air Airbus A320s.

First Nation is a new Nigerian start-up airline founded by the former staff of now defunct Bellview Airlines (Lagos). First Nation intends to offer both domestic and regional scheduled passenger flights.

Copyright Photo: Fred Seggie. Both A320-212 5N-FNA (msn 409) and A320-212 5N-FNB (msn 466) passed through Glasgow on April 9.


British Airways owner IAG may pursue Japan Airlines stake

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) (British Airways and Iberia) (London and Madrid) according to Willie Walsh and this article by Bloomberg, may consider investing in Japan Airlines Corporation. JAL emerged from bankruptcy protection on March 28.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Shigeyoshi Sakaki. Please click on the photo for additional information about the new JAL livery.

Air Jamaica adds its third Boeing 737-800

Air Jamaica (Kingston) has added its third Boeing 737-800 via ILFC.

Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Solinair is now operating this Boeing 737 for Layonair and Iberia

S5-ABV, originally uploaded by joseluiscel.

Solinair (Ljubljana) has put its newly-acquired ex-MNG Boeing 737-4K5 S5-ABV (msn 24128) into cargo service in Layonair Airways (Spain) colors after its freighter conversion. The freighter arrived at Madrid on April 5 where it will operate for Iberia Cargo.

Copyright Photo: Jose Luis Celada Euba. The aircraft arrives at Madrid.

Layonair logo:

Southwest puts four of five Boeing 737-300s with small cracks back into service after repairs

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has put the four of five Boeing 737-300s with the small cracks back into service after the issue was resolved and corrected according to this article by Reuters.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Please click on the photo for details about “California One”.

Southwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

ATI is operating its Boeing 767-2J6 N712AX for tour operator Porta del Sol Holidays


ATI B767 passenger plane, originally uploaded by joseluiscel.

ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock) is now operating its newly-acquired (in March) Boeing 767-2J6 ER N712AX (msn 23307) for tour operator Porta del Sol Holidays (portadelsolholidays.com) (Aguadilla). The tour company is getting ready to launch regular charter flights from Aguadilla to both Madrid and Barcelona. The name “Porta del Sol” is the western portion of Puerto Rico.

Copyright Photo: Jose Luis Calada Euba. N712AX is pictured at Madrid on March 21 on a proving flight dressed in the colors of the tour operator but still retaining the cheatlines of Air China. Previously Sky King Airlines operated the aircraft for short-lived Scanderbeg Air.

Donbassaero Airlines paints Airbus A320-231 UR-DAB in the new colors

Donbassaero Airlines (Donetsk) has painted its first Airbus A320 in the new colors.

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

Donbassaero routes from Donetsk:

Holidays Czech Airlines gets ready to add its first Airbus A320

Holidays Czech Airlines (CSA) (Prague) is getting ready to take delivery of this Thomson Airways Airbus A320.

Copyright Photo: Nik French. Please click on the photo for full details.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

UTair signs a contract for 20 ATR 72-500s

UTair Aviation (Russia) (Khanty Mansiysk) has signed a firm contract for 20 new ATR 72-500s.

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

UTair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

UPS Airlines mechanics ratify a new contract

UPS Airlines (Atlanta and Louisville) 1,200 mechanics after four years of negotiations, ratified a new contract that raises their pay retroactively and requires no contributions to cover their health care.

Read the full story from AJC: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for aircraft information.

AirTran Airways launches Baltimore/Washington-Bermuda flights

AirTran Airways (Orlando) yesterday (April 7) began new nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and L.F. Wade International Airport in St. George’s, Bermuda.

To mark the first flight, the airline proclaimed today “Bermuda Shorts Day” in the Baltimore/Washington area. As part of this special occasion, AirTran Airways gave one lucky winner and a guest a free trip to Bermuda and $25 discount ticket vouchers to anyone who wore Bermuda shorts to Arundel Mills Mall. Passengers on today’s first flight were regaled with colorful Gombey dancers, a steel drum band and island-themed food and drinks during a celebration at the airport.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Please click on the photo for the aircraft details.

AirTran Slide Show: CLICK HERE

AirTran Red Routes from BWI:

Qatar Airways orders five more Boeing 777s

Qatar Airways (Doha) has ordered three Boeing 777F freighters and two additional 777-300 ERs.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Qatar Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson seeks a partner to compete with British Airways.

Virgin Atlantic Airways’ (London) majority shareholder Sir Richard Branson is seeking a partner to help his company compete against British Airways.

The flag carrier is owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%). Branson said he intends to remain a “major shareholder” in the company. Branson is considering the sale of his 51% stake after he hired Deutsche Bank AG to assess his options according to this article by Bloomberg.

Virgin Atlantic has been a rival of British Airways since inception, as previously British Airways had been the only airline from Britain serving long haul routes to destinations such as North America, the Caribbean and the Far East.

Read the full story by Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for more information.

Virgin Atlantic Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Virgin America opens a new redesigned Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport

Virgin America (San Francisco) yesterday (April 6) unveiled its beautiful and sustainable new home at San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) Terminal 2 (T2) with a series of inaugural flights that celebrated the evolution of travel. Virgin America is an anchor tenant at SFO’s new T2, which offers a unique design that echoes the airline’s own focus on reinventing the typical domestic flying experience.  Much like the airline that will call it home, the new T2 elevates the travel experience by offering the best in design, technology, food and sustainable practices.  With over a half century of history, the 640,000-square foot T2 has been completely reinvented for the modern traveler by architecture and interior firm Gensler and aims to be the first LEED® Gold-certified airport terminal in the U.S.  Virgin America’s additional investments in sustainable design for its T2 spaces and “Virgin Village” crew lounge are aimed at the highest possible LEED® Platinum-certified status.  To unveil its sleek and sustainable new home and celebrate the evolution of flight, Virgin America today teams up with sister company Virgin Galactic to welcome two historic first flights to T2 – in support of a good cause.

Images: Virgin America.

Photos of the new T2 and today’s special flights are available at: http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/sfo-t2

Virgin America routes from SFO:



Unite Here Union criticizes Southwest using the Lufthansa Technik 737 maintenance program

Unite Here represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries. The union has issued the following press release which is critical of Southwest Airlines using the Lufthansa Technik maintenance program for its Boeing 737s:

“In 2005, Lufthansa Technik helped Southwest Airlines migrate their Boeing 737 maintenance program to a new model that promised to be good for business. In a press release, Lufthansa wrote, “The significant reduction in the number of maintenance tasks results in savings of up to 30 percent on maintenance costs, with less time in the hangar corresponding to extra revenue-earning flying hours.”

After a hole ripped through the cabin of a Southwest Boeing 737-300 flying over Arizona last week, such proclamations ought to cause pause.

While the FAA has ordered a review of the agency’s older plane inspections, the union Unite Here today (April 7) called on the FAA to also review how cost-reduction programs such as those pushed by Lufthansa pose risks to proper execution of existing FAA standards.

Last Friday’s incident is not the first cause for concern from Southwest since the airline instituted the revamped maintenance program with Lufthansa Technik. In 2008, the FAA sought civil penalties against Southwest for “flying planes that were not inspected for cracks.” Nicholas A. Sabatini, the agency’s associate administrator for aviation safety at the time, said in the Washington Post, “The FAA is taking action against Southwest Airlines for a failing to follow rules that are designed to protect passengers and crew.”

Lufthansa Technik had a long relationship with Southwest, dating at least back to a 2001 project to revamp Southwest’s maintenance management. Lufthansa Technik still listed Southwest as a client as late as 2009.

While Southwest voluntarily grounded 15 percent of its Boeing 737 fleet after the incident, Lufthansa airline said on Monday that it had no plans to ground its own Boeing 737 aircraft. After Friday’s incident, Lufthansa only inspected 3 of its 33 737-300 planes for the metal fatigue that impacted Southwest, on the grounds that these are the only three from the same “series” as the Southwest jet. Lufthansa has the second largest Boeing 737-300 fleet in the world.

Lufthansa Technik is the aviation company’s maintenance subsidiary. In 2010, it accounted for 24 percent of Lufthansa’s total group operating profit.”

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Please click on the photo for additional information.

AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines introduces a new type in its new livery

Donbassaero Airlines (Donetsk) is now operating this Airbus A320 for partner AeroVit Ukrainian Airlines (Kiev) in the new colors.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Please click on the photo for the full story.

AeroSvit Slide Show: CLICK HERE

US Airways’ pilots are angry with management

US Airways’ (Phoenix) pilots, represented by the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), issued the following statement today:

“The pilots of US Airways, represented by the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), today expressed their outrage at the airline’s acknowledgement that its management personnel aided in unauthorized distribution of the highly confidential personal data of thousands of pilots. USAPA is currently cooperating with a criminal investigation into this matter.

US Airways recently admitted that a management pilot accessed and transferred a confidential database containing the personal information of thousands of US Airways pilots, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers. The transferred database may also have included pilot passport information. The data was given to a third party pilot group, which has acted to disrupt the ongoing negotiations between USAPA and US Airways currently under the auspices of the National Mediation Board and undermine USAPA’s bargaining objectives.

“US Airways pilots are infuriated at the data breach perpetuated by a management official of the company for which they work,” stated Mike Cleary, president of USAPA. “Thousands of us have been exposed to identity theft that could impact us for the rest of our lives. Further, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has yet to determine the extent of the breach, we are concerned about the security of ALL information provided to US Airways – including our families’ personal information. US Airways collects personal information on US Airways employees’ family members and information from passengers, such as credit card data.”

USAPA has been working with the FBI since November 2010 in an attempt to determine the exact scope of the data breach. In his letter alerting the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration to USAPA’s concerns, President Cleary said,

“We believe the unauthorized access to this confidential information may pose a direct threat to national security, our represented pilots’ safety, and their professional standing.

“The exact scope of the breach is unknown, but unauthorized access to airline pilot passport numbers coupled with pilot residential addresses could potentially be used to forge U.S. commercial airline pilot passports, or identities, in order to gain access to international or domestic commercial aircraft or flights – thereby posing a direct threat to our nation’s security.”

“In light of this breach, USAPA has concluded that US Airways cannot be trusted with confidential or sensitive information,” President Cleary said today. “The union is also extremely disappointed by the Company’s lack of aggressive action to address this issue, first denying that a significant breach had even occurred, then equivocating concerning the extent of that breach, all the while taking no remedial action against the Company personnel involved in the breach. Significantly, the Company has also failed to take steps to provide lifelong protection to the pilots directly affected and adequately address the potential national security issues for all of our pilots and passengers.”

USAPA is committed to spending the time and resources necessary to protect its members, while it believes that US Airways sits on the sideline. US Airways management has informed USAPA that it is relying on the “assurances” of the very parties responsible for the data breach that the confidential information will not be misused.

“This is, of course, ludicrous,” President Cleary responded. “It’s analogous to a bank robber promising he will not spend the stolen loot. We are demanding swift and aggressive action as we simultaneously take significant steps to hold both US Airways and the specific responsible parties liable for the damage caused.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) represents the more than 5,000 mainline pilots who fly for US Airways. USAPA’s mission is to ensure safe flights for airline passengers by guaranteeing that their lives are in the hands of only the most qualified, competent and well-equipped pilots. USAPA will fight against any practices that may jeopardize its pilots’ training, equipment, workplace environment, compensation or work/life balance, or that compromise its pilots’ ability to execute the optimal flight. Visit the USAPA website at http://www.USAirlinePilots.org.”;

Copyright Photo: David Neal. Please click on the photo for the aircraft information.

US Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Happy Anniversary United Airlines

United Airlines (Chicago) today (April 6) commemorates its 85th anniversary by unveiling this Airbus A320-232 registered N475UA (msn 1495) painted in the airline’s 1972 “Friend Ship” livery. N475UA was unveiled at an employee celebration at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Employee celebrations continue throughout the week as the Friend Ship visits other United and Continental hub airports, including Denver International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport, the airline’s largest hub.

Last fall, United employees selected the 1972 Friend Ship livery, which features stripes of deep red and sky blue and a regal star pattern, from United’s historical liveries.

United’s history began April 6, 1926, when a small Swallow biplane owned by Walter Varney completed the first airmail delivery, landing to cheering crowds in Nevada after a flight across a harsh, mountainous route. While other aviation legends saw air travel as a challenge and a sport to be conquered, Varney was among the first to recognize its business potential.

Varney then founded Varney Air Service in 1926 after acquiring an airmail contract. He later sold the company to United Aircraft and Transport, which would change its name to United Air Lines in 1933. In 1934, Varney and his business partner Louis Mueller founded Varney Speed Lines, which was sold and renamed Continental Airlines in 1937.  Both airlines would eventually become industry giants with service to hundreds of points in the U.S. and around the globe.  In May 2010, United and Continental merged under the same holding company to become the world’s leading airline group. The two AOCs still remain to be merged.

In 1926, fewer than 6,000 Americans paid to travel by plane. By 1930, about 170,000 paying passengers took to the sky each year. Boeing’s tri-motored Model 80 carried up to 18 people in an enclosed cabin – a step up from only a few years earlier when two passengers rode on top of mailbags, wearing parachutes and goggles. In 1936, people could fly coast to coast, allowing at least 20 hours for the trip, but generally bought tickets at the door of the plane just before takeoff.

By comparison, today, the new United flies more than 150 million customers each year, equal to about half the population of the U.S., and travelers can book flights from virtually anywhere. United’s largest aircraft, the 747-400, seats 374 travelers in modern comfort, offering flat-bed seats, personal inflight entertainment, hot meals and world-class service.

The new United features the world’s most comprehensive route network, offering customers access to destinations on six continents and nonstop or one-stop service from virtually anywhere in the United States. With the most modern and fuel-efficient fleet among America’s network carriers, United takes to the sky with 5,675 daily departures from nearly 375 airports.

Copyright Photo: PRNewsFoto/United Continental Holdings, Inc., Terry Halsey.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

AirAsia (Philippines) selects Clark as its hub

AirAsia Incorporated, the Philippine-based affiliate of AirAsia Group, has chosen Clark as its hub in the country.

The airline, which was established in December 2010, will be basing its operations at Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.  The airline plans to start operating international flights from the airport in the fourth quarter of this year.

Clark is strategically located just north of Manila and is easily accessible to 23 million people from the National Capital Region and Central and Northern Luzon.  It is also where the airline’s sister company, Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, has been flying to from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu since 2005.

Hontiveros, Antonio O. Cojuangco Jr. and Michael L. Romero own 60% of AirAsia, Inc. in equal partnership.  The remaining 40% is owned by AirAsia Berhad.

With the announcement, Clark will become the 13th regional hub of the ASEAN-based AirAsia Group, which currently includes AirAsia, Inc., AirAsia Berhad, AirAsia Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia.  The group’s 12 current hubs are Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang in Malaysia; Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand; and Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan and Bali in Indonesia.

The opening of AirAsia, Inc. is seen as a vote of confidence in the country’s growing economy and as a big boost to the archipelago’s airline and tourism industries.  It will leverage on the strength of AirAsia Group, which leads the low-cost airline industry in Asia.  The group has over 60 destinations in all 10 ASEAN countries, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia.  Through the group’s low-cost long-haul affiliate AirAsia X, its guests are able to fly to more destinations in Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, India, Iran, Korea, Japan, France and the UK.   AirAsia Group has a young fleet of approximately 90 Airbus A320 aircraft, while AirAsia X has a fleet of 11 Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.



AirAsia X launches Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch route despite the recent earthquake

AirAsia X (Kuala Lumpur) on April 2 launched, as planned, the Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch route despite the tragic February 22 earthquake in Christchurch. The budget airline pledged to contribute a percentage of each ticket to the recovery of the city.

Copyright Photo: Christian Laugier. Please click on the photo for aircraft details.

JAL calls for 200 employees to take unpaid leave as demand drops

Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) after leaving bankruptcy protection on March 28, is facing another crisis – a drop in demand due to the on-going nuclear emergency in Japan.

JAL is seeking 200 employees to volunteer to take unpaid leave, as JAL attempts to cut costs due to falling travel demand after the March 11 disasters according to this article by AFP.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Shigeyoshi Sakaki. Please click on photo for additional details.

AirArabia selects Sharklets for its new Airbus A320s

AirArabia (AirArabia.com) (Sharjah) has selected Sharklets for 28 out of 44 A320 aircraft ordered. Deliveries of these Sharklet-equipped Airbus aircraft will begin from the second quarter of 2013.

Delivery of AirArabia’s order of 44 Airbus A320s (34 placed in 2007 and 10 in 2008) has already started in the last quarter of 2010.

Sharklets were launched for development in 2009. These new wingtip devices are around 2.5 metres tall and further enhance the efficiency of the popular A320 Family by replacing the aircraft’s current wingtip fence. Offered as an option on new-build aircraft from the end of 2012, the devices reduce fuel burn particularly over longer sectors. As well as increasing payload-range and improving take-off performance, Sharklets result in around 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.

Air Arabia serves a network of more than 65 international routes across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Image: Airbus.

AirArabia (Sharjah) Route Map:

El Al swings to a profitable 4Q and 2010

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) reported a profitable 2010 as well as for the fourth quarter of the year. In addition, El Al President & CEO Eleyzer Shkedy informed the Board of Directors that he would contribute 50% of his 2010 annual bonus to an “Excellence and Employees Fund” that would be awarded to El Al employees worldwide.

The annual net profit for El Al in 2010 is $57.1 million, as compared to a loss of $76.3 million in the parallel period of 2009. Gross profits for the year resulted in an increase of 83% to $387.7 million over 2009. The company’s overall revenue in 2010 totaled $1.97 billion as compared to $1.65 billion in 2009, a significant increase of 19%. Cash flow from regular activities in 2010 totaled $203.3 million (a remarkable jump of 807%) from $22.4 million in 2009. And, at the end of 2010, the shareholders’ equity doubled to $249 million, as compared to $124 million on December 31, 2009.

The net profit for the last quarter of 2010 was $16.3 million as compared to a $29 million loss in the same period of the previous year.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Please click on the photo for the aircraft details.

Boeing delivers the 50th aircraft to Air Algerie

Boeing (Chicago) reached a major milestone with long-time customer Air Algerie (Algiers) this week when it delivered the 50th Boeing jetliner – a Next-Generation 737-800 – to the North African carrier. The 737 was the fourth of seven ordered in 2009. This delivery also marked the 40-year partnership between Boeing and Air Algerie.

Since receiving its first Boeing airplane in March 1971, Air Algerie has expanded to include 18 737s and three 767s.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 737-8D6 7T-VKG (msn 40861) taxies at Seattle’s Boeing Field. 7T-VKG was handed over to the carrier on March 30.

Georgian Airways’ Bombardier CRJ100 4L-GAE crashes in the Congo while operating for the UN, 32 killed

Georgian Airways’ (Airzena Georgian Airways) (Tbilisi) Bombardier CRJ100 (CL-600-2B19) 4L-GAE (msn 7070) while operating for the United Nations (UN) as flight A9 834 from Kisangani to Kinshasa (N’Djili) in the Democratic Republic of Congo with 29 passengers and four crew, crashed while attempting to land in bad weather at Kinshasa (N’Djili) on April 4. The airliner missed the runway and came to a stop off the runway. Only one person survived with serious injuries. The aircraft was destroyed.

Read the full story from the Guardian with a video: CLICK HERE

Virgin Atlantic Airways puts its first Airbus A330-300 into revenue service

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) yesterday (April 5) placed its first new Airbus A330-300 into revenue service on the Manchester-Orlando route.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. Please click on the photo for the full story.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Ryanair to cut Alicante flights by 80% in October

Ryanair’s (Dublin) latest threat to cut the number of flights is directed at Alicante. This time the ultra low cost carrier does not want to pay extra fees for the use of new aircraft loading bridges being imposed on the airline by the airport.

Here is the statement by Ryanair yesterday:

“Ryanair announced deep cuts of up to 80% at its Alicante base from October 2011, following AENA Alicante’s decision last week to force Ryanair to use airbridges, and pay over €2m p.a. extra for these unnecessary facilities. Ryanair has been operating at Alicante Airport for over five years without the use of airbridges and this decision by AENA Alicante is an abuse of its monopoly which increases Ryanair’s handling costs by over €2m p.a. Ryanair has submitted a formal complaint about this monopoly abuse by AENA Alicante to both the Spanish Government and the European Commission.

In response to this mandatory airbridge usage and €2m increase in costs, Ryanair today announces the following deep cuts at its Alicante base with the introduction of its winter 2011/12 schedule from October 2011 as follows:

· From 11 to 2 base aircraft (down 80%).
· From 62 to 31 routes (loss of 31 routes).
· From over 600 to less than 200 weekly flights.
· From over 4M to fewer than 1.5M passengers p.a.
· The loss of over 2,500 jobs at Alicante.

As a direct result of forcing this €2m p.a. airbridge use on Ryanair, AENA Alicante will now lose over €18m p.a. in passenger and turnaround fees from Ryanair and at least a further €12m in lost commercial revenues from the 2.5m fewer passengers which Ryanair will now deliver. Ryanair believes that AENA Alicante should reconsider this decision to break its long standing agreement (since 2007) that Ryanair passengers may walk on/walk off when boarding aircraft and reverse this decision to force Ryanair to use airbridges and pay €2m p.a. extra since this will now cost Alicante over €30m p.a. in lost revenues and see over 2,000 jobs lost at Alicante Airport.

Ryanair pointed out that the new terminal at Alicante has exactly the same boarding gate stairs as the old terminal, which would allow Ryanair’s flights to continue to apply its walk on/walk off boarding facilities. The use of airbridges, will significantly delay Ryanair turnarounds (because passengers can only use the front door), will lead to more handling delays and will increase Ryanair’s costs at Alicante by over €2m p.a.”

Will Alicante become the latest airport to back down given the threats by Ryanair? Stay tuned as they say.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez. Please click on the photo for more aircraft details.

Ryanair’s current routes from the Alicante base:

KLM Cityhopper firms up its order for five ERJ 190s

KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam) has signed a contract for five additional Embraer ERJ 190 jets, firming up options originally placed in August 2007.

The initial deliveries of this new order are scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2012. The Dutch airline still retains options on two additional ERJ 190s.

KLM Cityhopper operates 17 100-seat ERJ 190 jets on its regional European routes in a dual-class layout. With the latest order, the fleet will expand to 22.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Please click on photo for additional information.

KLM Cityhopper Slide Show: CLICK HERE

French officials announce the discovery of the remains of Air France flight AF 447

French officials announced yesterday (April 4) that a good portion of the wreckage has been located deep in the Atlantic Ocean with the bodies still aboard the doomed Air France (Paris) Airbus A330-200. Only 50 bodies and some debris had previously been recovered on the surface.

Read the full story from CNN World: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Please click on the photo for the full story of this tragic crash.

Canadian North expands service to the Kitikmeot and Qikiqtani (Baffin) regions.

Canadian North (Yellowknife) effective on April 4, 2011 began operating an additional 25 flights per week to northern communities in the Kitikmeot and Qikiqtani (Baffin) regions.

The addition of these flights provides for more same-day connections to Ottawa through Iqaluit in the Qikiqtani, and the added convenience of more jet service in the Kitikmeot.

Highlights of the new schedule (with flights to Yellowknife and return):

In the Kitikmeot:

- A tripling of jet service between Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife each week, as well as additional frequency including Dash 8 service

- Boeing 737 jet service between Kugaaruk and Yellowknife once a week

- Boeing 737 jet service six days a week from Kugluktuk to Yellowknife, with four jet and three Dash flights in the return direction

- One additional flight per week between Taloyoak and Yellowknife, now offering daily service

Highlights of the new schedule (with flights to Iqaluit and return):

In the Qikiqtani:

- Daily service between Cape Dorset and Iqaluit

- Four flights per week from Clyde River to Iqaluit, with five flights a week returning to the community (allowing for same-day connections to and from Ottawa)

- The addition of four fights a week from Hall Beach to Iqaluit (totalling six flights), with the addition of 3 flights into the community from Iqaluit (allowing for same-day connections to and from Ottawa)

- The addition of 4 flights weekly from Igloolik to Iqaluit and an additional flight from Iqaluit to Igloolik

- Seven flights per week between Pond Inlet and Iqaluit, with fewer stops en route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Please click on photo for additional information.

Canadian North Slider Show: CLICK HERE

Canadian North’s expanding route map:

Gulfstream to serve seven remote communities in Montana

Gulfstream International Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today announced details of its new air service linking seven Montana cities with Billings Logan International Airport. Gulfstream will begin this new service on May 1, 2011 with service between Billings and Lewistown and Havre. On May 8, 2011 additional flights will be added from Billings to Glasgow and Wolf Point. On May 15, 2011 the balance of the cities will be added as service is started between Billings and Glendive, Miles City and Sidney. These flights will be operated by Gulfstream Airlines and ticketed in cooperation with Island Air of Hawaii.

Should the airline be renamed?

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Gulfstream’s new routes in Montana:

American Airlines expand its international and domestic network

American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines (2nd) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today launched a significant network expansion with new international and domestic service as well as increased flights in existing markets at three of its cornerstone cities – Los Angeles, Miami and New York. These new schedule enhancements, along with new service by oneworld® partners, British Airways and Iberia, will offer customers more travel choices and convenience worldwide.

Today, American launches daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Shanghai – becoming the first U.S. airline to serve Shanghai nonstop from Los Angeles. Flight AA 183 leaves Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for Shanghai’s Pudong Airport (PVG) at 3:10 p.m. and arrives Shanghai at 7:45 p.m. the next day. Return flight AA182 leaves Shanghai at 9:45 p.m. and arrives LAX at 6:40 p.m. the same day.

Across the country, American launches daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Budapest Ferihegy International Airport (BUD) in Hungary, the aviation hub of Central and Eastern Europe for oneworld partner Malev. Flight AA158 leaves JFK at 6:40 p.m. and arrives Budapest at 9:30 a.m. the next day while return Flight AA159 leaves Budapest at 11:55 a.m. and arrives JFK at 3:35 p.m. American has teamed with oneworld partner MALEV to schedule these new flights so customers can make easy connections at American’s JFK hub and MALEV’s Budapest hub.

In addition to American’s new Shanghai nonstop, American Eagle will add new nonstop service to the following nine cities today from Los Angeles: Albuquerque, N.M.; Boise, Idaho; El Paso, Texas; Houston – Bush Intercontinental; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; Sacramento, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz.. Today’s new departures from LAX represent an increase of 28 percent over last winter’s figures.

American also will increase nonstop service in two of its important international markets, Miami – Madrid and New York JFK – Barcelona. The airline will increase its Miami – Madrid service from one to two daily flights and will increase its JFK – Barcelona service from seven to 11 weekly frequencies.

American’s international growth continues on May 1 when the carrier will inaugurate its first-ever service between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Helsinki, Finland. Flight AA130 will leave O’Hare at 3:40 p.m. and arrive Helsinki’s Vantaa International Airport at 8:30 a.m. the next day. Return Flight AA131 will leave Helsinki at 2:10 p.m. and arrive O’Hare at 3:40 p.m. American has teamed up with oneworld partner Finnair to schedule the flights so customers can make easy connections at American’s Chicago and Finnair’s Helsinki hubs. For more information, visit http://www.aa.com/Helsinki.

In addition, American will reinstate daily seasonal service in the following markets: Boston – Paris; Chicago – Dublin, Ireland; and New York – Manchester, England.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Please click on the photo for additional information.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

AirTran Airways introduces Tampa-San Juan service

AirTran Airways (Orlando) today launched new daily nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico.

Tampa is the fourth city in AirTran Airways’ network to offer nonstop service to San Juan, joining Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional information.

AirTran Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United A320 leaves the runway at New Orleans

United Airlines’ (Chicago) Airbus A320-232 registered N409UA (msn 462) operating flight UA 497 yesterday (April 4) from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to San Francisco, was involved in an incident at New Orleans. The crew elected to return to MSY after they smelled smoke in the cockpit. Shortly thereafter, the crew reported to ATC that it had lost all power for its instruments and the plane began to vibrate. The pilots declared an emergency. After landing safely, due to a loss of power for its brakes and steering, the A320 departed the runway, blowing its front tire and getting stuck in the mud. The 109 passengers and crew members safely evacuated the aircraft. There were no reported injuries.

Read the full story including the radio communications transcript from nola.com: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael Carter.

World Airways to operate a Boeing 747-400 freighter for Emirates SkyCargo

World Airways (Atlanta) (subsidiary of Global Aviation Holdings Inc.) has reached an agreement with Emirates SkyCargo to operate one Boeing 747-400 freighter on a full-time basis beginning in April 2011. Under the agreement, World will provide scheduled services linking Dubai with Frankfurt and Sao Paulo twice a week, with an additional weekly round-trip flight between Dubai and Frankfurt.

Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer. Please click on photo for additional information.

World Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Southwest returns to full-schedule operations

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) returned today (April 5) to full-schedule operations. The company reported it was performing repairs on five Boeing 737-300s that it uncovered cracks.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Southwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

The FAA to order operators to conduct initial and repetitive electromagnetic inspections for fatigue damage

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) today (April 5) will issue an emergency directive that will require operators of specific early Boeing 737 models to conduct initial and repetitive electromagnetic inspections for fatigue damage. This action will initially apply to a total of approximately 175 aircraft worldwide, 80 of which are U.S.-registered aircraft. Most of the aircraft in the U.S. are operated by Southwest Airlines (Dallas).

The FAA airworthiness directive will require initial inspections using electromagnetic, or eddy-current, technology in specific areas of the aircraft fuselage on certain Boeing 737 aircraft in the -300, -400 and -500 series that have accumulated more than 30,000 flight cycles. It will then require repetitive inspections at regular intervals.

Last November, the FAA published a rule designed specifically to address widespread fatigue damage in aging aircraft. The rule requires aircraft manufacturers to establish a number of flight cycles or hours a plane can operate and be free from fatigue damage. The rule requires aircraft manufacturers to incorporate the limits into their maintenance programs.


Continental Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines announce code share agreement

Continental Airlines (Houston) and LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw), both Star Alliance members, yesterday (April 4) announced they have started code sharing on flights between select destinations in the United States and Europe.

Effective April 2, 2011, Continental is placing its “CO” code on LOT’s trans-Atlantic flights between Continental’s New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, and LOT’s Warsaw hub, as well as on LOT-operated flights linking Warsaw with London/Heathrow, Frankfurt and Amsterdam that connect with Continental flights between those airports and New York/Newark.

Subject to government approval, Continental will also place its code on LOT-operated flights between Warsaw and Paris/Charles de Gaulle that connect with Continental’s New York/Newark-Paris flights.

Additionally, LOT is placing its “LO” code on Continental-operated flights between New York/Newark and Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco and Washington/Dulles that connect with LOT’s trans-Atlantic flights between Warsaw and New York/Newark.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Please click on the photo for information on this special color scheme of LOT.


American Airlines makes up with Expedia

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and Expedia, Inc. announced yesterday (April 4) a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow the companies to resume doing business together, effective immediately. Access to fares and schedule information of American Airlines and its subsidiary American Eagle has been restored for search and ticketing on Expedia and Hotwire sites worldwide initially via global distribution system (GDS) technology.

Expedia said it plans to access American’s fares, schedules, and customized travel products and services via American’s direct connect link by using aggregation technology provided by a GDS. Expedia is committed to working with airlines, GDS and other technology partners to ensure continued innovation within the Expedia marketplace.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for the aircraft information.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Alaska Airlines to move into a renovated Terminal 6 at LAX

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has reached agreement with Los Angeles World Airports to move from its existing location at Terminal 3 to Terminal 6, paving the way for a major renovation project featuring its Airport of the Future check-in process and modernized gate facilities.

The move will provide a single terminal operation for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, as well as more convenient access to U.S. Customs and Immigration checkpoints and to codeshare partner Delta Air Lines, located in Terminal 5.

Alaska Airlines plans to move into Terminal 6 in late 2011 and begin operations there in spring 2012.

Also planned as part of the renovation are a new Board Room lounge, central service counter, spacious passenger waiting area and new state-of-the-art gate information displays. The project will incorporate sustainable building practices in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Alaska Airlines introduced its “Airport of the Future” check-in process at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2004. Patented in 2006, the design enables travelers to quickly obtain boarding passes and check luggage at easy-to-use kiosks and bag-check stations instead of a traditional ticket counter. Alaska has since implemented Airport of the Future at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and, on a smaller scale, in Los Angeles, Boise, Idaho, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and several locations in Alaska.

Artist renderings of the Terminal 6 modernization project can be viewed at www.alaskaair.com/lax.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Please click on the photo for additional information about this special color scheme.

Alaska Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa salutes Hamburg Airport with a special logojet

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has introduced this special Airbus A320 logojet to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Hamburg Airport.

Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen. Please click on the photo for the full story.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United-Continental launch their trans-Pacific joint venture with ANA

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (Chicago) launched their trans-Pacific joint venture on April 1.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Please click on the photo for the full details.


Southwest Airlines cancels around 300 flights again today

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) was forced once again to cancel around 300 flights today as it continues inspections on its 79 Boeing 737-300s.

The company issued the following statement today:

“In cooperation with Boeing, an additional inspection program was set up for a subset of the Southwest 737-300. The inspection involved a non-destructive test (NDT) in the form of High-Frequency Eddy current of the aircraft skin. This test is designed to detect any subsurface fatigue in the skin that is not visible to the eye.

As of 4 p.m. (1600) Central time Sunday, 19 planes had undergone the intense inspection with no findings, and those planes have been returned to service.
In two other airplanes, the testing did detect small, subsurface cracks. Further evaluation and potential repairs will be necessary before those planes are returned to service.

Inspections of the remaining aircraft in the sub-fleet (79 total) will continue for the next few days. As inspections are completed with no findings, those planes will continue to be put back into service on Sunday and Monday. The airline anticipates completing the inspections by late Tuesday. The 79 aircraft designated for the additional inspections were designed differently in the manufacturing process.

Southwest continues its cooperation to the ongoing investigation being led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the cause of the hole in the airplane which diverted to Yuma, AZ, on Friday, April 1.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock. Please click on the photo for this aircraft information.

Southwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Sun Country inaugurates service to Washington’s Reagan National Airport

Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) on April 1 celebrated their inaugural flight to Washington Reagan National Airport that departed from Terminal 2 – Humphrey at 6:00 am. This flight commenced the new service to Washington D.C., now flying six times a week through April 30, 2011 and daily beginning May 1, 2011. The round trip flights will originate in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN with an intermediate stop at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, MI before continuing onto Washington, D.C.

Sun Country celebrated the inaugural flight with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony hosted by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and Metropolitan Airport Commission at Terminal 2 – Humphrey. Inaugural receptions also took place at the Lansing Capital Region Airport and Reagan National Airport.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Please click on the photo for additional aircraft information.

Sun Country Slide Show: CLICK HERE

SkyWest warns of a first quarter loss

SkyWest, Inc. (St. George) has announced that it expects its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, to be significantly lower than it previously anticipated. For the reasons discussed below, SkyWest is now forecasting a net loss of between $ (13.0) million and $ (15.0) million resulting in a basic and diluted loss per share estimated to be between $(0.24) and $(0.28) per share. SkyWest cautioned, however, that these estimates are preliminary and are subject to modification or revision in the course of completing SkyWest’s quarterly financial review procedures.

There are several primary factors that contributed to SkyWest’s determination of the estimated loss. First, SkyWest’s operating airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George), Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (Atlanta) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (Houston) on a consolidated basis, produced approximately 15,000 less block hours during the quarter ended March 31, 2011, primarily as a result of severe winter weather storms, mainly in January and February. As a result of the decreased block hour production, SkyWest experienced a negative impact on revenues currently estimated to be approximately $10.0 million pretax for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Second, both Atlantic Southeast and ExpressJet have experienced additional crew costs during the quarter ended March 31, 2011. These additional crew costs are principally the result of 1) Atlantic Southeast having the opportunity to take delivery of additional aircraft to be used in contract flying not previously anticipated, 2) increased summer block hour production as scheduled by our major partners, and 3) the reallocation of crews based on major partner schedule changes in certain hubs. The additional cost related to the crew issues is currently anticipated to be approximately $11.5 million pretax for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Third, Atlantic Southeast incurred expenses for unanticipated heavy checks on certain of its airframes and is incurring costs that are higher than anticipated on those heavy checks. Atlantic Southeast performed additional heavy checks as a result of the block hour schedule being reduced by its major partners, in the current quarter, and performed those heavy checks in advance of planned summer schedule block hour increases. The additional cost associated with these maintenance events is currently estimated to be approximately $8.5 million pretax for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Fourth, beginning September 2010, Atlantic Southeast was required to reduce its contract rates, as contemplated by its Delta Connection Agreement, which resulted in a negative impact on revenues currently estimated at approximately $7.0 million pretax for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Fifth, although SkyWest’s operating airlines are reimbursed by their major partners for fuel costs associated with flights they operate on a contract basis, SkyWest Airlines is exposed to the effect of fuel cost increases for flights its operates on a pro-rate basis. As a result of recent increases in jet fuel pricing, SkyWest currently estimates that it will incur approximately $5.5 million pretax in additional fuel costs. A more detailed explanation of these items and others affecting the quarter ended March 31, 2011 will be given when SkyWest formally announces its financial results, which is currently estimated to occur in early May 2011.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Please click on the photo for additional details.

SkyWest Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

SkyWest, Inc. Combined Route Map:

Southwest Airlines is forced to cancel around 300 flights

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) was forced to cancel around 300 flights today as it inspects 79 Boeing 737-300 aircraft following the April 1 incident. The airline may be forced to cancel a similar number of flights tomorrow as it continues the inspections.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for the full story.

Southwest 737 makes a safe emergency landing at Yuma due to a hole in the fuselage

Southwest Airlines’ (Dallas) flight WN 812 lost cabin pressure due to a fuselage rupture. The pilot made a “controlled descent from 36,000 feet to 11,000 feet altitude.” according to report by the Associated Press.

The Boeing 737 made a safe emergency landing at Yuma, about 150 miles southwest of Phoenix yesterday (April 1).

There were no serious injuries reported for the 118 passengers and crew on board the flight. One flight attendant was slightly hurt, according to Southwest Airlines.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Turkish Airlines finalizes its order for 10 737-800s and five 737-900 ERs

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has exercised options for 15 Next-Generation 737s. The order, comprised of 10 737-800s and 5 737-900 ERs, has an average list-price value of more than $1.2 billion.

Boeing has received orders from 14 customers for a total of 305 737-900 ERs, the newest member of the 737 family. The higher capacity, longer-range derivative of the 737-900 was launched in July 2005. The 737-900 ER offers 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile than competing models.

Boeing will deliver all of Turkish Airlines new Next-Generation 737s with the innovative Boeing Sky Interior. The new interior introduces larger overhead stowage bins with a new pivoting design that provides more open space in the cabin.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Cargolux reports a net profit of $59.8 million in 2010

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) reported a net profit of $59.8 million in 2010.

Read the full report from Cargolux: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on the photo for additional information about the new Boeing 747-800F freighter.


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