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TransAsia Airways paints and unveils its first V air Airbus A321

V Air A321-200 B-22608 (14)(Grd) (V Air)(LR)

V air (subsidiary of TransAsia Airways) (Taipei) has repainted and unveiled its first Airbus A321-231 registered as B-22608 (msn 6009) into the new low-cost carrier’s bear livery. The TransAsia A321 was unveiled today on their Facebook page.  B-22608 will arrive at Taipei’s Songshan Airport very shortly.

V air is proposing to start low-fare operations to Bangkok pending a difficult approval process.

Photo: V air.

TransAsia Airways: AG Slide Show

TransAsia Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

 

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Air France and KLM announce their schedule changes for the winter season

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have issued details of their winter schedule from October 26 through March 28, 2015. Overall group capacity will only increase by 0.7 percent as Air France tries to recover from its devastating pilot strikes. However Transavia will see a 13.3 percent increase in capacity as the group tries to drive more operations to the lower cost divisions. Air France is cutting dome domestic AF services with the goal of breaking even by 2017. Here is the full report:

For the 2014-15 winter season (from October 26, 2014 to March 28, 2015), Air France-KLM Group capacity is scheduled to increase by 0.7%, with an increase of 0.1% for passenger operations(Air France, KLM and HOP!) and 13.3% for low-cost leisure operations (Transavia in France and the Netherlands).

Short and medium-haul capacity at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs will increase slightly (+3.1%). In the same way as last summer, point-to-point short and medium-haul capacity will continue to decrease (-11.3%). Transavia capacity will increase by +13.3%, with growth concentrated on the French market (+56%).

Air France-KLM has chosen to move upmarket with the progressive introduction of new products and services of the highest global standards.

On the long-haul network, 22 Boeing 747-400s have been equipped with KLM’s new World Business Class and 777-200s will be finished before the summer of 2015, followed by implementing the new World Business Class in the 777-300s. By the end of 2016 about 80% of the KLM fleet will be done. Air France continues to roll out its new Best cabins: five Air France Boeing 777s will be equipped by end-2014. Flights to New York, Singapore and Jakarta have already been equipped with these brand new products. Services to Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai, Dubai, Houston, Sao Paulo, Douala and Malabo will gradually be added to this list in winter 2014.

Furthermore, this winter the Company will operate two new destinations by Airbus A380: Miami and Abidjan, in addition to Los Angeles, New York, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Shanghai already served by the super jumbo this summer.

Long-haul: + 0.3%

On the long-haul network, Air France-KLM Group capacity is up slightly compared with winter 2013-14 at +0.3%.

On the North American network, capacity is up +2.4% compared with winter 2013-14

KLM is once again increasing capacity to Atlanta, from 7 to 12 weekly flights, in response to market demand. These new frequencies will facilitate connections with the Delta Air Lines network in Atlanta, one of the main hubs served by the Air France-KLM partner.

The Air France Airbus A380 will be flying the Miami route as from early December. Three U.S. destinations will thus be operated this winter by the A380 on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle – New-York-JFK, Los Angeles and Miami.

In Mexico, KLM will increase its frequencies to Mexico City, from 7 to 9 weekly flights in November and December, in line with seasonal demand. Air France capacity on a code-share basis with Aeromexico is increasing with 13 new destinations in Mexico and Central America on departure from Mexico City.

In Central and South America, Group capacity is up +1.1%.

Air France continues to serve Brasilia (Brazil) three times a week and Montevideo (Uruguay) is served daily in continuation of Buenos Aires (Argentina). The Company is increasing capacity to Panama City, increasing from three to five weekly frequencies by B777-200 and benefits from Copa’s Central American hub thanks to the commercial agreement between the two airlines.

Air France-KLM continues its close cooperation with the Brazilian airline GOL in order to take advantage of its joint network in the region and offer its customers improved connecting opportunities with the Brazilian domestic network this winter.

In the Caribbean, Air France-KLM capacity is revised downwards (-2.2%). Between mid-December and mid-January, Air France will operate 13 weekly flights (instead of 14) to Pointe-à-Pitre and 11 weekly flights (instead of 14) to Fort-de-France. KLM will increase capacity in the Caribbean in response to increasing demand for these destinations.

In Asia, Group capacity is up slightly at +0.7%.

In continuation of the summer schedule, Air France is continuing to serve Tokyo-Haneda airport up to 11 times per week in addition to the daily flight to Tokyo-Narita, providing connecting opportunities to Noumea (New Caledonia). Services to Jakarta (Indonesia) in continuation of the Singapore flight are also maintained on a daily basis.

To take advantage of the seasonal nature of certain destinations, Air France is increasing capacity during the peak winter season between mid-December and mid-March to Bangkok (Thailand) (one daily flight) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) (addition of a fourth frequency).

In China, capacity to Wuhan is being increased by one weekly frequency, with three weekly flights. Guangzhou will be served by four weekly flights.

KLM continues to cooperate with its Asian partners to offer customers a wider choice of connecting flights and even more destinations in Asia.

Africa: capacity slightly down by -0.8%

In Africa, Group capacity is slightly down to -0.8%.

Air France is adjusting its flight offering and reinforcing its most buoyant routes such as Abidjan (Ivory Coast), with the entry into service of the A380, and Pointe Noire (Congo) with the introduction of a sixth weekly frequency.

In East Africa, KLM is reorganizing its network to adapt it to specific market expectations. Capacity to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Entebbe (Uganda) is up. The two cities are now served directly three times a week. On the other days, they are served via Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda) respectively. KLM has suspended direct service to Harare (Zimbabwe) and Lusaka (Zambia). These two destinations remain in the Group’s capacity and are currently served by Kenya Airways via Nairobi (Kenya).

In the Indian Ocean region, Air France-KLM is adjusting capacity (-2.8%). From mid-December to mid-January, Air France will offer 11 flights to Reunion island (instead of 12) and an additional flight to Mauritius.

Middle East: capacity down by -5.2%

In the Middle East, Air France-KLM capacity is down by -5.2%. KLM is again increasing capacity to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in combination with Bahrein, as a result of its optimized cooperation with Etihad Airways, Air France-KLM’s partner. KLM will serve this destination using an Airbus 330-300, instead of an A330-200. Dubai will be served by the Air France B777-300 equipped with the new Best cabins in early 2015.

Medium-haul

On the medium-haul network, the 2014-15 winter season sees the full effect of the measures of the Transform 2015 plan.

On departure from the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs: capacity increases by +3.1%
Air France and KLM continue to serve the routes launched this summer: on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Stavanger (Norway) with two daily frequencies; on departure from Amsterdam-Schiphol, two daily flights to Turin (Italy), one daily flight to Bilbao (Spain) and Zagreb (Croatia).

KLM strengthens its position in Scandinavia by increasing frequencies to Bergen (Noway) with three daily flights and five daily flights to Billund (Denmark). KLM will also increase capacity to Moscow (Russia) and Bordeaux with three daily flights.

Air France aims to better seize connecting opportunities to the rest of the world and maintain capacity adapted to variations in demand between winter and summer: for example, one daily frequency is being suspended to Munich (Germany), Bucharest (Romania), Moscow (Russia), Rome (Italy) and Bremen (Germany).

On departure from Paris-Orly and the French provinces: capacity down by -11.3%
This winter, point-to-point short and medium-haul capacity (Air France, HOP!) is down by -11.3%. Seasonal adjustments are more pronounced, with the aim to return to operational breakeven by 2017.

On departure from Paris-Orly, Air France suspends one daily flight to Bordeaux and two daily frequencies to Toulouse. From the provinces, structural adjustments continue, notably with the suspension of several destinations in Europe and North Africa on departure from Toulouse and Marseille.

HOP! capacity is slightly up in France and to major European cities on departure from the French provinces. With its 26 destinations, Lyon is the Company’s main base, giving customers from the French regions access to a vast network of connecting flights.

Low-cost leisure operations

Transavia: strong increase in capacity of +13.3%

Transavia France, a low-cost subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group, will continue to develop as outlined in the Transform 2015 plan. During the 2014-15 winter season, Transavia France will operate nine new routes launched this year on departure from Paris-Orly – Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Athens, Pisa and Prague. On departure from Lyon, Transavia will also inaugurate a service to Tel Aviv as from October 2014.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. As previously reported, Air France is bringing the Airbus A380 to Miami this winter. A380-861 F-HPJI (msn 115) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 And (Years) markings.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Air France Aircraft Slide Show:

American Airlines flight 2293 returns to San Francisco after cabin panels became loose

American 757-200 flight AA 2293 (Arthur Simondet)(LR)

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) flight AA 2293 from San Francisco to Dallas/Fort Worth yesterday (October 13) operated with a Boeing 757-200 with 184 passengers and six crew members on board was forced to return to SFO after an air  duct  caused some cabin panels to buckle and open up according to CNN.

According to CNN, quoting American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller, “The air duct became inoperable and a few of the panels inside the plane came loose. There were no other issues. It was considered an emergency landing because it was an unscheduled landing,”

Twitter photo by passenger Arthur Simondet.

Finnair to offer air-to-rail connection between Helsinki and St. Petersburg with VR trains

Finnair (Helsinki) and Finnish railway operator VR are cooperating to offer combined air-and-rail tickets between St. Petersburg, Russia and international destinations connecting via the Helsinki hub.

Combined air-and-rail tickets will enable passengers flying throughout Finnair’s network in Europe, Asia and North America to connect to and from St. Petersburg on a high-speed Allegro train. Finnair began selling the combined tickets on October 1, 2014, and the first Allegro train (below) connection with AY code will be on December 1, 2014.

The train ride between Helsinki’s Central Railway Station and St. Petersburg’s Finland Station takes 3 hours and 36 minutes. Passport and customs procedures are carried out on board the train while en route, saving customers’ time and allowing for a smooth passenger experience. The ticket also allows stopovers in Helsinki, enabling customers with business in both cities to make a single booking while also giving leisure travellers the opportunity to take time to explore the Finnish capital region.

In other news, Finnair has released this statement:

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has awarded Finnair a position on The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014, for actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change.

The index presents 187 listed companies identified as demonstrating a superior approach to climate change mitigation. The A List is compiled by CDP, an NGO that provides the only global environmental reporting system at the request of 767 investors who represent some $92 trillion (US) in assets, or more than a third of the world’s invested capital.

Information provided by nearly 2,000 listed companies has been independently assessed against CDP’s widely-respected scoring methodology and ranked accordingly. Finnair is the only airline awarded an A grade for its climate performance, earning a position on this global ranking of corporate efforts to mitigate climate change.

“Aviation is an extremely energy- and capital-intensive sector, and our advanced capacity to measure and disclose information relating to this intensity allows us and our shareholders not only to understand Finnair’s climate impact but take steps to actively mitigate it while also controlling costs,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “This recognition from CDP shows that we are determined to proactively meet a commercial and regulatory landscape that is rapidly being transformed by climate change.”

“Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and we face steep financial risk if we do not mitigate them,” says CDP CEO Paul Simpson.

“The business case for action to mitigate climate change has never been stronger or more urgent. For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index. These companies are responding to market demand for environmental accountability and at the same time are making progress towards the realization of sustainable economies.”

Finnair is on track to reduce per-seat CO2 emissions by 24 percent between 2009 and 2017. The airline’s actions to reach this target and improve its environmental performance include:

Flying with a modern, fuel-efficient fleet. In 2013 Finnair was the global launch customer of Airbus A321 with fuel-saving Sharklets and next year will be the European launch customer of the next-generation A350XWB, which will be approximately 25 per cent more fuel-efficient (and less carbon intensive) than the previous generation of aircraft.

Strict “weight watching” of aircraft, including flying with ultra-light ULDs (unit load devices, or cargo containers) that save more than 2.5 million kg of CO2 emissions every year.

Continuous Descent Landings and other operational measures to limit fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Exploring the development (with partners in the value chain) of a biofuel hub at Helsinki Airport

In 2013, consolidating its offices and moving to a new LEED Platinum-certified head office near Helsinki Airport.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair’s Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKI (msn 19000117) taxies at Geneva (all others by VR).

Finnair: AG Slide Show

VR Group logo

VR Group Train

VR Train Route Map in Finland and extended routes to Russia:

VR Railroad 10.2014 Route Map

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show:

Boeing starts production of the first 737 MAX fuselage stringers

737-MAX8 Artwork

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has started production of the first 737 MAX fuselage stringers at Boeing Fabrication Integrated AeroStructures in Auburn, Washington. Stringers run the length of the fuselage structure giving it stability and strength.

After forming, Boeing will send the stringers to Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas for incorporation into the first 737 MAX fuselage. From there the fuselage will be shipped to Boeing’s Renton, Washington facility where Boeing employees will build the 737 MAX. The program is on track to begin final assembly of the first 737 MAX in 2015. The airplane will be part of the flight test fleet and is scheduled to fly in 2016.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service.

Boeing Fuselage Stringers

All images and videos by Boeing.

Video: Using flax for aircraft interiors:

 

Boeing 737 Aircraft Slide Show through the years:

Alaska Airlines renews its jersey sponsorship with the Portland Timbers

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will continue to sponsor the professional soccer team Portland Timbers. The airline issued this statement:

The Portland Timbers has announced the club has renewed its jersey sponsorship with Alaska Airlines. As part of the multiyear partnership, the iconic Northwest airline’s wordmark will continue to be prominently featured on Timbers’ game kits and club apparel.

In addition to being featured on Timbers jerseys, Alaska Airlines will continue to serve as the team’s official airline. Alaska Airlines, a Founding Partner of the Timbers, has been the club’s jersey partner since its inaugural 2011 MLS season.

As part of the partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue to support the Portland Timbers Community Fund, partnering with the team on several youth-based fitness and educational initiatives. Additionally, Alaska Airlines will donate 25 game-day tickets for home games to underprivileged Portland-area youth as part of the Timbers “Tickets for Kids” program. Alaska Airlines also will be a presenting sponsor for all MLS Timbers youth soccer camps.

Among the many fan-friendly components of the uniquely interactive partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue its popular program to allow year-round early boarding privileges on its flights originating from Portland International Airport to fans wearing Timbers jerseys. The airline will continue to fly the popular Timbers Jet throughout its route network. The club-themed plane was unveiled in 2011 with a design inspired by two Timbers fans through a paint-the-plane contest.

Alaska Airlines offers more nonstop flights (serving 43 different destinations), more daily flights (110 a day) and more California service (36 flights daily to 13 California destinations) from Portland International Airport than any other carrier.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The sponsorship also includes a Portland Timbers logo jet. Boeing 737-790 N607AS (msn 29751) taxies at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines:

AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

Silver Airways consolidates its operations around the SAAB 340B and Florida

Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville) starting on November 6, 2014 is further expanding its already extensive Florida schedule by adding nearly 40 percent more flights within the Sunshine State. Silver Airways’ increased flying starting November 6, 2014, includes additional service to/from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Key West, Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. In addition, Silver recently started new service between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Jacksonville, and between Orlando and Key West this summer.

Details of the schedule changes in Florida:

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood

Within Florida, Silver currently flies nonstop from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Tampa, and Orlando, as well as one-stop service to Gainesville, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. In addition, Silver offers nonstop service to seven destinations in the Bahamas, including Bimini, Grand Bahama (Freeport), Eleuthera, the Abacos (Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay), and Exuma (George Town). Increased flights starting November 6, 2014 include:

an additional nonstop weekday flight between Fort Lauderdale and Key West for a total of four daily nonstop flights;
an additional weekday flight between Fort Lauderdale and Tampa for a total of four flights per day, plus increased weekend service;
weekday service between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando increasing from three to five flights per day, plus increased weekend service;
daily same plane one-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville;
same plane one-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Pensacola increasing from two to three flights per day;
same plane one-stop weekday service between Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee increasing to more than two flights per day.

Key West

Silver currently flies nonstop to Key West from Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando. Increased flights starting November 6, 2014 include:

an additional weekday flight between Fort Lauderdale and Key West for a total of four daily flights;
a second daily flight between Fort Myers and Key West;
increased weekday flights between Tampa and Key West for a total of four daily flights;
two additional nonstop flights between Orlando and Key West for a total of three nonstops, and an additional one-stop for a total of five daily direct flights;
and daily same plane one-stop flight between Jacksonville and Key West.

Orlando

Silver currently flies nonstop from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Tallahassee and Pensacola, as well as to Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas. Increased flights starting November 6, 2014 include:

increased weekday service between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale from three to five flights per day, plus increased weekend service;
two additional nonstop flights between Orlando and Key West for a total of three nonstops, and an additional one-stop for a total of five daily direct flights;
an additional flight between Orlando and Fort Myers for a total of two daily flights;
an additional flight between Orlando and Pensacola for a total of three daily flights;
an additional flight between Orlando and Gainesville for a total of three daily flights, as well as convenient mid-day arrival and departure times.

Fort Myers

Silver currently flies nonstop from Fort Myers to Key West and Orlando. Increased flights starting November 6, 2014 include:

resumption of second seasonal flight between Fort Myers and Key West;
an additional nonstop flight between Fort Myers and Orlando for a total of two daily flights.

Tampa

Silver currently flies from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key West, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola. Increased flights starting November 6, 2014 include:

increased weekday service between Tampa and Key West for a total of four daily flights;
increased weekday service between Tampa and Fort Lauderdale from three to four daily flights, plus increased weekend service.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. SAAB 340B N442XJ (msn 442) arrives at the Dulles International Airport hub.

Silver Airways: AG Slide Show

Silver Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

Current Route Map: Silver Airways retired its last Beech 1900D with the closure of the Cleveland hub. The regional carrier previously closed down its Atlanta and Montana operations. Besides some remaining EAS routes from Washington (Dulles) the company is now concentrating its operations in its original location, the state of Florida and the Bahamas.

Silver_RouteMap_100714

Southwest Airlines celebrates the end of the Wright Amendment at Dallas Love Field with a major expansion

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today is celebrating the end of the flight distance restrictions under the expiring Wright Amendment at its Dallas Love Field base. The airline issued this statement about additional routes from DAL:

Southwest ain't no Virgin

Southwest Airlines is giving away 1,000 free flights to celebrate its new-found freedom from its home airport, Dallas Love Field.

The carrier is celebrating the repeal of the law known as the “Wright Amendment” which was imposed in 1979, limiting the reach of Dallas’ convenient airport. Starting today, the airline begins offering new nonstop flights from Love Field to the first of 17 destinations.

Denver
Chicago (Midway)
Baltimore/Washington
Washington, D.C. (Reagan National)
Las Vegas
Los Angeles (LAX)
Orlando

Beginning November 2, 2014, Southwest Airlines will continue its rollout of new nonstop flights from Love Field to:

Phoenix
Orange County/Santa Ana
San Diego
Tampa
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood
New York City (LaGuardia)
Atlanta
Nashville

Beginning January 6, 2015:

San Francisco (SFO)
Oakland (OAK)

Southwest Goodbye Wright

“After 34 long years, Southwest now has the right to spread our low fares, our friendly policies, our Fun-LUVing Attitudes, and Legendary Customer Service,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer during a spirited news conference in front of airline Employees and community Leaders. “Most importantly, we have the right to spread our LOVE across the United States anywhere we want to fly nonstop from our home airport, and our hometown, Dallas, Texas, On this day, October 13, 2014, Southwest Airlines celebrates that Dallas Love Field has officially been Set Free!”

Southwest DAL Route Map

Above: New Route Map from Dallas Love Field.

Customers on each of the first departures from Love Field to one of the seven new nonstop destinations received special gifts including shirts, Southwest Vacations packages, and more, as a way to celebrate the new flights and thank Customers for their support. In keeping with the week of NONSTOP Love, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card is celebrating by surprising Customers on flights throughout the week with various gifts and giveaways. Dallas-based Batter Up Cake Shop also surprised Customers and Employees with a cake dedicated to the new nonstop destinations the carrier is now offering from Love Field.

2014 is a milestone year for the 43-year-old airline. The carrier launched international flights to the Caribbean and Mexico, remains on track to complete the AirTran acquisition by the end of the year, revealed a new look, and now is breaking through the wall of the Wright Amendment flight restrictions imposed in 1979 (international nonstop restrictions still apply).

Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N708SW (msn 27842) in the new heart livery arrives in Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

Video: New Southwest TV commercial:

Wiggins Airways to be merged into Ameriflight

Wiggins B-99 N191WA (Grd)(Wiggins)(LR)

Wiggins Airways (Manchester) has been sold to and will be merged with Ameriflight (Dallas). Wiggin Airways was established in 1929.

Read the full story from New Hampshire Business Review: CLICK HERE

Wiggins describes its operations:

Wiggins Airways, Inc. is an employee-owned company, was founded in 1929. Wiggins Airways employs approximately 145 people with annual sales exceeding $24 million.

Wiggins Airways is a regional carrier of freight serving 11 states in the Northeast and offers private passenger charter service. The company is also a commercial service provider of fuel, deice and other related services for commercial airlines at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Wiggins Airways also maintains a full service Avfuel FBO with pilot and passenger lounges, and Hertz Rental cars on site.

Wiggins Airways owns and operates 29 Cessna 208 Caravans, 10 Beechcraft 99s (above), 3 Embraer EMB-110 Brasilias and one Cessna 402C principally employed in support of cargo operations, operating throughout the Northeastern US and Canada. In addition a Beechcraft King Air A100 is available for passenger charter.

All images by Wiggin Airways and Ameriflight.

Wiggins Airways service area:

Wiggin Airways 10.2014 Service Area

Ameriflight Route Map:

Ameriflight 10.2014 Route Map

Garuda Indonesia orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced an order for 50 737 MAX 8s, valued at $4.9 billion at current list prices. The flag carrier of Indonesia will purchase 46 737 MAX 8s and will convert existing orders for four Next-Generation 737-800s to 737 MAX 8s. The order was previously accounted for on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries Web site, attributed to an unidentified customer.

Garuda Indonesia currently operates 77 Boeing 737s. The new order gives the airline the flexibility to grow and to update its fleet as the market demands.

According to Boeing, “The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX 8 will have an 8 percent per seat operating cost advantage over the A320neo.”

The total number of 737 MAX orders to date is 2,295 airplanes from 47 customers worldwide.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Garuda Indonesia has been a long time Boeing 737 operator. Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 737-8U3 WL PK-GMA (msn 30151) prepares to taxi from the gate at Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia Aircraft Slide Show:

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Virgin America arrives at Dallas Love Field, departs from DFW

Virgin America (San Francisco) today (October 13) celebrates the launch of its new nonstop flights from Dallas Love Field (DAL) with a special inaugural flight, the unveiling of its new Dallas home and some Texas-sized deals for travelers. As of today, Virgin America launches three daily nonstop flights from DAL to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and starting on October 28, four daily nonstop flights from DAL to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA). With a loyal following of business travelers, the airline recently announced plans to add a fourth daily trip from DAL to DCA, SFO and LAX as of April 2015.

According to the airline, “The airline will be the only carrier at Love Field to offer three classes of service in these markets – including a First Class cabin and a Main Cabin Select premium economy service – as well as fleetwide WiFi, power outlets at every seat, a full-service food menu, confirmed seating and personal seatback entertainment for every guest. The airline today unveils its unique Love Field gate space and a First Class VIP check-in lounge that mirrors the sleek look and feel of the carrier’s aircraft cabins and is the only dedicated VIP check-in area of its kind at Love Field.”

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America today opens its doors on a stylish new home at Love Field that reflects the airline’s signature design. The airline’s First Class VIP check-in lounge (above) is located adjacent to its new Love Field ticket counters, and will give First Class guests and Elevate Gold members an upgraded experience from the moment they arrive at the airport’s convenient downtown location – complete with a dedicated Virgin America VIP concierge to assist with their travel needs. The space extends the airline’s cabin experience into the airport with design elements that include modern furniture pieces selected in collaboration with the Dallas-based design group Corgan – including Cassina Tre Pezzi lounge chairs, an Eames chair and ottoman and Foscaraini “Twiggy” floor lighting. The Love Lounge is also enclosed by a LED-lit divider wall by Molo Design. The airline’s ticket counter will offer user-friendly and modern white kiosk check-in tables with touch-screen panels and a concierge desk look-and-feel. Virgin America’s new gates also received the “Virgin” treatment, highlighting the brand’s British roots with a classic red London phone booth and art photography capturing moments in Virgin brand history through the decades – from Virgin Records to Virgin Galactic.

Virgin America is marking its last flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and first flight into its new home at Dallas Love Field today with the “ultimate Uber ride,” a “Downtown Express” flight available to Uber customers as the ultimate on-demand pick-up for those who want to beat the cross-town traffic and check out the Virgin America experience on the way to the airport most convenient to downtown Dallas. The flight will be hosted by Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, and include a live acoustic performance by Grammy Award-winning country music star, Kacey Musgraves. Upon arrival at the airline’s new home at DAL, flight guests, including Dallas city leaders, will be greeted with a champagne toast and the airline will be giving away Uber rides* to 300 lucky travelers at Dallas’ Love Field. The festivities at the airport will be followed by a star-studded red carpet evening fete at House of Blues Dallas. A “moodlit” Uber vehicle that recreates the airline’s moodlighting hits the streets of Dallas today – and locals who catch a ride in the Virgin America-branded wheels will score an invitation to the airline’s evening bash.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N361VA (msn 5515) with Sharklets arrives at Los Angeles.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Video: Sir Richard’s Love List:

Virgin America Aircraft Slide Show:

Finnair’s board approves the incentive plan for its pilots

Finnair (Helsinki) as part of the agreement with its pilots announced last month, has received board of directors approval for a one-time, long-term incentive plan for its pilots. The company issued this statement:

The Finnair Board of Directors has approved a one-off long-term incentive plan for Finnair pilots. The plan is a part of the savings agreement between Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) that brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. The savings agreement was contingent on the realization of the incentive plan.

The plan period is 2015-2018 and the prerequisite for rewarding pilots based on this plan is the materialization of the agreed cost savings over this time period. In addition, the company share price must at least be 4 euros at the end of the incentive plan. If these conditions are met, the pilots are entitled to a cash payment. The amount of the payment is based on the Finnair share price. The total reward to pilots amounts to 12 million euros if the share price is 4 euros or a maximum of 24 million euros, if the share price reaches at least 8 euros. Divided over the four year period, the annual earnings potential for an individual pilot is equivalent to 5-10 per cent of annual base salary.

Finnair plans to hedge the additional costs above the 4 euro share price with a market-based call option. If the conditions of the plan are met, the associated total cost over the four year period is thus limited to approximately 12 million euros. The closing price of Finnair share was 2.39 euros on 10 October 2014.

The number of pilots eligible to participate in the plan is approximately 700. The cash reward will be paid to pilots in spring 2019, provided that the aforementioned performance criteria are met.

“With this incentive plan the savings agreement negotiated with pilots enters into force, which is essential to improve Finnair’s competitiveness. If the plan’s performance criteria are met, Finnair shareholders will have enjoyed a significant increase in the company’s valuation and the pilots will receive a one-time compensation for the permanent savings they have agreed on,” says Finnair’s CEO Pekka Vauramo.

“I am also very pleased that we reached a negotiation result with our cabin crew. With both pilots and cabin crew we negotiated significant savings agreements that support the company’s growth. In return for savings, Finnair gives its cabin crew protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and a pension incentive as well,” says Vauramo. “The agreed changes in the collective labour agreements and other savings measures are not easy for our flying personnel or other employee groups with whom we have made savings agreements. I am grateful that our employees have responsibly contributed to the negotiated solutions. This is quite exceptional in our industry and demonstrates the kind of commitment to Finnair’s future that I am very proud of.”

The share prices for target and maximum level rewards are identified solely for the purpose of this incentive scheme, and they shall not be considered as guidance on Finnair’s share value.

Finnair used PCA Corporate Finance as an advisor in the planning of this incentive plan.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 OH-LZL (msn 6083) with Sharklets departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show:

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Malindo Air to compete on the busy Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route

Malindo Air (Lion Air Group)  (Kuala Lumpur) will launch Boeing 737 service on the very busy and competitive Kaula Lumpur-Singapore route on November 3.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9GP ER 9M-LNH (msn 38732) departs from Denpasar on Bali, Indonesia.

Malindo Air: AG Slide Show

Malindo Air logo-2

Malindo Air Route Map:

Malindo Air 10.2014 Route Map

Cathay Pacific is facing a contract showdown with its pilots next week

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is facing a showdown with its pilots this coming week. 51 percent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association voted down the company’s offer on an online poll. The carrier said it was disappointed with the vote. The airline had offered a 10 percent salary increase over three years. Contract talks will start next week.

If the talks fail, the pilots may got to invoke a “contract compliance”, a form of a strike. This slow down action if implemented could have an impact on operations.

Read the full report from Malaymail Online: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show:

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Thomson Airways unveils its vision of future leisure flying, orders two more Boeing 787s

Thomson Airways (London-Luton and Manchester) has unveiled its vision of leisure flying with these new concepts for its fleet. The airline issued this statement and images about its new five year plan:

Thomson Airways, the UK’s largest leisure airline, has unveiled its five year vision to change the face of holiday flying through new state-of-the-art aircraft, more long-haul destinations and innovative on-board product and service concepts.

The vision will be delivered through an upgraded fleet, including the announcement of two further Boeing 787 Dreamliners (above) and the delivery of 47 new Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts by 2020. This will give Thomson Airways one of the youngest and most state-of-the-art fleets in the UK at an average age of just five years.

The Dreamliner aircraft will enable Thomson Airways to increase its long-haul capacity and fly to new destinations, including the only direct flight from Europe to Costa Rica on the 787 in November 2015. It will also be the only direct flight from the UK to the destination. Other destinations currently being considered include expanding operations in the Eastern Caribbean to islands like St Lucia and Antigua, in the Antilles to Bonaire and Curacao and South East Asia to Vietnam and Malaysia.

The 737 MAX will enhance the customer experience on short and mid-haul routes and, with the aircraft expected to be around 14% more fuel efficient than the current 737, will help Thomson Airways maintain its position as the UK’s leading airline for carbon performance.

A multi-million pound refresh will also be implemented across the existing fleet of 737 and 757 aircraft this winter to enhance the levels of comfort and service and provide a more contemporary on-board environment.

The airline will also continue to invest in its on-board products and services and today revealed innovative new concepts it’s planning to implement across short, mid and long-haul flights over the next five years. This includes concepts to bring the holiday experience to life on the aircraft, help customers plan their trips from 43,000 feet and seamlessly connect the crew with the overseas holiday teams.

New 737 MAX seating concepts

Thomson Family Booth (LRW)

Family Booth (above) – more social seating for four to six people situated at the back of the aircraft around a table. Designed for larger families travelling to First Choice Holiday Village or Thomson Family Resort

Thomson DuoSeat with table (LRW)

Duo-seating (above) – three innovative pod style seats become two with a table for champagne, in-seat charging and mood lighting for a more spacious and luxurious start to the holiday

On-board people innovations

Thomson Child Care (LRW)

On-board kids’ club – bringing Thomson and First Choice child care (above) expertise to the skies with a fully trained member of the crew to help parents keep the kids entertained with arts, crafts and quizzes that relate to the destination

Thomson HolidayMaker (LRW)

HolidayMaker (above) – on-board HolidayMakers on short and mid-haul flights – a member of the resort team who has extensive knowledge of all there is to do in the destination and can offer advice and recommendations to customers

In-flight technology advancements

Inflight entertainment – new content and channels designed specifically for holidaymakers including a bedtime story channel for little ones, bespoke teenage content and destination inspiration channels on long-haul. Further planned enhancements include room upgrades, advance check-in and resort experience bookings through the state-of-the-art system

Thomson iPad (LRW)

iPad enabled crew (above) – to personalize the customer service, share destination information and pass special requests and information over to the resort team

David Burling, Managing Director of TUI UK & Ireland, said: “Our airline business has traditionally been categorized in the charter sector which is often perceived as the poor relation to scheduled and, in reality, bears little resemblance to the Thomson Airways experience today.

“Our overall goal is to make travel experiences special and, as the flight marks both the start and end of the holiday, we see it as an integral part of the whole holiday experience.

“That is why we want to want to define and lead a new category of flying – the holiday airline category. This describes an airline designed for the specific needs of the holiday maker and fully connected to the holiday experience in the destination.

“We’ll achieve this by continuing to invest in our fleet, in state-of-the-art aircraft like the 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX, in our on-board technology connecting the flight experience to that in resort and in product and service innovations that are entirely relevant to the holidaymaker both today and tomorrow.”

Thomson Beach Snack Bar (LRW)

Above: Beach Snack Bar in Premium Club cabin.

Top Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. New Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-TUIE (msn 37227) arrives after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA. G-TUIE was handed over on June 30, 2014.

Thomson Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

Thomson Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

Adria Airways to phase its last two Bombardier CRJ200s in March

Adria Airways (Ljubijana) will phase out its last two Bombardier (Canadair) CRJ200s from scheduled airline service in March 2015 per EX-YU.

With the winter timetable on 26 October 2014, adria will continue to serve 17 destinations from Ljubljana: Amsterdam, Belgrade, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich. Adria will also continue the scheduled services connecting Pristina with Frankfurt and Munich, Tirana with Frankfurt and Munich with Lodz.

Adria currently operates a fleet of two Airbus A319s, one A320, six Bombardier CRJ900s and two CRJ200s.

Adria plans to wet lease A320-family aircraft in 2015 while a total of five or six jets will join the fleet by 2016 according to EX-YU.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice ramp portrait of Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) S5-AAJ (msn 8010) at Zurich.

Adria Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

Adria Airways: AG Slide Show

KLM is coming to Edmonton starting on May 3, 2015

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will launch Amsterdam-Edmonton Airbus A330-200 flights starting on May 3, 2015. The new route will be operated four days a week per Airline Route. The airline has not yet officially announced this new route.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOK taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

KLM: AG Slide Show

Baltia Air Lines enters Phase III of the FAA Air Carrier Certification

Baltia 747-200B N706BL (11)(Grd) YIP (Baltia)(LRW)

Baltia Air Lines (Ypsilanti-Willow Run) has been documenting each step of its long FAA Part 121 certification process. The proposed airline was planning to operate from the United States to the Baltic region, especially St. Petersburg, Russia with a former Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-251B (N706BL, msn 21705). However given the current tensions with Russia over the Ukraine, that business plan may be evolving as this press release now only mentions Europe. The prospective airline has issued this update:

Baltia Air Lines (BLTA) announced on October 10 that it has entered into Phase III of the FAA Air Carrier Certification.

Phase III consists of the Table Top Exercise, Mini-Evacuation Demonstration, and Proving Flights. “Passing through Phase II was a major accomplishment in the Certification Process,” stated Sheryle Milligan, Chief of Operations.

Baltia Air Lines is America’s newest airline, currently undergoing Air Carrier Certification. Baltia’s principal base of operations is at Willow Run Airport, Michigan. Upon Certification, Baltia will operate Boeing 747 aircraft across the Atlantic, from the U.S. nonstop to Europe.

This service is subject to receipt of government operating authority.

Photo: Baltia Air Lines.

BALTIA AIR LINES, INC. LOGO

Airberlin vows to fight the decision by the LBA to deny 34 codeshare routes with Etihad Airways

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) has received a setback in its relationship with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The Luftfahrt Bundesamt-LBA (German Aviation Authority) has denied 34 codeshare routes between Airberlin and Etihad for the coming winter season according to Spiegel. Airberlin will reportedly take legal action to challenge the decision. Airberlin has stated jobs in Germany could be in jeopardy.

According to The Handelsblatt, citing the Federal Ministry of Transport, the codeshare agreements are not covered in the bilateral agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

Read the full report from Spiegel (in German): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Moving Forward” logo jet of Airberlin with joint Etihad Airways markings has hit a bump in the road. Airbus A320-214 D-ABDU (msn 3516) taxies at Munich.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

The EU puts additional pressure on the DOT to approve the application of Norwegian Air International

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) currently operates its Boeing 787s to the United States under its Norwegian Long Haul division (Oslo). The company would like to move the operation to Ireland as Norwegian Air International where the aircraft are registered. The European Union (EU) through its European Commission has request an “urgent” meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) about the pending application. Several union groups have opposed the application. The EC issued this statement:

In an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting between the European Union and the United States to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the U.S-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the U.S from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.

Norwegian Air International welcomes the European Union’s action to protect the rights of European airlines under the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, which obligates parties to grant operating authority “with minimum procedural delay.” Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International, said, “We are confident that the Department of Transportation will do the right thing and grant our application without further delay.”

Norwegian Air International’s application has taken nearly four times as long as applications of other European carriers applying for the same authority. “We look forward to bringing new competitive and affordable fares on new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the U.S.-Europe market,” said Nyseth. With over 300 U.S. based crew, and plans for a pilot base in New York, Norwegian’s new service will bolster the U.S. economy through increased tourism, jobs, and support of the nation’s largest exporter, Boeing.

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LND (msn 35310) with Norwegian Marthoner Grete Waitz on the tail holds shot of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport. The flight was headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Aviation Partners Boeing receives additional FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for the Split Scimitar Winglets

Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced today that it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) covering the installation of Split Scimitar Winglets for three additional configurations of the Boeing 737NG.

Split Scimitar Winglets can now be installed on all Boeing 737-800 and 737-900 ER aircraft. All remaining commercial and private variants of the 737 Next-Generation aircraft are scheduled to be certified by May of 2015.

According to the company, “APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is its latest fuel efficiency success and the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet, but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake. Split Scimitar Winglets can save up to 60,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year.”

Since launching the Split Scimitar Winglet program early last year, APB has taken orders and options for 1,657 systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold nearly 8,000 Blended Winglet Systems. More than 5,300 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide 4.5 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date thus eliminating over 47 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.

Copyright Photo: APB. Kulula of South Africa is the latest operator of the SSWs. Boeing 737-8LD ZS-ZWB (msn 40852) climbs away with the new winglets.

Kulula: AG Slide Show

The Netherlands has now identified 262 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17, one was found wearing an oxygen mask

Malaysia MH 17 Flight Route Map

The investigation in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in the Ukraine continues with the Government of the Netherlands taking the lead. According to this report by CNN, one passenger was found wearing an oxygen mask suggesting the passenger had time to don the mask. The shoot down and crash occurred in the pro-Russian rebel portions of the eastern Ukraine (see above) near Donetsk.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

On October 3, 2014 the Government of the Netherlands issued this statement about the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine.

It was announced that a further 11 victims of the MH 17 air disaster have been identified. Of these 11 victims, 8 were Dutch nationals and 3 were nationals of other countries. This brings the total number of victims of the disaster now identified to 262.

The next of kin of these victims have been informed. The mayors of the municipalities in which the victims lived will also be notified if, when consulted, the next of kin express a desire for this to be done. At the request of the relevant countries’ embassies, the nationalities of the identified victims who were not from the Netherlands has not been disclosed.

A team of specialists is currently hard at work on identifying victims of the disaster. However, as was previously stressed, it may take some time before all the victims have been identified. The media will be provided with periodic updates on the progress made.

On July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashed in the Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. On board were 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Among the passengers were 196 Dutch citizens.

Map: PM3/Wikipedia Creative Commons.

Flight routes of MH 17 and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 including airspace restrictions.

Route of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 on July 17, 2014 at 12:55 to 13:20 UTC, and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 at 13:08 to 13:27 UTC; flight data from Flightradar24 (MH 17, SQ 351), rendered map from OpenStreetMap; restricted airspace zones as to NOTAMs A1383/14 and A1492/14.

ATSB issues an update for the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 10.2014 Search Area

Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) has issued an update dated October 8 for the search of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. The ATSB believes the Boeing 777-200 ran out of fuel and spiraled down in the southern Indian Ocean. The ATSB is refining its search data using all available data. The search is likely to move further south. The ASTB issued this executive summary:

On March 8, 2014, flight MH 370, a Boeing 777- 200 ER registered 9M-MRO, lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a transition between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace. An analysis of radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signalling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location close to where the aircraft’s fuel was exhausted.

Refinements to the analysis of both the satellite and flight data have been continuing since the loss of MH 370. The analysis has been undertaken by a team from the UK, US, Australia and Malaysia working both independently and collaboratively. Priority, medium and wide search areas were provided in the ATSB’s MH 370 – Definition of Underwater Search Areas (June report).

The latest analysis indicate that the next, underwater, phase of the search should be prioritized further south within the wide search area.

Work is continuing with refinements to the analysis of the SATCOM data. This ongoing work may result in changes to the prioritization and locale of search activity over the period of the underwater search.

End-of-flight scenarios:

To estimate and have confidence in a reasonable search area width, it is important to understand the aircraft system status at the time of the SATCOM transmission from the aircraft at 0019.29 (log-on request), and the variations in aircraft behaviour and trajectory that were possible from that time.

The log-on request recorded at the final arc occurred very near the estimated time of fuel exhaustion. The recorded BFO values indicated that the aircraft could have been descending at that time. Aircraft systems analysis, in particular the electrical system and autoflight system, has been ongoing. In support of the systems analysis, the aircraft manufacturer and the operator have observed and documented various end-of-flight scenarios in their B777 simulators.

The simulator activities involved fuel exhaustion of the right engine followed by flameout of the left engine with no control inputs. This scenario resulted in the aircraft entering a descending spiralling low bank angle left turn and the aircraft entering the water in a relatively short distance after the last engine flameout. However when consideration of the arc tolerances, log on messages and simulator activities are combined, it indicates that the aircraft may be located within relatively close proximity to the arc. Whilst the systems analysis and simulation activities are ongoing, based on the analysis to date, the search area width described in the June report remains reasonable with the underwater search to commence at the 7th arc and progress outwards both easterly and westerl

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile CEO Tim Clark of Emirates believes the aircraft was always under control and may not be in the southern Indian Ocean. Tim Clark gave an interview to Der Spiegel. Read his comments here on the investigation from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Maps: Google Earth.

Below: Google Earth/Flight path reconstruction group:

ATSB 10.2014 MH 370 Search Area

Qatar Airways today inaugurates Airbus A380 service to London Heathrow

Qatar Airways (Doha) today (October 10) finally inaugurated Airbus A380 service on the Doha-London (Heathrow) route becoming the 12th airline to operate the Super Jumbo.

From Airbus:

Twelve airlines have taken delivery of more than 140 A380s, which are operating on routes around the world as of September 2014. In total, more than 65 million passengers have flown on Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner since its 2007 service entry.

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first A380 in October 2007, and began operations with Singapore-Sydney service. This carrier also is successfully using its A380s on long-haul routes to destinations such as London, Paris and Zurich, as well as for the approximately 3-hour-plus Singapore-to-Hong Kong flight, and on the intra-Asia service linking Singapore with Tokyo.

Emirates – the largest single A380 customer – has expanded its route network since inaugurating operations with the double-deck jetliner in July 2008. In addition to service from Dubai to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Seoul, Sydney/Auckland and Toronto, Emirates is now flying A380s on the shorter-haul, but high-density Dubai-Jeddah route.

Service on the North Atlantic was introduced by Air France, which has operated its prestigious Paris-New York flight with the A380 since November 2009. Air France replaced two mid-sized “classic” widebody aircraft with the A380 on this route, allowing the airline to offer the same capacity with much higher economic efficiency, at significantly lower fuel consumption, and with lower emissions. The carrier also is using its A380s on flights from Paris to Tokyo and Johannesburg.

QANTAS has been operating its A380s since September 2008 from two cities in its Australian home market – Sydney and Melbourne, providing the jetliner’s first service to Los Angeles on the U.S. West Coast, along with routes to Dubai, London and Hong Kong. Lufthansa joined the ranks of A380 operators in May 2010 – deploying its growing fleet on routes between Frankfurt and Beijing, Houston, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Singapore and Tokyo.

Korean Air, which has a long-standing relationship with Airbus that dates back to 1974, received its first A380 in May 2011 and has ordered a total of 10 aircraft to help expand its global route network. As Airbus’ sixth international operator, Korean Air flies the A380 from its Seoul hub to selected destinations in Asia, North America and Europe.

The no. 1 A380 for China Southern Airlines entered revenue service in October 2011 with round-trip flights linking Beijing and Guangzhou. After this introductory domestic service, the airline began using the A380 on international routes starting with flights between Guangzhou and Los Angeles in October 2012.

In May 2012, Malaysia Airlines became the fifth airline in the Asia-Pacific region – and the eighth worldwide – to incorporate the double-deck A380 into its fleet. Malaysia’s A380s are used in operations from Kuala Lumpur to London, Paris and Hong Kong.

Thai Airways International (THAI) became the ninth airline worldwide to incorporate the A380 into its fleet in September 2012. The carrier’s A380s – which seat 507 passengers in a premium three-class layout – provide service to Frankfurt, Tokyo and Paris after being used on Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes upon initial entry into service.

British Airways became the 10th airline to receive an A380 in July 2013 and inaugurated its long-haul operations with the double-deck jetliner between London and Los Angeles two months later.

In May 2014, Asiana Airlines took delivery of its first of six A380s on order, which is a key element in the South Korea-based carrier’s future vision and fleet modernisation strategy. Asiana – the 11th operator worldwide to receive Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner – initially will deploy its no. 1 aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok; to be followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles in the U.S.

Qatar Airways became the world’s 12th airline to add the A380 to its fleet during September 2014. Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner is taking this Gulf airline to new heights, enabling it to carry passengers even further while providing an unrivalled in-flight experience. Qatar Airways is scheduled to begin service with its initial A380 from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to London Heathrow.

Qatar will inaugurate A380 to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) on November 1 and a second flight to Heathrow on December 1.

Map of A380 operators and routes operated: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. This historic photo shows the first, Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137), arriving at London (Heathrow) as flight QR 03 at 1225 local time. The flight back to Doha departs as flight QR 04 at 1415 each day.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Videos:

 

The second Livingston (New Livingston) suspends operations

Livingston Compagnia Aerea (2nd) (New Livingston) (Milan-Malpensa) finally suspended operations on October 6 after fighting an uphill battle the past few months. The airline issued this statement:

New Livingston, the airline specialized in charter flights, suspends all its flight activities as from October 6. It was a difficult and painful decision, after three years of operations.

New Livingston, a privately owned Italian carrier operating domestic and International flights, was forced to suspend all activities due to the difficult situation in the tourism industry, especially regarding the turmoils in the Mediterranean region and Egypt, as a result of the Arab Spring, and the drastic reduction in demand for flights to Russia due to the ongoing political crisis.

A sharp drop in revenues is attributable also to some unpaid claims such as those of Aeroporto di Rimini, whose amounts for ticket sold were never transferred to the airline and on which the property relied for its revival.

Due to all the above, in addition to the atypic rigidity of some Italian organizations and companies, New Livingston could not carry on its activity, despite all efforts made to continue the operations, both through corporate restructuring and the petition for Concordato in Continuità, in addition to significant investments made by the property.

The intention to suspend the flight activities was previously submitted to the attention of the Court of Busto Arsizio, thus to preserve the company’s assets.

The airline commenced operations on march 31, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-EUB (msn 1998) arrives at Manchester before the shutdown.

Livingston (2nd): AG Slide Show

Blackpool International Airport to close on October 15 after it was unable to find investors

Blackpool Airport Terminal (LRW)

Blackpool International Airport (Blackpool) will close on October 15 after the airport was unable to find new investors.

The airport issued this statement:

Blackpool Airport logo

We regret to announce that no agreement has been reached to secure the future of operations at Blackpool Airport. The airport operation has been making a loss for a number of years and unfortunately there is no option for the company other than to close.

This is a very sad day for the airport which has a proud aviation history and a loyal, appreciative customer following. We would like to thank all our dedicated staff who have delivered exceptional service to passengers for many years.

The airport will remain open to the public until October 15, 2014 and we will endeavour to maintain operations as normal until this date, after which time commercial flights will cease.

While the sales process announced at the end of August was a final attempt to secure the future of the airport, the airport’s management had spent many months prior to this announcement approaching organizations with a potential interest in the airport in an attempt to find a buyer.

Work is currently underway with the independent aviation businesses and tenants at the airport to understand if their operations can continue in the future. Working in partnership with the local authorities, regeneration plans are also being developed which will be designed to create future employment and sustainable economic development opportunities for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.

Jet2 will transfer its Blackpool operations to Manchester effective today (October 10).

Routes from Blackpool:

Blackpool Airport routes

Ethiopian Airlines is bringing the Boeing 787 to Dublin and Los Angeles starting in June

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced it has finalized preparations to start flights to Dublin and Los Angeles starting in June 2015.

Ethiopian flights from Addis Ababa to Dublin and continuing on to Los Angeles will be operated three times a week with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The flights will be the only direct service connecting Africa with Ireland and the West Coast of the United States.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOS (msn 34747) is pictured at Toronto (Pearson).

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Apsara Air starts Airbus A320 operations in Cambodia

Apsara Air logo

Aspara Air (Phnom Penh) is a new Airbus A320 operator based in Cambodia. The new airline started operations on October 8 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with Skywings Asia Airlines Airbus A320-231 XU-ZAB (msn 476) according to The Cambodia Herald and ch-aviation.

The new airline received its AOC in September.

According to the report, newcomer Bassaka Air has also been approved to start operations this month.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

China Aviation Supplies orders 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft

China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) and Airbus have signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for the purchase of a total of 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, reflecting the strong demand from Chinese carriers for the leading Airbus single-aisle Family for domestic, low cost, regional and international operations. The GTA was signed by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO and Li Hai, President of CAS.
At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises over 1,000 aircraft (around 140 A330 Family and over 920 A320 Family aircraft). In the 20 year period between 2014 to 2033 Airbus forecasts a demand in China for more than 5,300 new commercial aircraft over 100 seats plus freighters.

Today more than 900 in service A320 Family aircraft operate with 16 Chinese carriers and over 190 A320 Family aircraft have been assembled and delivered from the FALC in Tianjin. The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with more than 11,000 orders to date and over 6,200 aircraft delivered. Thanks to its wide cabin, all members of the A320 Family offer the industry’s best level of comfort in all classes and Airbus’ 18” wide seats in economy as standard.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-271N F-WNEO (msn 6101) arrives back at Toulouse after the first flight.

Virgin Atlantic takes delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner yesterday (October 9). The airline is the first European airline to take delivery of the 787-9 and plans to operate the airplane initially on its London Heathrow to Boston route.

Virgin Atlantic’s first 787-9 touched down at London’s Gatwick Airport today (October 10) following a more than 7,400 kilometer (4,000 nautical mile) nonstop flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The 787-9 registered as G-VNEW (msn 40956) (above), is named ‘Birthday Girl’ in reference to the UK carrier’s 30th anniversary and is the first of 16 787-9s Virgin Atlantic has ordered from Boeing.

The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 830 kilometers (450 nautical miles) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace.

The airplane leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Based out of London’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, as well as Manchester and Glasgow Airports, Virgin Atlantic Airways operates a fleet of approximately 40 airplanes. Along with its first 787-9, the British operator also has a Boeing fleet of 12 Boeing 747-400s operating on routes across North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

To date, nearly 60 customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 Dreamliners, approximately 40 percent of which are 787-9s.

Virgin Atlantic Anatomy of a 787

Above: Anatomy of a Boeing 787.

Virgin Atlantic logo (large-1)

Meet Hayley Burton, Virgin Atlantic’s 787 Program Manager (from the Virgin Atlantic blog):

In October, we’re welcoming ‘Birthday Girl’ – the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft that will lead our 16-strong Dreamliner fleet – which might just go down in history as the planes that revolutionized our business. And while we’re bursting with excitement about it, we’ve been working up to this moment for several years. Someone who has been helping keep the project running smoothly from the very beginning is Hayley Burton, a Program Planner and self-confessed airline geek.

Virgin Atlantic Haylet Burton #1

Hayley wasn’t always an airline geek though. In fact, she started as a Business/Data Analyst and joined Virgin Atlantic three and a half years ago, supporting projects in Engineering. “I’ve always been interested in many different things. Following my school education, I started my work life as a legal secretary and ended up forging a career within Information Management & Technology for the NHS. I then completed a HND in Computing & Software Development as formal qualification of my skills and knowledge within this area.”

Although Hayley didn’t forecast a career in aviation, when she saw the role within Virgin Atlantic, she couldn’t resist applying. “I saw the ad and my best friend, who works at Virgin Atlantic, said I’d really fit in here – so that was it really!” And even though she wasn’t a specialist or industry expert, her transferable skills and drive to tackle big challenges head-on, meant she saw the potential for her skills to contribute to our business, but also the chance to learn something new too.

The 787 program

“Moving onto the 787 program was a real opportunity for me to understand the other elements of the business and where and how they all worked together. When I was working in Engineering, that was the only area I learned about. Now, I’m fortunate enough to be able to look at lots of elements with multiple areas – from Flight Operations to Cabin Crew and Service Delivery. It’s really enabled me to see the airline as a whole.”

It’s true. As Program Planner, Hayley really does have a finger in almost every pie. “I oversee the entire project planning within the programme. I create a very high-level plan and track all of our business areas within it. So it’s really about understanding what people have to deliver and when, their required outcomes, identifying any potential risks and how they’re managed – including financials. I’m also part of the 787 comms team, so I’m regularly in touch with internal and external stakeholders, and I’m also a bit of a right-hand-man for my Program Manager. I liaise with my Boeing counter-part who I collaborate with on a regular basis in order to review the plans and share information on our progress.”

Virgin Atlantic Hayley Burton #2

Hayley says the moment Boeing toured the UK with the 787 and she got to see it upfront, was when she realized what a great project this was. “This fleet is so important to our business; it’s a real game-changer. Not only will the fuel efficiency save us money, but the aircraft are e-enabled, meaning they use state-of-the-art technology.”

“From a technology perspective we’ve installed and built a new IT infrastructure in order to process the waves of data that we’re going to receive from the aircraft and that’s really exciting. It’ll be used to work out how we fly, what routes we take, how we maintain the aircraft and how we can improve all those things”.

It’s been a challenging project but one that she says has been exciting and well-executed. “We’ve definitely rolled our sleeves up and thrown ourselves at this. Boeing has told us that we out-weigh other operators in being prepared for this aircraft. And as the arrival of the first aircraft draws ever closer, we’ve set up a countdown clock – you can feel the excitement. We have a fantastic programme team and everyone has really pulled together.”

Visiting Seattle

While she’s impressed with the team and how our areas work together, she’s says the highlight so far has been her visit to Boeing’s Everett hangar in Seattle – the world’s largest building by volume.

“We travelled around the hangar in golf carts and there were people just everywhere constructing these four airplanes on the 787 production line – they were literally being built before my eyes. It was just amazing. I really got to see something that people – even in the industry – don’t usually get to see.”

So apart from once-in-a-lifetime experiences, what’s the best part of working on this project? “Everything surprises me about this job. I’ve learned so much through my work on this program, it’s unbelievable. My knowledge about how the airline industry works is immense and I’m still trying to cram it into my brain!”

“My goal is to manage a major program like this in the future; the skills and experiences I’ve built upon by working at Virgin Atlantic makes me feel optimistic about my future career.”

Top Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. G-VNEW arrives back at Paine Field after a sunset test flight.

Virgin Atlantic: AG Slide Show

Video:

 

Delta celebrates the life of founder C. E. Woolman

Delta founder C.E. Woolman (Delta)(LR)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is celebrating the life of its founder C.E. Woolman through a new video.

“Quality begins with people.” – C.E. Woolman, the founder. Woolman was born 125 years ago on October 8.

Delta logo

Photo: Delta Air Lines archives.

Delta Air Lines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

Video:

Allegiant starts Cincinnati-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (October 9) started nonstop service between Cincinnati and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

The new flights will operate four times weekly from the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood begins the latest flight expansion by Allegiant at CVG announced in the summer. In November, Allegiant will begin nonstop flights to Mesa (near Phoenix), followed by Las Vegas in December, bringing the company’s total weekly flights to 20 before the end of the year.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N419NV (msn 53366) lands in Las Vegas.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants tentatively agree on a five-year contract

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Association of Flight Attendants have announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.

Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in December.

Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire. Instead they become amendable. The prior contract was effective in 2010 and became amendable in May 2012.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N303AS (msn 30017) departs from Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

PEOPLExpress will not be able to resume operations on October 16, wants to add an additional aircraft provider

PEOPLExpress (Vision) 737-400 (14)(Grd)(Peoplexpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress Airlines (2nd) (Newport News/Williamsburg) as previously reported, announced on September 26 it was temporarily suspending service and was planning to re-launch on or about October 16. The airline also announced it still intended to launch previously announced service to Orlando and Charleston, West Virginia starting on October 16. This has now changed.

Today the company announced this update:

PEOPLExpress today (October 9) is providing an update on our plans to resume operations as part of our commitment to share as much information as possible as we work to restore much-needed air service.

We currently have a tentative agreement with an additional aircraft provider, which will enable us to enhance our platform, including the addition of a third aircraft as a spare. This will alleviate the service issues we have experienced.

A number of steps need to be achieved before we can resume service, among them some regulatory approvals.

In order to ensure that we always have enough planes and crews, we are obtaining approval to operate as an Indirect Aircraft Carrier (known as Part 380). This will allow us to obtain planes from a number of providers if necessary for service stability. We met with the U.S. Department of Transportation this week and we are in the process of providing them with information they requested.

Since we cannot open reservations until we receive government approvals we therefore cannot commit to our previously announced date to resume service.

All customers holding existing reservations will be receiving full refunds. As before, we offer our heartfelt apologies for the inconvenience to our loyal customers. Once we have established a date to resume service, customers with travel dates beginning with the resumption date and beyond will be contacted to offer them the option to rebook their flights for the same dates of travel at the same fare, if they choose.

While our resumption is later than we had anticipated and hoped for, with this approach we will be able to restore a full schedule with exceptional operational integrity, supported by an adequate number of aircraft and crew members.

We remain focused on getting back into the air as soon as possible and building the reliable service that our customers have asked for and deserve, with an unwavering focus on safety.

Photo: PEOPLExpress. The two Boeing 737-400s operated by Vision Airlines for PEOPLExpress are now likely to be operated on other services by Vision.

American to introduce Los Angeles-Atlanta flights on March 5, 2015

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is adding a long-time traditional route of Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). American Airlines is launching nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on March 5, 2015.

The new flights will be served with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. AA will offer three roundtrips each day.

With this new Atlanta service, American will serve 55 domestic and international destinations from its LAX hub. The new route complements American’s new domestic and international service at LAX , which includes flights to Sao Paulo (GRU), Edmonton, Alberta (YEG), Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR), San Antonio (SAT) and Tampa (TPA) service that will begin next month, as well as American’s existing Asia service out of LAX to Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Shanghai (PVG). With the new Los Angeles service, Atlanta customers will have direct access to eight of American’s hubs – Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N826NN (msn 31089) completes its final approach to Los Angeles International Airport.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines finally finds labor peace with its pilots and cabin staff, flight operations to return to Austrian on March 1, 2015

Austrian Airlines‘ (Vienna) flights and aircraft (except one Boeing 777) are currently operated by Tyrolean Airways and its staff. Representatives of the pilots, flight attendants and management of Tyrolean Airways (Austrian Airlines Group) agreed on a new collective wage agreement effective December 1, 2014. The new contract will allow flight operations to once again be transferred back to Austrian Airlines on March 1, 2015. The company issued this statement:

Following a new and intense round of negotiations, the management and Works Council for the flight and cabin crew of Tyrolean Airways agreed last night on the cornerstones of a new Group collective wage agreement for the approximately 3,200 members of the flight staff. A framework agreement to this effect was already signed by the social partners. The Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines also gave its stamp of approval to the proposal solution.

“I am relieved. The agreement is the best of all the options open to Austrian Airlines. We managed just in time to prevent the possible reorganization of the airline”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht. “The negotiating partners demonstrated a sense of responsibility. I pay tribute to them.”

The framework agreement serves as the basis for a new Group collective wage agreement which will be drafted in detail and already apply to the approximately 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants as of December 1, 2014. The agreement regulates future salaries and retirement benefits, working time and career development for the cockpit and cabin crew. The parties to the negotiations agreed not to disclose any details about the agreement.

“It was very difficult to find a viable solution. However, ultimately the shared desire helped us achieve our goal“, says Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways and chief negotiator on the employer’s side. “On the basis of the agreement that has been reached, especially thanks to the targeted legal certainty, we have now laid the foundations for the good development of our company.”

A key aspect of the negotiated solution is also the transfer of flight operations to Austrian Airlines effective March 1, 2015. In this connection special severance payments were agreed upon.

“Due to the agreement we now have a new starting point for a new, unified Austrian Airlines – flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian. We can now concentrate on designing the future. This includes the modernization of the fleet“, Jaan Albrecht adds.

Austrian Airlines employs a total staff of 6,300 employees. The fleet is comprised of 78 aircraft, which fly to about 130 destinations from its home airport in Vienna.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Austrian Airlines’ (operated by Tyrolean Airways) Boeing 737-6Z9 WL OE-LNM (msn 30138) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

APA meets with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and will not agree to any Scope concessions

Allied Pilots Association logo

Allied Pilots Association-APA (Dallas/Fort Worth), representing the pilots of American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued this statement about its meeting with CEO Doug Parker and its concern about any Scope concessions:

The newly expanded APA board of directors — with duly designated chairmen and vice chairmen from CLT, PHL and PHX — is convening this week for the first time.

As a board, we are united concerning Scope. We understand and share your concerns prompted by senior management’s recent comments about our industry-standard 76-seat limit on regional affiliate aircraft. Management has indicated a desire to dilute that limitation and obtain a below-industry-standard Scope Clause in the ongoing joint collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

This afternoon (October 8), the full APA board met with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Our conversation with Mr. Parker was frank and cordial and covered a wide range of items. Foremost among them: We informed him that APA will not agree to any Scope concessions. Our actions now concerning Scope will help define the profession for the balance of our careers and for the next generation of aviators, and we are committed to securing industry-leading pay and work rules.

With the merger of American Airlines and US Airways succeeding beyond the most optimistic forecasts, management needs to address APA’s priorities concerning quality of life, work rules, and pay and benefits. Our pilots’ sacrifices, our efforts on the merger’s behalf and the vital role we play in the airline’s success must be appropriately acknowledged.

Spring Airlines signs a contract with Airbus to retrofit its A320s with Sharklets

Spring Airlines (Shanghai) has signed an agreement with Airbus for Sharklet retrofit of its A320 aircraft in operation to become the first Chinese airline to perform retrofit of the latest fuel saving device.

Spring Airlines took delivery of its first A320 with Sharklets in September 2013. Since then the operator has been evaluating the effect of Sharklets on the operational performance of its fleet of six Sharklet-equipped A320s. Based on the proven operational advantage observed from more than 8500 accumulated flight hours, Spring Airlines has decided to select Sharklets for all its new deliveries and now has decided to expand the option to its in-service fleet.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

Following the success of line-fit Sharklets, Airbus, via its Upgrade Services business unit, entered service with the retrofit program in February 2013 for all A320 Family aircraft equipped with the latest standard wings.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Spring Airlines’ Airbus A320-214 B-9965 (msn 5778) arrives in Singapore with Sharklets.

Spring Airlines (China): AG Slide Show

Delta to remain at Dallas Love Field until (at least) the end of the year

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has won a reprieve with the City of Dallas. The airline will be able to retain Delta Connection service to the Atlanta hub from Love Field in Dallas through the end of this year according to the Dallas News.

Last week as we reported, Delta had received notice from the airport that it had to vacate the airport on October 13. The carrier had been subleasing two gates from American Airlines which go to Virgin America on this date.

Delta had been threatening to sue the airport according to the report.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The route is operated with Bombardier CRJ200s operated by ExpressJet Airlines (formerly ASA). Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N848AS (msn 7339) arrives in Atlanta.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection: AG Slide Show

Transmile Air Services becomes Raya Airways

Transmile Air Services (Subang, Malaysia) is being restructured and rebranded as Raya Airways after its sale to Amrul Nizar Anuar Resources according to The Malaysian. The new owners intend to replace three aging Boeing 727-200F freighters with four newer and larger Boeing 757-200F freighters.

The carrier operates for DHL. The contract was renewed in September.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Transmile Boeing 727-225 (F) 9M-TGM (msn 22549) was originally delivered to Eastern Airlines as N812EA on April 20, 1981.

Transmile: AG Slide Show

 

Garuda Indonesia now plans to operate the last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight on January 14, 2015

Garuda Indonesia‘s (Jakarta) Boeing 747-400 fleet has dwindled down to just two aircraft. The airline has been using the aging type on mainly pilgrimage flights from Jakarta, Makassar and Medan, Indonesia to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to Airline Route, the carrier will extend the life of the last two Jumbos until January 14, 2015 on the Jeddah-Jakarta route. Subject to another change, flight GA 9893  is likely to be the last revenue flight on this last route on January 14, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4U3 PK-GSH (msn 25705) is pictured in the past at Paris (CDG) in the 1985 livery.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Video: Flying the Boeing 747-400 in Executive Class:

 

 

Etihad Airways to introduce the Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 both on December 27

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is now planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on December 27 on the Abu Dhabi-Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi-Doha routes per Airline Route. The new type will also be operated to Brisbane (starting on June 1, 2015), Moscow (Domodedovo) (starting on June 1, 2015), Mumbai (starting on January 1, 2015) and Washington (Dulles) (starting on January 1, 2015).

Etihad is also scheduling the Airbus A380 inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London (Heathrow) also on December 27.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. This overhead view shows Boeing 787-9 A6-BLA (msn 39646) being prepared for its formal delivery to the carrier.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Milan Malpensa starting on December 1

Emirates (Dubai) will grow its services to and from Milan with the upgrade of one of its daily Boeing 777-300 services to an Airbus A380 from December 1. This will be the first ever permanently scheduled A380 service to Milan Malpensa Airport.

Bringing the A380 onto one of Emirates’ three daily Milan services will mean an increase in capacity of almost 38%. The triple-daily service connecting Dubai to Milan is currently operated with a mix of Boeing 777-300 and 777-300 ER aircraft. One of these services continues onward to New York.

Emirates currently operates 53 Airbus A380s.

The A380 service will operate daily as flight EK 91, departing Dubai at 1540 and arriving at Milan Malpensa airport at 1935. The return flight, EK 92, departs Milan at 2120 and arrives in Dubai at 0625 the next day.

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEV (msn 150) taxies at the new destination of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

WestJet and China Airlines to code-share

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has entered into a code-share agreement with China Airlines (Taipei), allowing the carrier to begin marketing and selling WestJet-operated flights. Code-share designations will be available on select WestJet flights from Vancouver and Los Angeles. Bookings can be made through China Airlines or a travel agency.

China Airlines began flying to Canada in 2000 and offers daily nonstop flights from Taipei to Vancouver.

This is the twelfth code-share agreement for WestJet. Since 2011, WestJet has initiated code-shares with American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and QANTAS Airways. Additionally, WestJet has 26 interline relationships, further connecting passengers worldwide to WestJet’s network.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Short version Boeing 737-6CT C-GWCY (msn 35113) of WestJet arrives in New York (JFK).

WestJet: AG Slide Show

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Formerly painted in the special Boeing livery, the pictured China Airlines Boeing 747-409 B-18210 (msn 33734) has been repainted in the standard 1995 livery.

QANTAS Airways to introduce a Boeing 737-800 retrojet in November

QANTAS logo (large)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) is going to introduce a retrojet in November with the delivery of its 75th Boeing 737-800 (VH-XZP). The airline issued this statement:

For the first time in QANTAS’ 94 year history, the airline will introduce a “retro” livery on one of its brand new Boeing 737 aircraft as a flying tribute to 70 years of its iconic kangaroo logo.

The original kangaroo symbol, that was adapted from the Australian one penny coin, was initially painted beneath the cockpit of QANTAS’ first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT in 1944 following the airline’s decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service.

Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said the kangaroo that now features on the tail of every single QANTAS aircraft is well and truly part of the Australian story.

“For 70 years the flying kangaroo has been a symbol of aviation innovation around the world, driving higher standards in safety, technology, product and service,” said Ms Wirth.

QANTAS Kanagroo

“Our kangaroo logo represents our proud history, inextricably linked with the development of commercial aviation in Australia. It has also become a symbol of ‘home’ to Australians travelling both here and abroad.

“A retro livery is the perfect tribute to our iconic flying kangaroo logo and its 70th anniversary. While it serves as a nod to our heritage, having it fly on one of our brand new Boeing 737-800s highlights our commitment to being an aviation innovator when it comes to new aircraft and modern technology.

“QANTAS has flown under many liveries throughout its 94 year history and I know this historic design will bring back a lot of memories for many of our customers who have chosen to fly with us over the years.”

QANTAS will take delivery of its new Boeing 737-800 from the Boeing Factory in Seattle in late November. It will be the 75th Boeing 737-800 to join the QANTAS fleet.

Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS Airways’ Lockheed 188C Electra VH-ECD (msn 2008) shows a smaller kangaroo logo on the tail portraying the basic 1959 modified livery that was introduced with the Lockheed Electras.

History of the flying kangaroo:

The original Kangaroo symbol appearing on QANTAS aircraft was adapted from the Australian one penny coin.

1944 – The kangaroo was first painted beneath the cockpit of QANTAS’ (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services) first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT, following QANTAS’ decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service. The symbol featured on all later aircraft.

1947 – The winged kangaroo symbol was created for the introduction of QANTAS’ Lockheed 749 Constellations. They were the first QANTAS aircraft to carry the Flying Kangaroo and the first to operate right through to London with QANTAS crews. The Flying Kangaroo was later placed in a circle in 1968.

1984 – The Flying Kangaroo lost its wings once again in an updated logo and was refined to a more slender, stylized presentation.

1995 – A logo created for the airline’s 75th anniversary year was added to all QANTAS jet aircraft. It brought together the Flying Kangaroo symbol and the words ’75 years’ to mark QANTAS’ contribution to civil aviation.

2007 – QANTAS unveiled a new interpretation of its iconic logo, designed to reflect the changing structure of the airline’s new generation aircraft, and keeping with Qantas’ increasing focus on contemporary design for its in-flight and on-the-ground products.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

A history of the QANTAS logos:

QANTAS historic logos

 

Appalachian Air to start operations on October 27

Appalachian Air Now Boarding

Appalachian Air (Pikesville, KY) is a new passenger airline based in eastern Kentucky. The company will launch operations on October 27 on the Pikesville-Nashville route with 19-seat BAe Jetstream 32 aircraft operated by Corporate Flight Management (Smyrna, TN) dba Appalachian Air. Corporate Flight Management is the largest Jetstream operator in the United States. All flights are operated as public charters and are marked by Public Charters.

The airline describes its operations:

Appalachian Air logo (large)

Appalachian Air is America’s newest air service – linking Eastern Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia and Southwestern West Virginia to the global air system via Nashville, TN. Appalachian Air, starting on October 27, 2014, provides daily roundtrip nonstop service between Pikeville – Pike County Regional Airport (PVL) and Nashville International Airport (BNA). Appalachian Air flights connect to flights operated by each of the airlines serving BNA (Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, SeaPort Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways) to more than 50 nonstop destinations, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.

Appalachian Air flies the sleek British Aerospace Jetstream J32 turboprop aircraft. The Jetstream J32 holds 19 passengers in a pressurized, stand-up cabin with comfortable leather seating. This high performance aircraft can cruise as high as 25,000 feet at a speed of 265 MPH with two pilots.

All flights between Pikeville and Nashville are public charter flights, operated by Corporate Flight Management dba as Appalachian Air, which serves as the Direct Carrier and Public Charters, Inc., which serves as the Indirect Carrier, in accordance with 14 CFR Part 380 and are regulated by the United States Department of Transportation.

Corporate Flight Management (CFM), which handles all of the flying aspects of Appalachian Air’s Pikeville – Nashville service, is the largest operator of Jetstream J32 aircraft in the U.S. and is based in Smyrna, TN. CFM holds the prestigious ARGUS Platinum safety rating – the highest award in its industry. CFM has a $2.2 million parts inventory to support J32 operations and provides heavy maintenance service for worldwide operators of the J32 at its Smyrna facility.

Public Charters, Inc. (PC) handles all of the non-flying aspects of Appalachian Air’s Pikeville – Nashville service – such as ticket sales, aircraft ground handling, baggage handling, etc. – under its P1 code which is authorized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is based in Avoca, PA. PC has distribution rights on certain Global Distribution Systems (GDS) such as Amadeus and Sabre. PC also has distribution rights on all of the leading online ticket distribution systems, such as Priceline.com.

Video: The new airline first proposed its service on November 6, 2013. The new service has been delayed since March 3, 2014.

All images by Appalachian Air.

Appalachian Air Jetstream 32 (AA)(LR)

A new airline alliance: Etihad Airways Partners is unveiled

Etihad Airways Partners logo (LRW)

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) today (October 8) unveiled Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand which brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.

Initially, six airlines will participate in the new partnership – Airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Darwin Airline (Etihad Regional), and Etihad Airways.

However, any airline can become an Etihad Airways Partner even if it is part of an existing alliance, such as Airberlin, which is a member of oneworld.

The key emphasis for Etihad Airways Partners is a strong commercial partnership and shared values.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said “We are broadening our business model to articulate and define a partner proposition for like-minded airlines which will result in synergies and efficiencies for participating airlines on the one side, and enhanced network choice, service and frequent flyer benefits for the consumer on the other.

“The Etihad Airways Partners logo is a seal of excellence and global cooperation. It will be displayed on aircraft and on branded materials by a group of airlines working together to connect travellers around the world, and increasingly to harmonise standards in the air and on the ground.”

Mr Hogan said Etihad Airways Partners differed from legacy airline alliances by offering benefits well beyond pure commercial cooperation.

“The potential for network alignment to maximise flight connectivity for passengers, together with a shared passion for superior service, are central to the ethos of the Etihad Airways Partner concept,” he said.

“Frequent flyers will benefit from the formation of Etihad Airways Partners as it will remove the complexity and confusion that exists within the global alliances.

“We’re aiming to deliver a consistent experience for frequent flyers when they travel, as well as a consistent framework for earning and using their miles.”

This will include standardised mileage and tier benefits across all partners, no blackout periods and priority services.

Etihad Airways Partners will also have access to economies of scale and operational synergies such as centers of excellence, shared sales teams in certain destinations, joint procurement of services and supplies, and shared pilot and cabin crew training at the Etihad Airways facilities in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways Partners signing ceremony (Etihad)(LRW)

Above Photo: (Left to right): Maurizio Merlo, CEO Darwin Airline; Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO airberlin; James Hogan, President and CEO Etihad Airways; Cramer Ball, CEO Jet Airways; Dane Kondić, CEO Air Serbia, Manoj Papa, CEO Air Seychelles; celebrate the launch of Etihad Airways Partners.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Cargo to operate all flights despite a strike by the pilots

Lufhansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement concerning a strike against subsidiary Lufthansa Cargo (Frankfurt):

Good news for customers of Lufthansa Cargo: the airline plans to operate all of its flights despite the walkout announced by the pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit. The strike was set to ground all cargo flights scheduled to depart from Frankfurt on Wednesday (October 8) and Thursday (October 9).

Two flights will be departing earlier than scheduled, allowing them to bypass the strike period. As Lufthansa Cargo usually flies about half of its freight in the bellies of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines passenger aircraft, the effects for customers will be kept at an absolute minimum.

Lufthansa has shown willingness to compromise in its discussions with Vereinigung Cockpit and offered new negotiations on the disputed issues. The airline therefore has little understanding for this renewed call to a strike and also considers it entirely out of proportion – especially as the minimum age for early retirement at Lufthansa Cargo is already 60 years.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FBT D-ALFA (msn 41674) arrives at Los Angeles.

Lufthansa Cargo: AG Slide Show

Finnair to open a new summer route to Split, Croatia and reaches a savings agreement with its cabin crews

Finnair (Helsinki) is opening a new route to the Croatian city of Split, operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 5 to October 3, 2015. Scheduled service to the popular gateway to the Dalmatian coast will be flown with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Elsewhere in Croatia, Finnair flies daily in the summer to historic Dubrovnik, south of Split and also on the Dalmatian coast.

Earlier this year Finnair announced new European destinations including Dublin, Athens and Malta, as well as new scheduled services to Chania, Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes in Greece; Catania and Naples in Italy; Marmaris in Turkey; Mallorca in Spain; Paphos in Cyprus and Innsbruck in Austria.

In other news, Finnair and the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) have reached a savings agreement in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.

The agreement brings Finnair 18 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 75% of the savings materialize during this agreement period and 25% in the future through changes to the employment terms of new cabin attendants. In return, Finnair gives cabin personnel protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and pension incentive. The savings impact of the outsourcing contracts already made were acknowledged in the targets of the agreement.

As a result of the savings agreement, Finnair is no longer planning on further outsourcing of cabin services. As announced on 1 September, however, Finnair has already signed a contract with OSM Aviation to outsource cabin services on Singapore and Hong Kong routes, and this will go ahead as planned.

In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. After the agreement signed with SLSY, Finnair has reached savings agreements with almost all of its personnel groups. Savings measures continue in the areas where savings targets have not been reached.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXC (msn 1544) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Happy Birthday KLM – You are 95 Years young

KLM MD-11 95 Years (LRW)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) today celebrated 95 years of flying by adding this special logo to one of its McDonnell Douglas MD-11s.

Happy Birthday KLM.

Photo: KLM. McDonnell Douglas MD-11 PH-KCE (msn 48559) is the first aircraft to display the special “95 Years” logo.

KLM: AG Slide Show

Video: From the pilot’s viewpoint:

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