About these ads

Qatar Airways and Airbus resolve their dispute concerning the delivery of the first A380

Qatar Airways (Doha) and Airbus (Toulouse) have resolved a three-month dispute that was blocking the delivery of the first Airbus A380 according to this report by Reuters. As we had reported, Qatar had previously declined to take delivery of the pictured Airbus A380-861 A7-APA due to concerns about the quality of the cabin interior. Qatar has 10 A380s on order.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Qatar Airways logo

Qatar Airways has been delaying the inaugural flight from Doha to London (Heathrow). According to Airline Route the latest inaugural date is October 10 for this route. Doha-Paris (CDG) remains on target for October 16 so the airline is bound to take two aircraft at first on delivery.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) awaits the official handover date.

Qatar A380-800 First Class Cabin (Qatar)(LR)

Above Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways. The First Class section of the Airbus A380.

Qatar Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

AG Banner Taglines WAN 1800

 

Video: Qatar Airways unveiled its Airbus A380 product in March 2014:

About these ads

Air France warns of a pilots strike from September 15-22

Air France (Paris) has issued this warning of a possible strike by its pilots:

Even before the outcome of negotiations, Air France is now enabling all customers due to travel on an Air France flight scheduled between September 15-22, regardless of the type of ticket:

- To change their ticket and travel before September 15, 2014 or to postpone their trip until between September 23-30, 2014, at no extra charge, subject to availability.

- To receive a voucher valid for one year on Air France or KLM for travel after September 30, 2014 if you no longer wish to travel, or change your destination or departure airport.

The flight schedule will be adapted and customers will be informed the day before their trip.

Air France regrets this situation and will do everything possible to assist customers and minimize the possible impact of this strike action.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HEPG (msn 5802) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 Ans/years emblem.

Air France:

AG Slide Show

 

AG Banner Taglines Tired of ads 1800

AeroMexico to add Managua, Nicaragua on December 10

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced it will connect Mexico City to Managua, Nicaragua, six times a week starting on December 10.

Managua will be AeroMexico’s 5th Central American destination and the 14th Latin American route served by the airline.

The six flights a week will be operated by an AeroMexico Connect (Aerolitoral) Embraer 170 aircraft, seating 76 passengers.

Copyright Photo: Rurik Enriquez/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100SU XA-ACV (msn 17000046) in the SkyTeam livery completes its final approach to the Mexico City hub.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico Connect: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines files to serve San Jose, Costa Rica from Baltimore/Washington

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today (September 12) that it has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to add its first destination in Central America with daily roundtrip service between Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica, beginning on March 7, 2015.

Costa Rica will be the sixth near-international country served by Southwest Airlines from its U.S. gateway cities and the first new destination in the carrier’s network after the integration of wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways is completed by the end of this year. Service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Mexico City begins on November 2, as Southwest converts existing AirTran service in those destinations. Southwest began service this summer to Aruba, The Bahamas, Jamaica, and both Cancun and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico.

Southwest Airlines began service from Baltimore/Washington in September 1993, with ten flights offering scheduled service through nonstop destinations Chicago (Midway) and Cleveland. Southwest, 21 years later, is the largest carrier at BWI in terms of daily departure and, by March 2015, will fly nonstop to 60 cities with more than 200 departures a day.

In October 2006, Southwest began serving Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and added service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in July 2012. By November, Southwest Airlines will be the second largest carrier at DCA in terms of seats, offering 44 flights a day to 14 destinations: Akron-Canton, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Ft. Myers/Naples, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Tampa.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N214WN (msn 32486) in the Maryland One scheme arrives in Las Vegas

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

AG Banner Taglines 1700 Galleries 1800

Bottom Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines. The new heart logo is directed too at its employees as it grows internationally and finalizes the AirTran merger.

Southwest Airlines HeartVideo:

 

American Airlines and US Airways to combine cargo operations on October 20

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) are merging its cargo operations on October 20. The Group has issued this letter to its cargo customers:

Dear Cargo Customer

Nine months ago, the merger between American Airlines and US Airways became official. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world. The cargo team has been working hard to plan for a seamless transition and I thank you for your patience and loyalty during this time.

The objective of our integration has been to bring together the expertise, solutions, and teams you’ve relied on from both cargo organizations into the industry’s most customer-focused airfreight partner. I am proud to share with you that on Monday, October 20, 2014, we will take the largest step toward this goal by becoming one cargo organization and transitioning to a single air waybill using the American Airlines prefix 001.

While you will be seeing more information over the next few weeks, I’d like to share the following important details now:

We will transition to accepting a single air waybill (001) for all new shipments originating on or after October 20.

All American Airlines and US Airways booking channels will still be available to you, including our customer contact centers and aacargo.com, and will allow you to book 001 air waybills across both networks for flights on October 20th and beyond.

For shipments originating between now and October 19, please continue to use US Airways (037) and American Airlines (001) air waybills when booking, tendering, and recovering shipments with each respective airline.

The combination of our networks is only the beginning of many exciting changes built around your needs. With initiatives like e-freight, a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility in Philadelphia, and 70 new widebody and hundreds of narrowbody aircraft on the way, we are modernizing the cargo business with you in mind.

Our most important goal is to ensure a smooth experience for you and your extended team. In the coming weeks, you will receive more details about what this transition means and how you can best take advantage of the benefits. You can also find the latest updates any time on aacargo.com.

Thank you again for your business and we look forward to partnering with you as one cargo team very soon.

Sincerely

Jim W. Butler
President, American Airlines Cargo

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N700UW (msn 885) of US Airways operating in American colors arrives in Washington at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

The last Air New Zealand Boeing 747 revenue flight touches down in Auckland, will increase Los Angeles frequencies

Air New Zealand (Auckland) ended an era  when the pictured Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV (msn 26910), flying the final 747 revenue flight, landed in Auckland on a flight from San Francisco. ANZ has ended its long association (nearly 35 years) with the Jumbo. The flag carrier originally operated the Boeing 747-200B before that early type was replaced with the newer Boeing 747-400s. Now the 747-400s have been fully replaced with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners.

Read the account from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: David Apps/AirlinersGallery.com.

The last flight departed from San Francisco International Airport on September 10. This “Farewell 747″ banner was displayed at the departure gate at SFO:

Air New Zealand Farewell 747 banner

Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV was previously painted in this special color scheme to promote the first Lord of Rings movie featuring Frodo on the aircraft. ZK-NBV was delivered new to ANZ on Halloween (October 31), 1998.

In other news, Air New Zealand is adding more flights to its North American schedule. The popularity of the airline’s service between Auckland and Los Angeles will see the airline step up frequency next year from twice daily to three times a day on three days of the week.

To date Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles service has predominantly run twice-daily but during the 2015 Northern Summer season (April – October) there will be a third flight departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, representing a 20% boost in total capacity.

The additional Los Angeles services will depart Auckland earlier than the current daily services arriving in Los Angeles around 0900 and enabling same day connections with Midwest and East Coast USA destinations. The earlier departure time will also suit Australian travellers heading to the USA, with convenient Melbourne and Sydney connections.

The additional services will depart Los Angeles later than current services accommodating later connections while still arriving into Auckland at 0700 in time for passengers to connect seamlessly to domestic New Zealand and Australia.

Air New Zealand is also increasing capacity between Auckland and Vancouver by 10%. Next year it will operate five times per week from June to September (currently mid-July to late August). The airline operates three times per week outside of this period.

Both the Los Angeles and Vancouver routes will get an additional boost during the New Zealand school holidays. Air New Zealand will operate a third daily Los Angeles flight on Sundays in the July and October school holidays taking the weekly total to 18, and move from three to four flights per week to Vancouver during the October school holidays.

Today (September 12) ANZ begins Boeing 787-9 service on the Auckland – Perth route, one month earlier than planned.

Additionally, Air New Zealand is progressively refitting its Boeing 777-200 ER fleet bringing the on-board customer experience into line with the high level of inflight innovation and comfort already enjoyed on the airline’s Boeing 777-300 ER and new 787-9 aircraft.

Air New Zealand has eight 777-200 ERs which are progressively having their interiors completely stripped out and replaced as part of a $100 million fleet refurbishment project.

Air New Zealand 777-200ER Economy Seat (ANZ)

 

ZK-OKA is the first to be completed. The refurbished aircraft features Air New Zealand’s new luxury leather Premium Economy seat (above) which recently debuted on the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner and nine rows of the award-winning Economy Skycouch product. The airline’s Business Premier lie-flat bed and Economy seat round out the inflight product offering. Also on board is a brand new Panasonic eX3 seatback inflight entertainment system with improved resolution and touch capabilities.

The remainder of the airline’s Boeing 777-200 ER fleet is being progressively refurbished with the final aircraft scheduled to roll out of the hangar late next year.

On the financial side, Air New Zealand recently announced normalized earnings before taxation of A$332 million for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 30 percent on the previous year. Statutory earnings before taxation were A$357 million, an increase of 40 percent, while statutory net profit after taxation was $262 million.

Chairman Tony Carter said that the result represented the third consecutive year of strong earnings growth for the airline.

“This is a result Air New Zealand can be proud of. Our employees, our customers and our shareholders can be confident that Air New Zealand continues to be a world leading airline both in terms of customer experience and financial performance,” Mr Carter said.
“We have made significant progress on our key strategic initiatives. With new aircraft offering better operating economics, an optimised network with the right alliance partners, disciplined cost management and a daily focus on improving the customer experience, we are very well positioned to continue growing.”

Mr Carter said that Air New Zealand will significantly grow its capacity in the coming year, as new aircraft arrive.

“Based on our current expectations of market demand and fuel prices, we expect to improve on the 2014 result in the coming year. This outlook excludes equity earnings from the Virgin Australia shareholding,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the result was testament to the efforts of Air New Zealanders at all levels of the organisation.
“Our team is demonstrating their passion and commitment to ensuring that Air New Zealand is performing better than ever before. A successful Air New Zealand is good for everyone – it is a virtuous circle. As we grow our revenue and control costs, we generate strong financial results which lead to sustainable returns to shareholders and investment back in the business,” Mr Luxon said.

“We have a number of initiatives underway to further improve the customer experience, including induction of the Boeing 787-9 fleet, the refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 ER fleet, moving to new terminals and lounges in Los Angeles and London and multiple lounge upgrades across the network.”

Mr Luxon also commented on the airline’s alliance with Singapore Airlines, which was recently granted full regulatory approval.

“This alliance is the third strategic revenue sharing alliance we have formed in recent years, following agreements with Virgin Australia (reauthorised in 2013) and Cathay Pacific in 2012. Forming alliances with the right partners in the right markets is a key pillar of our Go Beyond strategy.”

“Strong alliances such as this provide us with a platform for sustainable growth, allowing us to open up new routes and markets across the Pacific Rim,” he said.

Air New Zealand Aircraft Slide Show:

AG Slide Show

 

AG Banner Taglines Slide Shows 1800

Video: ANZ salutes the “Queen of the Skies”:

Video from stuff.co.nz: Air New Zealand’s Boeing 747-400 ZK-NBV named “Christchurch” made it final flight and now is in retirement. The 747-400 completed 67,552 flight hours and 7284 landings.

Video: Before the Boeing 747-400 there was the Boeing 747-200B:

 

TAME is coming to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood starting on October 17

TAME (Transportes Aereos Militares Ecuatorianos) (Linea Aerea del Ecuador) (Quito) which used to operate cargo flights to Miami in the past, is returning to South Florida. TAME will launch daily Quito-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood passenger flights with Airbus A319s/A320s starting on October 17 per Airline Route. The daily flight will arrive at FLL at 0730 and depart at 0900 (local times).

In other news, TAME is also shifting its route to New York (JFK) from Guayaquil-New York to Quito-New York on October 20 per Airline Route. Quito will now become the jumping off point to both South Florida and New York.

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 HC-CGT (msn 2659) arrives at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

Read the history of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: CLICK HERE

TAME: AG Slide Show

Odyssey Airlines raises its target capital via crowd sourcing

Odyssey (UK) logo (large)

Odyssey Airlines (UK) has issued this statement about its attempt to raise its initial capital:

Odyssey Airlines, the new UK-based business-only carrier, has successfully raised its minimum target of £ 1 million via crowd funding on the UK-based platform Crowdcube.

Odyssey’s Crowdcube investor pitch has raised £1,049,230, or 104% of its target on the site.

Odyssey has already raised over £5 M in seed capital, including having engaged Freedman & Partners to raise £2.185 million via the ThinCats platform in 2013, and the company will be targeting a raise of £60 M via a round of traditional institutional fund raising in the first half of 2015.

Adam Scott, CEO of Odyssey Airlines, said:

“We are delighted to have raised our primary target amount on Crowdcube. Beyond raising seed capital, the key objectives of our crowd funding campaigns have been to raise the profile of Odyssey, develop a captive audience of long-term supporters and future customers, and to provide an opportunity for individuals to directly participate in the launch of an airline who would have otherwise been unable to do so in the past. We have achieved all of these objectives.

Odyssey is a truly innovative and modern business in all aspects, including its funding strategy. Achieving this important milestone is further evidence of that and investor confidence in our proposition. We would like to thank those who have invested in Odyssey so far; it’s an exciting time to be a part of the company.”

Odyssey plans to launch all-business flights between London’s City Airport (below) and New York in 2016 with Bombardier CS100s with 40 lie-flat seats.

 

Images: Odyssey Airlines.

Odyssey CSeries over LCY (Odyssey)(LR)

 

Boeing responds to the Al Jazeera English documentary on the 787

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has issued this statement on the Al Jazeera documentary on the 787:

We have not been afforded the opportunity to view the full program, but the promotional trailer and published media reviews suggest that what has been produced is as biased a production as we have seen in some time. It is unfortunate that the producers of this television program appear to have fallen into the trap of distorting facts, relying on claims rejected by courts of law, breathlessly rehashing as “news” stories that have been covered exhaustively in the past and relying on anonymous sources who appear intent only on harming The Boeing Company.

When first contacted by the producers, we accommodated them in order for them to produce a fair and objective report including facilitating factory access, interviews and providing full and open responses to their questions. The 787 is an outstanding airplane delivering value to our customers, but we have also talked candidly in public about its challenging development process. There are no tougher critics about our early performance than Boeing. Unfortunately, the reporting team appears to have chosen to take advantage of our trust and openness and abused their position from the outset by deliberately misrepresenting the purpose, objective and scope of their planned coverage.

This specious production appears to have ignored the factual information provided by Boeing and instead based the majority of its reporting on unnamed sources pursuing their own agendas and a disgruntled former employee engaged in a legal dispute with Boeing. In one instance, the producers resorted to ambush tactics normally seen only in tabloid-style TV news. The anonymous sources the TV program depends on are clearly working with those who seek to harm Boeing and its workers. They appear to have no real interest in truth, safety or better informing the public.

Even on-the-record sources seem to have changed their stories for the producers. For example, former Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) President Cynthia Cole said this about the 787’s first flight in 2009: “Today’s flight is a testament to the skill, hard work and diligence Boeing employees put in to get this airplane ready to fly,” SPEEA President Cynthia Cole said in a news release. “Boeing returned to engineering, and that’s what made today possible and successful.” Now, she states in the documentary trailer that Boeing “shortchanged the engineering process.”

Instead of an objective view of the 787’s development, viewers and our employees will see a television program that is neither balanced nor accurate in its portrayal of the airplane, our employees, or our suppliers. This program and those involved with it do a disservice to the hard-working men and women of Boeing and our supplier partners who designed and build the 787.

Furthermore, the program presents a false impression of Boeing South Carolina and the quality of work performed there. Airplanes, whether delivered from South Carolina or Washington, meet the highest safety and quality standards that are verified through robust test, verification and inspection processes. Our data of the current 787 fleet in service show parity in the quality and performance of airplanes manufactured in both locations.

Video: The Al Jazeera documentary on the Boeing 787:

Air Transat’s parent reports adjusted 3Q net income of C$26.7 million

Air Transat‘s (Montreal) parent, Transat A.T., Inc. issued this quarterly financial statement for the fiscal third quarter (all amounts in Canadian dollars):

Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada’s holiday travel leader, posted revenues of $941.7 million for the quarter ended July 31, 2014, compared with $927.0 million in 2013, an increase of $14.7 million, or 1.6%. The Corporation recorded adjusted operating income of $46.8 million, compared with $54.4 million in 2013, and net income of $25.8 million ($0.66 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $41.1 million ($1.07 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013. Before non-operating items, Transat reported adjusted net income of $26.7 million in 2014 ($0.69 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $30.8 million ($0.80 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Transat’s Boeing 737-8Q8 C-GTQB (msn 30696) in the Split Scimitar Wingslets is resting between flights at Toronto (Pearson).

 

Air TransatAG Slide Show

AG Banner 13.9 million

 

Swiss European grounds four BAe RJ100s, will lease four Embraer 190s

Swiss European Air Lines (subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines) (Zurich) has parked four BAe (Avro) RJ100s due to their high operating costs, maintenance issues and recent incidents according to Aero Telegraph. According to the report, four Embraer 190s will replace the grounded aircraft starting in either December 2014 or January 2015. The aircraft will be leased from Helvetic Airways (Zurich).

Read the full article (in German): CLICK HERE

The ACMI cooperation between Swiss International Air Lines and Helvetic Airways has been in existence since 2006. Helvetic has been operating a total of 4 Fokker 100s until spring 2017.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. BAe RJ100 HB-IYT (msn E3380) taxies to the runway at Zurich.

Swiss European: AG Slide Show

Helvetic Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Etihad Regional to add Brussels on March 29, 2015

Etihad Regional (Darwin Airline) (Lugano and Geneva) will add Brussels, Belgium on March 29 with two routes radiating to Dresden (three days a week) and Leipzig (four days a week). The new routes will be operated with ATR 72s.

Etihad Regional is the new European brand operated by Darwin Airline, the leading regional carrier of Switzerland. The airline is a full service carrier with a fleet of eight 50-seat SAAB 2000 turboprop aircrafts and four 68-seat ATRs 72-500s, operating to over 30 destinations in 9 European countries: Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Serbia, Netherlands and UK. Besides serving a range of key secondary cities in Europe, Etihad Regional offers international destinations across the entire world through its future 33.3 per cent shareholding equity and codeshare partner, Etihad Airways.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) HB-ACC (msn 664) arrives in Toulouse.

Etihad Regional: AG Slide Show

Etihad Regional logo

Current routes from Geneva:

Etihad Regional 9.2014 GVA Route Map

Hong Kong Airlines to launch a new route to Sapporo, Japan

Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) has announced that commencing on December 19, 2014, the company will launch a five-time weekly service between Hong Kong and Sapporo, Japan. Airbus A330 aircraft will be deployed on the route, operating on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The new service to Sapporo is complimented by Hong Kong Airlines’ daily flight to Okinawa and a twice-weekly flight to Kagoshima, bringing it to a total of 21 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Japan.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Hong Kong Airlines). Airbus A330-343 B-LNP (msn 1398) departs from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi).

Hong Kong Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hong Kong crew members

Hong Kong Airlines offers advertisers to add advertising in the cabin in order to keep ticket prices competitive.

Hong Kong Cabin Advertising

 

Hong Kong logo-1

Current Route Map:

Hong Kong Airlines 9.2014 Route Map

American Airlines to use electronic flight attendant manuals

American FA electronic manual

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) was the first airline with a paperless cockpit, and now American’s cabins are also paperless. The airline is the first mainline carrier to provide flight attendants with electronic manuals, accessible through a handheld tablet.

“The accessibility and functionality that the tablet provides our flight attendants will greatly improve their work environment,” said Hector Adler, vice president of Flight Service for American Airlines. “The tablet allows us to reduce our dependency on paper products and to share important safety information with our flight attendants more quickly. This is a very exciting and important milestone for all of us at American as we modernize our processes and provide our employees with the best tools to do their job, and provide better service to our customers.”

American no longer relies on printing and shipping updates for flight attendant manuals, saving the company $300,000 annually. As a result, flight attendants can now update their manuals in a matter of minutes and search for items in seconds, improving work efficiencies. Switching to the lightweight 5.3-inch Samsung tablet from the nearly 5-lb. paper manual will save the company nearly $650,000 in fuel annually based on current fuel prices. The tablets also will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by 2100 metric tons – or 4.6 million pounds annually.

American’s flight attendants began using eManuals exclusively on September 1, after a six-month test-evaluation period, with oversight from the FAA. In addition to the manual, the tablet provides real-time updates to flight attendants about premium customers, special meals, connection gates, special services and other information.

American’s first flight attendant training class that trained solely on the tablet will graduate in October. The eManuals will roll out to US Airways flight attendants after the two carriers achieve a Single Operating Certificate, planned for mid-2015.

American’s pilots were the first to use an Electronic Flight Bag through all phases of flight. The 1.2 pound iPad replaced a 35-pound kitbag, cutting the risk of injury and saving an estimated $1.2 million of fuel annually.

Copyright Photo: American Airlines.

American Airlines (current livery) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

The NTSB blames the crew for the crash of UPS flight 1354 at Birmingham, Alabama

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)(LRW)

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that UPS flight 1354 crashed because the crew continued an unstabilized approach into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the crew failed to monitor the altitude and inadvertently descended below the minimum descent altitude when the runway was not yet in sight.

The board also found that the flight crew’s failure to properly configure the on-board flight management computer, the first officer’s failure to make required call-outs, the captain’s decision to change the approach strategy without communicating his change to the first officer, and flight crew fatigue all contributed to the accident.

The airplane, an Airbus A300-600, crashed in a field short of runway 18 in Birmingham on August 14, 2013, at 4:47 a.m. The captain and first officer, the only people aboard, both lost their lives, and the airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The flight originated from UPS’s hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

“An unstabilized approach is a less safe approach,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “When an approach is unstable, there is no shame in playing it safe by going around and trying again.”

The NTSB determined that because the first officer did not properly program the flight management computer, the autopilot was not able to capture and fly the desired flight path onto runway 18. When the flight path was not captured, the captain, without informing the first officer, changed the autopilot mode and descended at a rate that violated UPS’s stabilized approach criteria once the airplane descended below 1,000 feet above the airport elevation.

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the FAA, UPS, the Independent Pilots Association and Airbus. The recommendations address safety issues identified in the investigation, including ensuring that operations and training materials include clear language requiring abandoning an unstable approach; the need for recurrent dispatcher training that includes both dispatchers and flight crews; the need for all relevant weather information to be provided to pilots in dispatch and enroute reports; opportunities for improvement in fatigue awareness and management among pilots and operators; the need for increased awareness among pilots and operators of the limitations of terrain awareness and warning systems — and for procedures to assure safety given these limitations.

A synopsis of the NTSB report is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/birmingham_al/birmingham_al.html

Top Copyright Photo: NTSB.

UPS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. The two crew members were tragically killed in the crash.

Centurion Cargo could lose 5 of its freighters, pilots furloughed

Centurion Cargo (Miami) is struggling according to this report by the South Florida Business Journal.  According to the report, “five statutory trusts based in Dublin, Ireland filed a lawsuit in federal court on August 29 against Miami-based Centurion and its Sky Lease I affiliate. It claims the companies are delinquent on $10.2 million in lease payments on five aircrafts: one Boeing 747-400F and four McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs.”

Until now the airline has not returned the aircraft.

The company was originally founded on November 8, 1985 as Challenge Air Cargo Inc. After many years in the business, on July 20, 2001 Challenge Air Cargo Inc. changed its name and started operating as Centurion Air Cargo Inc.

According to the airline, Centurion Cargo is a privately owned company founded in 2001.Based at Miami International Airport it currently operates a 550,000 square foot warehouse (51,097 square meters); divided into two different sections; a 159,000 square foot (14,772 square meters) Cooler and 391,000 square foot (36,325 square meters) Dry Cargo Area, the Centurion Cargo Center is by far the largest privately owned all cargo airline facility in North America, and operates a fleet of ten MD-11Fs and three 747-400ERFs.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Update: Late on September 10, 2014 all pilots of Centurion Cargo received furlough notices.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N901AR (msn 25868) arrives in Philadelphia.

Centurion Cargo: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways Cargo to expand to Brussels and Shanghai

Qatar Airways Cargo (Qatar Airways) (Doha) is set to continue its expansion with the launch of two new freighter destinations, Brussels in Belgium and Shanghai in China.

Brussels will be served four times weekly by the Airbus A330F freighter, effective on October 1. The freighter will fly via Entebbe to Brussels on Wednesdays and Sundays and via Nairobi to Brussels on Mondays and Fridays.

A three-times weekly nonstop Boeing 777 freighter service will operate on the Doha-Shanghai-Doha route, effective October 2.

In addition, with effect from October 1, an additional Boeing 777 freighter frequency will be added on the Doha – Hong Kong route, bringing up the weekly frequencies to 14.

Qatar Airways Cargo completed the transition from a manually handled cargo environment to a fully automated cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport when it moved to the new state-of-the-art facility. The brand new cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport offers the very latest technology and five-star service to customers around the globe.

Previously Qatar Airways signed a Letter of Intent for four additional Boeing 777Fs.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FDZ A7-BFE (msn 39644) taxies at Paine Field near Everett.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is hit by another pilot’s strike today, this time in Munich

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is again dealing with another strike day today (September 10) by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. This time the target is the Munich hub. The airline issued this statement:

Strike by pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit on September 10 at Munich Airport

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has announced a strike for flights to and from Lufthansa’s Munich hub scheduled for today, September 10, in the time from 10.00 to 18.00 CEST.

Lufthansa flight operations will be heavily affected by the strike, especially flights departing from and arriving in Munich. All Lufthansa flights to and from the Frankfurt hub will presumably operate as scheduled.

Please note also that all flights of our Lufthansa Group airlines; Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX) as well as flights of Air Dolomiti will operate as scheduled.

Affected flights

Passengers are kindly requested to check the status of their flight prior to departure. Passengers whose flights are operating are kindly requested to come to the airport in good time.

Check cancelled flights under Cancelled flights

Train voucher

Passengers travelling within Germany whose flights have been cancelled due to the strike may alternatively travel by train with Deutsche Bahn.

To do this, please exchange your etix for a train ticket online or mobile under My bookings or at a Lufthansa check in machine.

If you do not have the time to exchange your ticket online or at the machine, we recommend you purchase a regular train ticket. Please contact your ticket issuing office after your travel for a refund of your unused ticket. You can receive current travel information under Deutsche Bahn or on your mobile phone via m.bahn.de.

Rebooking

In case your flight is not affected and you’re holding a Lufthansa/SWISS/Austrian Airlines/Brussels Airlines ticket for flights on September 10th, 2014 from/to/via Munich you can rebook your ticket once free of charge at My Bookings. The following conditions must be met:

Rebooking within the original fare.

- Tickets must be issued on/before Semptember 9th, 2014
– The new date of travel must be on/before December 10th, 2014
– Origin / Destination and compartment must remain the same
– All other fare conditions must be observed

Passengers, who are unable to use the self-service facilities, can contact our Service Center on 0800 850 60 70* or via one of our local phone numbers.

Lost baggage

In order to deliver your baggage please fill in our Online Baggage Form or please contact the Lufthansa baggage tracing counter as soon as you arrive at your destination. For status updates on your missing baggage please go to Lufthansa baggage tracing online.
Check here for further information on baggage liability.

Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to Lufthansa passengers caused by the threatened strike measures by the pilots union VC and will do its utmost to minimize impacts on passengers. Passenger support and service has paramount priority.

In other news, Lufthansa is changing its takeoff procedures across Germany:

In the twelve months since August 2013, Lufthansa has been carrying out trials on the noise emissions produced by the 1,000 foot acceleration procedure. In the new procedure, the aircraft leaving the west runway at Frankfurt Airport reduced the altitude for acceleration and additional thrust from 1,500 feet (approx. 457 meters) to 1,000 feet (approx. 305 meters) where allowed by local restrictions on the departure flight path. During the world’s biggest examination of take-off noise, the measuring stations recorded over 70,000 Lufthansa take-offs. This represents more than half of all the airline’s departures in Frankfurt. The data were analyzed by Forum Flughafen and the local region, which could not identify any significant changes in noise emissions as a result of the modified take-off procedure. The measurements support the existing detailed calculations carried out as part of a scientific study by Lufthansa, TU Berlin and the German Aerospace Center. On this basis Lufthansa has now decided to introduce the modified take-off procedure nationwide as of today and so to implement this established global standard worldwide. Many other airlines have been using this take-off procedure for years, making it common practice already at most German and international airports, because the related fuel consumption and carbon emissions are much lower. The change in the acceleration altitude to 1,000 feet took place in accordance with the standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Lufthansa obtained permission to modify its procedure from the German Federal Aviation Authority and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) some time ago.

What does 1000-foot acceleration mean?

After an aircraft takes off from the runway, it usually ascends at a constant speed with the flaps extended until it reaches a certain altitude. Modern aircraft generally do not use the maximum thrust available at this point, but rather a reduced level of take-off thrust. When the aircraft reaches an initial target altitude, the engines’ thrust switches to climb thrust. As the aircraft continues to take off, it has to accelerate so that the flaps can be retracted and it can climb to its cruising altitude at a higher speed. The altitude at which the speed increase begins is called the acceleration altitude. By changing these two altitudes, the wind resistance decreases when the flaps are retracted, thus lowering fuel consumption. Lufthansa believes that changing the procedure in Germany alone would save around 3,000 tonnes of fuel per year. This would mean around 10,000 tonnes fewer CO2 emissions. The benefit for the environment is much greater worldwide: approx. 6,000 tons less kerosene, or around 19,000 tons less CO2.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn) with the special Lulu Stork marking taxies at the Munich hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

British Airways to bring the Airbus A380 to San Francisco

British Airways (London) is bringing its new Airbus A380 to San Francisco starting in April 2015. This is the first time that an Airbus A380 will be available for customers traveling between San Francisco International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport.

The Bay area will become the third destination in North America to receive the largest aircraft in British Airways’ fleet. The new aircraft spans two full decks and can accommodate up to 469 customers across four cabins. With 14 First class suites and 97 Club World business seats, the British Airways A380 will have more full flatbeds than any other flight departing from San Francisco.

Club World (business class) customers can choose from one of 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck where there will be a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The popular World Traveller Plus (premium economy) cabin will expand to 55 seats, to give more people the chance to experience a little taste of luxury.

The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. Customers will benefit from an advanced cabin system that allows 15 different temperature control zones and air that is refreshed every three minutes.

At launch, the A380 will operate as flight BA 286 from San Francisco to London on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The same flight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will continue to be operated by a Boeing 747-400, as will the second daily service, the BA 284.

British Airways has ordered 12 A380 aircraft for delivery by 2016, as part of a $5 billion investment in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

British Airways currently flies its A380 aircraft to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, with Washington DC service beginning October 2 and Singapore on October 28.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-841 G-XLEE (msn 148) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

British Airways:

Icelandair is coming to Portland, Oregon next summer

Icelandair (Keflavik) will begin seasonal nonstop service from Portland, Oregon to Reykjavik, Iceland via Keflavik International Airport beginning on May 20, 2015 and continuing through October 21, 2015. With this new route, Icelandair now provides flights to its third gateway in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, and 14th overall in the United States and Canada.

Icelandair’s 2015 route network is the largest in the airline’s history with flights to more than 20 destinations throughout Europe. As a result of this announcement, the Portland metro area’s 2.3 million residents will gain access to one of the regions fastest elapsed flying times to popular European destinations including London, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm and Munich. With low fares in three cabins of service, personal in-flight entertainment, on-board Wi-Fi access, and the exciting option of booking an Icelandair Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare for up to seven nights, Icelandair is excited to bring this refreshing new alternative to Oregon.

Service from Portland International Airport (PDX) will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays with departures at 3:40 pm (1540), arriving at Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport the following morning at 6:15 am (0615), with a total flight time of just over seven hours. Return service departs Keflavik on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:15 pm (1715), with same-day arrival in Portland at 6:15 pm (1815).

Icelandair offers service to Iceland from Boston, New York-JFK, Washington (Dulles), Seattle/Tacoma, Denver, Toronto (Pearson) and Edmonton, with seasonal service from Newark, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Sanford (near Orlando), Portland, Vancouver, Halifax, and Anchorage.

Route Map:

Icelandair PDX 9.2015 Route Map

The company is also increasing the frequencies next summer on the Newark, Toronto and Washington routes.

In other news, an Air Iceland pilot allowed his passengers to get an up-close view of the simmering Bárðarbunga volcano. Icelandair posted this report and photos on their website:

Icelandair Group passengers Erla Vinsý and Odee were two of a few lucky customers on board a recent flight with our sister company Air Iceland during the morning of September 3, 2014. With the flight path routing over central Iceland, the chance of seeing the volcanic fissure eruption in the Bárðarbunga area quickly turned into a rare opportunity thanks to clear skies, and the Air Iceland pilot didn’t let the moment pass them by. Taking a short detour via a circle back around the eruption area, passengers on both sides of the aircraft were treated to an aerial view of the eruption while flying safely over the center of the action, allowing Erla and Odee to take these unique photographs of Iceland’s nature and power in action. With brightly-colored lava seeping through the earth’s crust and steam billowing from below the surface, the passengers and crew of this Air Iceland flight were provided a memory they won’t soon forget. Tourists in Iceland are now booking all available charter flights for sightseeing into the uninhabited interior of Iceland where the volcano is putting on its show. For amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers alike, this is the chance of a lifetime. We would like to thank Erla and Odee for sharing their photographs with us!

Bárðarbunga volcano photos

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-256 TF-LLX (msn 29311) arrives in Miami with a partial livery.

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines announces new routes, employees will build additional homes for Habitat for Humanity

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch daily nonstop service between Manchester International Airport and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport from June 2, 2015 as it increases its network between the U.K. and North America. The airline will also begin flying its first nonstop service between London-Heathrow and Newark Liberty International Airport effective March 29, 2015. Both routes will be operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic Airways (London).

Delta’s new Newark operation is part of a network update by Virgin Atlantic where Delta will operate one of Virgin’s two Newark services while Virgin Atlantic will start its first daily nonstop Manchester to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport service.

Delta has operated services from Manchester since June 1991 when its maiden flight departed from Atlanta. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, has served the market since 1996 and also operates services to Orlando and Las Vegas from Manchester.

The updated joint venture network from London-Heathrow brings the daily number of services to the New York area to 10. Eight of these flights will operate to JFK and two to Newark.

Additionally Delta will launch a new Los Angeles-San Antonio, Texas route in April 2015. This new route will be operated by Compass Airlines.

In other news, Delta Air Lines employees from across the country will build or renovate affordable single family homes with Habitat for Humanity. This year’s fall builds will take place in six cities, including Delta’s hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City and Seattle as well as in Los Angeles, a key international gateway for the airline. More than 2,300 Delta employees will participate in the projects, which began on September 8 and continue through October 17.

During the two-and-a-half-month long project, Delta will celebrate its 200th build with Habitat for Humanity. This milestone will be commemorated with the Seattle build, which will be partially funded through proceeds from Delta’s in-flight recycling program. This is the sixth home Delta has funded by recycling aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other materials from flights. More than 1 million pounds of material were recycled in 2013, and more than 8.5 million pounds have been recycled since the start of the program in 2007.

Through local and national support, Delta employees have helped build or rehab 199 Habitat homes in 11 countries around the world. Habitat is one of Delta’s core community partners in its Force for Global Good, a program that encourages employees to make a difference in the communities where they live, work and serve.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N171DZ (msn 29690) in the special “Habitat for Humanity – Force for Global Good” livery, departs from London’s Gatwick Airport in the past.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Allegiant Air is dropping Bellingham-Hawaii service

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will not be renewing Hawaii service from Bellingham, Washington this coming winter according to the Bellingham Herald. The airline has reduced its full-year Hawaiian flying from Honolulu to only two mainland points; the Las Vegas base and Los Angeles. Other destinations (Boise, Eugene, Fresno, Mesa, Spokane and Stockton) will continue to have seasonal service to Honolulu but the number of flights has been dropping since the peak.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N902NV (msn 26964) lands in Las Vegas.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Airbus announces an experimental inkjet printing method for airline liveries

Airbus A320 Inkjet (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has today issued this announcement and photo:

However, the difficulties may become a thing of the past thanks to a new method currently being developed by Airbus – which employs direct inkjet printing to deliver a broad range of production and operational improvements.

The method was developed by engineers from Airbus’ A320 Family paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, and is able to reproduce any livery design – be it a photographic motif, modern art or other complex patterns – faster and more efficiently than traditional painting processes, and with finer detail as well.

The direct printer functions much like a traditional model, using an inkjet head with nozzles that spray three basic colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) and black. Utilising a seven-square-metre bench, the inkjet head prints a design line by line, from top to bottom. After the process is completed, the aircraft component is sealed with a clear coat.

According to technology manager Matthias Otto, the advantages of direct inkjet-printed liveries are numerous. “I can create colour gradients or photo-realistic motifs that could never be achieved with paint,” he explained, and added that this new method also is capable of printing components of any size or shape. In the past, heavier printed film was used to produce complex designs, however such film is susceptible to the effects of heat, cold and high pressure, and ultimately could tear or peel.

The business case for direct printing is convincing. Compared with painting, where the design has to be built up by layer-by-layer, there are far fewer working and drying steps – greatly reducing the lead time. There also is no overspray or solvent vapour when ink is used, providing better working conditions for Airbus employees, as well as a healthier environment.

At present, the inkjet method still is at the experimental stage. Technical Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6) was reached at the end of June, and the ink and associated processes will be qualified early in 2015. Nonetheless, the project already has become part of the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) benchmark initiative, with the intention to further stabilise scheduled lead times for the best-selling Airbus single-aisle jetliner family.

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

 

Cebu Pacific to launch service to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 1 with 436-seat Airbus A330-300s

Cebu Pacific Air (Manila) will launch thrice weekly nonstop flights to Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, starting October 1, 2014. It will be the only low-cost carrier flying between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Riyadh service is scheduled to depart Manila at 5:05 pm (1705) every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in Riyadh at 10:35 pm (2235). The return flight will depart Riyadh at 12:45 am (0045) every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Manila at 3:40 pm (1540).

Cebu Pacific’s flights to Riyadh will utilize the airline’s brand-new Airbus A330-300 fleet with a configuration of 436 all-economy class seats. Its 5th A330 aircraft was just delivered brand-new from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France on September 2, 2014.

Cebu Pacific also launched its long-haul flights to Sydney, Australia today (September 9, 2014).

Cebu Pacific Air.com A330-300 RP-C3344 (05)(Ldg) SYD (Cebu Pacific)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific today arrived in Sydney.

Cebu Pacific’s 51-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 28 Airbus A320, 5 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2014 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 1 Airbus A330 aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K. C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Cebu Pacific Air (Cebu Pacific Air.com) Airbus A330-343 RP-C3341 (msn 1420) arrives in Singapore (SIN).

Cebu Pacific Air logo-1

Route Map:

Cebu Pacific Air 9.2014 Route Map

Cebu Pacific: AG Slide Show

Finnair reaches an agreement with its pilots

Finnair  (Helsinki) has reached an agreement with its pilots, represented by the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL).

The company issued this statement:

Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) have reached a result in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.

The agreement brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 11 million euros will materialize gradually over the 2-year CLA period. Approximately 3 million euros will materialize in the coming few years through growth and the remaining 3 million euros in the future through changes to pensions and the employment terms of new pilots. In return, Finnair gives pilots protection for redundancies for the next two years. It has been additionally agreed that Finnair will study an incentive plan for pilots. The savings agreement is contingent on the realization of this incentive plan that will be formulated during autumn.

The savings agreed with SLL are mainly reached through changes to salary and working time. Finnair and SLL agreed in June on transferring to a new wage model. However, the savings solution was finally developed based on the current wage model.

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. The negotiations on cabin personnel’s 18 million euro savings proved unsuccessful and the company is now forced to proceed with increasing the use of outsourced cabin service. Finnair would have rather continued flying with its own crew.

Finnair has reached savings agreements with personnel groups belonging to IAU and with Finnair’s salaried and senior salaried employees and engineers (FYT and FIRY). In addition, Finnair has made cuts in its administration and support functions, and Finnair’s Board of Directors has also reduced the variable part of the top management’s total remuneration as well as other benefits.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) arrives in Zurich.

Finnair:

 

NokScoot unveils its logo and business plans

NokScoot logo (large)

NokScoot (NokScoot Company) (Bangkok-Don Mueang) as previously reported, is the new joint venture between budget airline Scoot (Singapore) (49%) and Nok Air (Bangkok) (51%). The new airline will commence scheduled low-fare flights from Bangkok’s downtown Don Mueang International Airport in the first quarter of 2015 with three Boeing 777-200s.

The airline has issued its new logo (above).

The joint venture describes its business plan:

NokScoot isn’t just like any other run-of-the-mill low-cost carriers – we don’t just provide low travel fares, we also provide an enjoyable flying experience. So our passengers never have to compromise on their experience when they are travelling with us.

NokScoot puts the fun back into budget travel and NokScoot gets our passengers to wherever they want to, in the way that they want to. And because they get to choose and customise their own travel experience, our passengers don’t just fly. They fly awesome.

Meanwhile Scoot has announced its planned Boeing 787-9 routes for 2015. The airline will operate the new type to Bangkok-Don Mueang (from April 27), Gold Coast (April 28), Hong Kong (from March 29) Perth (March 29), Qingdao (May 26), Shenyang (May 26), Sydney (March 29) and Tianjin (May 25) per Airline Route.

 

The Dutch Safety Board issues its preliminary report on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine

The Dutch Safety Board is investigating the accident to flight MH 17 which occurred at Thursday, July 17, 2014 in the region of Donetsk (Ukraine). The Dutch Safety Board will be doing all it can to provide a clear view of the cause of the accident.

The investigation is operated in accordance with the standards and recommanded practices in ICAO Annex 13. The state of of occurance (Ukraine) has delegated the investigation to the Dutch Safety Board. The Dutch Safety Board is leading the investigation and coordinating the international team of investigators.

In addition to the international accident investigation, the Dutch Safety Board is also conducting two other independent investigations: an investigation into the decision-making process with regard to flight routes and an investigation into the availability of passenger lists.

September 9, 2014

The Dutch Safety Board has issued the preliminary report on the investigation into the crash of MH17 on Tuesday September 9, 2014. The preliminary report presents factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board.

In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash.

Dutch Safety Board logo

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Virgin Atlantic to operate the new Boeing 787-9 between London Heathrow and Newark, will it drop Little Red?

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 (10)(Flt)(Virgin Atlantic)(LR)

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is getting its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (G-VAHH, msn 37967) later this month. The airline will also 264-seat introduce its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the London (Heathrow)-Newark route starting on January 19, 2015 per Airline Route. This will be the third route for the new type. The 787-9 will enter revenue service on October 28 on the London (Heathrow)-Boston route as previously reported.

Virgin Atlantic logo (large)

In other news, the airline is not commenting on media speculation that it may be considering dropping its Little Red (operated by Aer Lingus) operation due to poor loads. Little Red operates feeder flights from London (Heathrow) to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE

Image above: Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Aer Lingus, Airbus A320-214 EI-EZV (msn 2001) of Little Red arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.

Frontier Airlines introduces its new livery

Frontier 2014 Brand - What's Behind

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) formally introduce its new livery on September 9 with the unveiling of Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) with Grizwald, the bear, on the tail. The new livery revitalizes the styled “F” logo of the first Frontier Airlines.

Frontier 2014 logo (large)

Frontier A320-200 (14)(Flt)(Frontier)(LR)

Interestingly this version of Frontier is also bringing back the arrow that was used by the original Frontier Airlines‘ (Denver) Douglas DC-3s.

Although the current Frontier combines the two timelines into one timeline (below), the two Frontier Airlines are two separate and distinct airlines with two AOCs (with a gap between the two) that have shared the same name, heritage and Denver base:

Frontier Changes

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Frontier Airlines’ (1st) Douglas C-47A-DL (DC-3) N64910 (msn 20062) displays the 1950 livery of the original Frontier Airlines.

Video: The rollout covered by Channel 7:

Frontier Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

 

Spirit Airlines files to serve Mexico from Houston Bush Intercontinental

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for route authority to start scheduled passenger service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Cancun, Toluca and San Jose del Cabo. If approved, which is expected, Spirit will compete against United Airlines and AeroMexico.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Spirit Airlines:

Southwest Airlines rebrands with a flashy new look and theme

Heart One. Stephen M. Keller

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today officially unveiled this new livery, theme and logo in a special ceremony this morning in Dallas despite some images being leaked, probably from where it was painted in Victorville, CA. The first aircraft to be repainted is the pictured Boeing 737-8H4 N8642E (msn 42525) (above) delivered new on August 6, 2014.

Southwest The Heart sets us apart (LRW)

The company issued this statement this morning:

Southwest Airlines introduced a modern new look to its iconic brand today (September 8) at an event dedicated to its Employees. The airline proudly unveiled a new aircraft livery, named Heart One, airport experience, and logo. The new look puts the airline’s Heart on display, showcasing the strength of the nearly 46,000 Employees Companywide—whose dedication can be felt by every Customer each time Southwest Airlines connects them to what’s important in their life.

“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”

It’s a big year for Southwest, as the airline introduces its legendary brand to international destinations; the repeal of the Wright Amendment is within sight; and the integration of AirTran Airways operations is on track to be completed later this year. Southwest continues to evolve, serving more than 90 destinations, and expanding its footprint in big markets like New York City and Washington, D.C.

“With all these exciting changes happening, we thought it was time for a new visual expression of our brand—one that marries our past to our present and sets the course for where we’re headed in the future,” Kelly said.

Southwest 2014 logo

NEW LOOK, SAME GREAT EXPERIENCE

The announcement of Southwest Airlines’ modern new look introduces a striking new livery design, new iconic Southwest logo (above), newly designed inflight materials and magazine, an advertising campaign that celebrates the airline’s unique personality, and a revamped experience both online and at its airport locations, all of which showcase the unique spirit and Heart of the brand, and communicate its focus on Customer care. In addition, the airline will introduce a refresh to its signature “DING!” mnemonic.

To bring this all to life, Southwest collaborated with advertising and branding partners GSD&M, Lippincott, VML, Razorfish and Camelot Communications—each an expert in their own field. The task was given to distill more than 40 years of rich history into one modern, impactful look, representing the exciting future of a one-of-a-kind airline.

“The job wasn’t to change who we are,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We already know who we are. The job was to keep the elements of Southwest that our Employees and Customers love, and to make them a bold, modern expression of our future.”

“With so much of Southwest’s focus firm¬ly set on the future, it was a natural time to look at our visual identity,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

“As we developed the identity, it wasn’t just about the new livery or the logo, but about developing the total, integrated brand expression of Southwest,” said Rodney Abbot, Senior Design Partner at Lippincott.

Southwest new heart logo

“The Heart is our identity the same way the Heart of our Southwest Employees enhances the Customer experience, said Krone. “It’s the finishing touch that makes the Southwest brand unique, demonstrating that Southwest cares about each and every Customer. Even on the belly of the plane, the Heart is a symbolic reminder that we put our Hearts into every flight.”

“For more than three decades, GSD&M has partnered with Southwest Airlines, so we certainly understand and believe in the power of Southwest’s Heart,” said Marianne Malina, President of GSD&M. “We were thrilled with the opportunity to partner with an extraordinary and talented team to bring Southwest’s love of People front and center. This work is a celebration of the great brand that Southwest has become and, most importantly, where it’s headed next.”

Southwest Airlines and its partners did comprehensive research and held numerous focus groups with Employees and Customers to determine how best to create the new look. The airline heard that it was important to remain unique and to retain its personality; for these reasons, Southwest continues to use the vibrant color palate and striped tail that has long identified the carrier, while adding a modern touch, proudly displaying the Southwest name on the side of the fuselage and presenting the Heart on the aircraft belly. Southwest has had several different liveries and logos throughout its 43-year history; remaining current and relevant is critical to the sustainability and future growth of the brand.

As a legendary low-fare carrier, Southwest doesn’t make a change this bold without first assessing cost impact. The approach and focus with this launch has been with the intent to remain cost-neutral by using a phased rollout. Aircraft will receive the newly painted livery within the aircraft’s existing repainting schedule, with new aircraft delivered in the new Heart livery. In addition, many of the future airport conversions will be integrated into existing and upcoming airport improvement projects. Because Southwest is taking this cost-conscious approach to the conversion of planes and airports, it might be some time before Customers and Employees see the new design in person.

Heart One. Stephen M. Keller

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines. The company again has bold new fuselage titles for good visibility.

Here is the message from Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly:

Forty-three years ago, Southwest launched a low-fare revolution that is still alive and well today. Ignited by a Maverick Spirit and a passion for serving others, we set out to do things differently than the other guys. Today, the world is a much different place than it was back in 1971. Our industry landscape is hardly recognizable, and our Customers’ travel habits have evolved. Southwest has evolved too — but we have never stopped smiling.

We’ve been hard at work over the past decade transforming Southwest to be just as relevant and successful for the next four decades. We enhanced our cabin interiors, installing WiFi and offering free live TV onboard (thanks to DISH®!). With the Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, we’re bringing on larger airplanes that are better suited for longer flights. We expanded in big markets like New York City and Washington, D.C. and revamped our Rapid Rewards® Frequent Flyer program. We acquired AirTran Airways, and we’re in the final stages of integrating our two airlines to become one by the end of this year. The AirTran integration set the stage for Southwest to launch international service for the first time in our history, which we did in July. And next month, a federal law (the Wright Amendment) restricting where we can fly domestically from our home airport of Dallas Love Field will be lifted — giving us the freedom to serve more nonstop markets from our hometown.

With all these exciting changes happening, we thought it was time for a new visual expression of our brand — one that marries our past to our present and sets the course for where we’re headed in the future. So this month, we’re introducing a modern, new look. You’ll see it throughout your experience with us. Our new logo showcases a Heart — fitting for a Company whose very core has always been fueled by the heartbeat of its People. Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People. This Heart symbolizes our commitment to you that we’ll remain true to our core as we set our sights on the future.

What started as a revolution has undergone an evolution. But we haven’t changed what we stand for: low fares, a convenient flight schedule, and the friendliest Employees in the world. Our Purpose is to connect you, our valued Customer, to the moments that are most important in your life, through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. That was true in 1971, and it’s just as true today. So, while our look may be new, our DNA is the same — with the big Heart and big smile you have come to LUV. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

All images by Southwest Airlines.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

What do you think?

Video: The unveiling of the new brand:

Video: The evolution of the heart logo:

Video: Repainting the first aircraft:

Boeing launches the 200-seat 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair

Ryanair 737-MAX 8 Artwork

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) launched the newest member of the 737 MAX family today (September 8) with a commitment from Ryanair (Dublin) for 100 airplanes. Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing customers up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes.

In addition to the commitment, valued at $11 billion at current list prices, Ryanair has options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s.

“Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

“These new “gamechanger” aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers. As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports,” said O’Leary

Boeing developed the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35 percent of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033. While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8, driving economic growth and increasing access to air travel.

With the addition of the 737 MAX 200, the 737 MAX family offers the right capacity to meet the needs across the single-aisle market.

“The 737 MAX 200 is the perfect fit for Ryanair, providing improved efficiencies, 20 percent lower emissions, increased revenues and a high level of passenger comfort,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations, while providing passengers across Europe with outstanding value. For everyone at Boeing, it is an honor to launch the 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair, one of the world’s most successful all-Boeing operators.”

Based on the 737 MAX 8 airframe, the 737 MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats by incorporating a mid-exit door increasing the exit limit. The airframe is 2.2 meters longer than the A320neo, giving customers more flexibility and space in the cabin, and offering a better solution at both the heart of the single-aisle market (160 seats) and at maximum passenger configurations.

Standard across the 737 MAX family, Ryanair’s 737 MAX 200s will be configured with the passenger inspired Boeing Sky Interior, featuring modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.

With 2,239 orders from 46 customers worldwide, the 737 MAX family offers customers superior fuel efficiency, economics and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

Headquartered in Ireland’s capital city, Ryanair operates more than 1,600 flights daily from 69 bases connecting 186 destinations in 30 countries. Currently operating more than 300 Next-Generation 737-800s, Ryanair took delivery of its first 737 in 1994, and now operates the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe. With a team of more than 9,500 highly skilled professionals, the airline is expected to fly more than 86 million passengers this year.

Image: Boeing.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

JetBlue and Cape Air partner with Bridgewater State University to establish a pilot pipeline

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cape Air (Hyannis) recently announced a new partnership with Bridgewater State University (BSU). BSU is the newest addition to JetBlue’s University Gateway Program, a pilot talent pipeline which partners with top university aviation programs and regional airlines such as Cape Air. BSU is the airline’s first school alliance in its Boston focus city.

JetBlue’s University Gateway Program is a career-planning and mentoring initiative designed to identify and recruit talented professionals into the pilot ranks. The program includes rigorous academic training and valuable regional airline experience. The University Gateway program creates a clearly defined career path for aspiring pilots, beginning early in an aviator’s college career and culminating with the possibility of a final interview at JetBlue.

In late August, Captain Rich Carter, JetBlue’s director system chief pilot, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president of Bridgewater State University and Linda Markham, president of Cape Air officially signed a memorandum of understanding. JetBlue crewmembers as well as school administrators were on hand at Boston’s Logan International Airport to celebrate the announcement. BSU is the seventh university partner for JetBlue’s University Gateway Program. Other academic alliances include the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona and Prescott), Auburn University, Jacksonville University and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

The University Gateway Program is open to students at participating schools with high academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and recommendations from their professors. It requires a successful series of interviews with JetBlue and a regional airline partner, as well as continued enrollment in an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) program. During the Gateway Program, participants intern at Cape Air or other regional airline partners, and then serve as an instructor at their respective flight school. Following that process, candidates fly with Cape Air for at least two years and then receive an interview at JetBlue.

BSU is an AABI accredited university which offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science with concentrations in aviation management or flight training. The university combines a liberal arts education with flight experience and prepares students to fly in varying weather conditions and over mountainous terrain and open waters as well as how to handle operations in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.

Education is a core pillar of JetBlue’s overall strategy and responsibility platform. The airline and its newly launched JetBlue Foundation encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers from piloting an aircraft to maintaining its engines. JetBlue has a unique education pathway including relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to the University Gateway Program, which may lead to positions as Pilot Trainees with the carrier.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic “up close” runway action view of JetBlue’s special 10th Anniversary color scheme on Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Cape Air: AG Slide Show

 

Jetairfly to establish a new base at Antwerp

Jetairfly (Jetairfly.com) (Brussels) with the delivery of its third Embraer 190 will establish a new base at Antwerp. Starting in April 2015 Jetairfly will start flying from Antwerp Airport to Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante.

Jetairfly.com is a brand name of Tui Airlines Belgium NV. Jetairfly.com is a part of TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100STD OO-JEB (msn 19000607) is pictured at the Brussels base.

Jetairfly:AG Slide Show

Bombardier resumes CSeries flight testing

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Montreal and Toronto) has confirmed that the CSeries aircraft resumed flight testing with flight test vehicle two (FTV2) taking flight today at Bombardier’s facility in Mirabel, Québec.

The flight on September 7 follows an in-depth review and analysis of the engine-related incident that occurred during stationary ground maintenance testing involving CSeries aircraft FTV1 on May 29, 2014 at the Mirabel facility. Pratt and Whitney alongside Bombardier, has taken appropriate measures to address the issue, including the modification of the engine’s oil lubrication system.

The CSeries aircraft’s entry-into-service remains on track for the second half of 2015.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CSeries CS100 (BD-500-1A10) “FTV1″ C-FBCS (msn 50001) is pictured on its first test flight at Montreal (Mirabel).

Garuda Indonesia extends the Jakarta-Amsterdam route to London Gatwick today

Garuda Indonesia Airways (Jakarta) is extending its presence in Europe by launching a new service from Jakarta to London (Gatwick) via Amsterdam today (September 8), as part of the airline’s transformation program “The Quantum Leap 2011-2015″. London serves as the airline’s second gateway in the region after Amsterdam. By launching the five times weekly service to London, Garuda Indonesia is now able to provide the first direct link between Indonesia and the United Kingdom.

Therefore, starting today, the Jakarta – Amsterdam – Jakarta flight changed to become Jakarta – Amsterdam – London (Gatwick) – Amsterdam – Jakarta.

The schedule for Jakarta – Amsterdam – London is as follows (all times local):

Flight No Origin Destination Departure / Arrival Days of Operation

GA088 Jakarta Amsterdam 00.40 LT – 09.40 LT Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
Amsterdam London 11.45 LT – 11.50 LT Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun

GA089 London Amsterdam 13.10 LT – 15.15 LT Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
Amsterdam Jakarta 17.00 LT – 11.40 LT* Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun

*(+1 day)

The new service will be operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft capable of carrying 314 passengers, in a three-class cabin configuration featuring its globally praised First Class, brand new business class service concept, and the world’s best economy class (Skytrax Global Airline Awards 2013).

According to the airline, “the fleet is equipped with “Inflight Connectivity” facilities, including “WiFi Onboard” and “Live TV” services for passengers in all classes and a “chef on board” for “First Class” passengers. The “Inflight Connectivity” facilities enable passengers to remain connected to the internet and continue their business activities during the flight or simply access their favorite entertainment, such as live soccer games via the sports channel, and many other entertainment options.”

Following its entrance into the SkyTeam global airline alliance on March 2014, Garuda has decided to make Amsterdam, The Netherlands, its hub for Europe and beyond. In order to make this hub effective and most convenient for its customers, the airline started flying direct and nonstop between Jakarta and Amsterdam on May 30, 2014.

Garuda Indonesia joined SkyTeam global alliance as its 20th international member, and second Southeast Asia member.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3U3 ER PK-GIC (msn 40075) departs from Paine Field before it was handed over to the carrier.

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 9.2014 Search Area

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is working closely with the Malaysian government for the search missing flight MH 370. The ill-fated flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers and crew members on board.

Malaysia and Australia signed a MOU for their on-going collaboration search for the missing airliner.

Here is the full statement:

Signs MOU with Australia for ongoing collaboration

On behalf of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Malaysian Government and the people of Malaysia, I want to express my profound gratitude for the leadership role the Australian Government has played in this complex and challenging exercise, and to the Chinese Government for their ongoing support and resources dedicated to our efforts. The discussion during the tripartite meeting today was productive and allowed us to discuss the progress in the search for MH370 and to chart the way forward.

I have been heartened by the openness and willingness of these nations who have provided us with immediate and ongoing assistance.

On August 28 Malaysia signed an MOU with Australia which provides the framework and broad parameters for cooperation in the search for MH 370. This forms an important part of our existing cooperation with Australia and reaffirms Malaysia’s commitment towards the search.

In this regard Malaysia will provide the necessary financial contribution towards the search effort and match Australia’s commitment. The combination of undersea search equipment, world-class experts and cutting edge technology that is being used will be our best chance of finding MH 370 and we are hopeful in our prospects of doing so.

I want to assure the loved ones of the passengers and crew on-board MH370 that we are resolute in our efforts to search for this aircraft. I have been touched by many of the stories I have heard and we will do our best to engage the next of kin and help them find closure. To that end we will be providing more regular updates and information related to the search as it becomes available.

Again, Malaysia pledges its continued and unwavering support in response to the unprecedented nature and scale of this event through our financial commitment, technical expertise, equipment and stamina in our search for answers.

JACC Media
sent on behalf of:

YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai
Minister of Transport, Malaysia

Meanwhile, The Economist is reporting “new analysis of satellite data has narrowed the area in which the aircraft might have come down from some 600,000 square kilometers to a 60,000 square kilometer strip of ocean, 650 km long and 93 km wide (see map above).

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Map: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Azerbaijan Airlines to start Baku-New York flights on September 24

Azerbaijan Airlines-AZAL (Baku) has announced the start of scheduled flights from Baku to New York commencing on September 24, 2014. Flights to John Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York City will be flown weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays with departure from Baku at 0600 and arriving to the biggest city of North America at 0930 local time. The return flights will be operated on the same days of the week leaving New York at 1130 and coming to the capital of Azerbaijan at 0800 the next day.

The flights will be operated with Airbus A340-500s.

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinerGallery.com. Airbus A340-542 4K-AZ85 9msn 886) arrives in Istanbul.

Azerbaijan Airlines: AG Slide Show

A new color scheme is also coming for Southwest Airlines

Southwest with a heartSouthwest Plane Palooza

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is also planning to make an announcement tomorrow (September 6). It is believed the company is planning to introduce a new livery too.

A Boeing 737-800 is expected to be rolled out tomorrow at Dallas’ Love Field showing a new blue, yellow and red color scheme.

Southwest logo

Like Frontier, Southwest issued this short teaser comment:

We’ve been working on something special. And Monday, we’ll get to the heart of the matter.

DFWTower.com has published photos of a Southwest 737-800 in a hangar with the new design. It does not appear to be a special livery. The main changes, an apparent deeper shade of blue and white fuselage titles: CLICK HERE

This will be third basic livery for Southwest:

Top Image: Southwest Airlines. Southwest recently had a “Plane Palooza” voting contest for its special liveries on Facebook. The finalists were Florida One and Lone Star One. Naturally for the Texas-based airline, Lone Star One won.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Reflecting an American Southwest look, Southwest started operations with this orange, red and mustard color scheme. When Southwest launched intrastate operations in Texas on June 18, 1971 this was the color scheme on its three Boeing 737-200s. Boeing 737-2H4 N21SW (msn 20345) (+ the other two) are seen at the Love Field base. The full titles ran up the rear fuselage and the tail. Later the titles were shortened to just “Southwest” and were placed alone on the tail.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The current “Canyon Blue” fuselage top livery was introduced in 2001. Boeing 737-3H4 N608SW (msn 27928) departs from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

In other news, Southwest is recycling its old leather seats. According to CNN, “Southwest Airlines after a large-scale redesign of many of its 737 aircraft, the carrier found itself with an excess of 80,000 leather seat covers — enough to fill the Empire State Building.

Southwest dubbed the initiative “Luv Seat: Repurpose with Purpose,” and reached out to potential partners to take the used leather, but found that there were few takers.

Following the advice of Bill Tiffany, a Southwest VP who grew up in Kenya, the airline started looking towards Africa for recipients of the used leather. Rather than just donating the goods and leaving it there, the airline decided to take a more holistic approach, giving the materials to NGOs that will use them to provide job training and health education.

The main partner is SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, which is providing paid apprenticeships and training to orphaned youth, who in turn make shoes and soccer balls from the leather. The shoes are given to Maasai Treads, who distributes them as part of a campaign to fight debilitating foot parasites. The soccer balls are donated to Alive & Kicking, a charity that uses sport to educate young people on HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention.”

Great idea Southwest. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Southwest seats made into soccer balls (Southwest)

Frontier Airlines to introduce a new livery on September 9

Frontier A320 ? Livery

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver), under its new ownership group, is planning to introduce a new livery on September 9. The animal tails are expected to be retained (below) now in an expected diagonal and larger format.

Frontier Tails (Frontier)

The company added this short promo line below and top image above:

We have some exciting changes coming! Keep your eyes peeled for what’s happening on September 9th!

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Is this a tipoff? This image was used in a recent advertisement showing a revised livery including new titles.

Frontier New Livery

American-US Airways pilots agree on a protocol for pilot seniority integration, will it lead to a final list?

U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) (and the pilots of the former America West Airlines) (Phoenix), stated it has reached a tentative agreement on a protocol with the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing the pilots of American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). The tentative agreement lays out a process for the seniority integration of the two pilot groups according to The Street.

However according to article by Forbes, the previous bitter split between US Airways (East) pilots and America West (West) pilots at US Airways, could reemerge as work continues on a final seniority list. Will the new American Airlines inherit the seven-year old US Airways-America West pilot dispute? Forbes explores this question.

Read the full interesting article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Freshly repainted with new American titles, US Airways’ Airbus A319-132 N838AW (msn 2615) painted in America West’s 2005 heritage livery, taxies to the gate at the Charlotte hub. N838AW symbolizes this hot button issue better than any other AA-US aircraft.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

America West Airlines: AG Slide Show

The proposed return of the Air Florida brand as a public charter carrier

Air Florida (3rd) (St. Petersburg/Clearwater) is the latest return of an historic brand following the return of PEOPLExpress and Eastern. The paper airline has posted this plan and information on their new website:

Air Florida Kiss Us Hello

Air Florida is a privately-held start-up carrier, incorporated as a Florida Corporation In 2014. The company has filed for registration of all logos and indicia of the iconic carrier (Air Florida 1st, 1971-1984), and will operate initially as a public charter carrier.

The carrier Is expected to name the executive team of Aviation Solutions, Inc., of Dallas, TX to manage all phases of operation.

We have reached an agreement In principle with Xtra Airways of Boise, ID for the provision of multiple Boeing 737-400 aircraft (and crews) on an ACMI lease program.

Air Florida (3rd) logo (small)

The carrier is also in discussion for a similar lease arrangement for one McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft for long-haul service, initially proposed to be (Los Angeles-St. Petersburg/Clearwater-San Juan.

While Air Florida will indeed provide leisure travel services from under-served airports In the Northeast and Midwest to various destinations in our home state. Many of the cities in our launch service will become focus cities upon further expansion. The carrier will offer connecting flights and point-to-point service between Northeast and Midwest destinations.

In addition to providing both low-fare leisure and business travel, a key philosophy behind the start-up is a return to the original Air Florida’s K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sweet & Simple) principles. Air Florida does not intend to add hidden or ‘A La Carte’ fees to its fares, but will work to keep fares low while offering our customers what should be expected in air travel.

Air Florida 8.2014 Proposed Route Map

We intend to commence service in early 2015 with service from St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Daytona Beach and Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood to Chicago (Gary), St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Allentown (Lehigh Valley) and Worcester.

The would-be airline is currently in discussions to lease Embraer EMB-120 turboprops as feeder flights for its proposed long-range routes operated with Boeing 737-400s.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The 1979 blue and green color scheme of the original Air Florida is seen on Boeing 737-2T4 N56AF (msn 22369).

The original Air Florida aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s flight operations return to normal

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today (September 6) issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s flight operations have returned to normal today (Saturday, September 6) following the six-hour pilots’ strike on Friday evening, which mainly affected the airline’s short- and medium-haul flights to and from Frankfurt. Despite receiving short notice of the proposed strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union, all the flights envisaged in contingency plans went ahead as scheduled.

On Saturday morning, flights were back on schedule except on routes into and out of Italy: Owing to a strike called by Italian flight controllers between 10.30 and 14.30 hours today (Saturday), twelve flights to and from Italy have had to be cancelled.

As a result of the stoppage staged by the VC union, Lufthansa was forced to cancel 218 short- and medium-haul flights on Friday, which impacted the travel plans of some 26,000 passengers. However, Lufthansa was able to inform most of its passengers about the effects of the strike on the Thursday evening with more than 24,000 SMS alerts and 4,500 emails. Thanks to prompt re-booking, around 5,000 passengers were flown off from other Lufthansa Group hubs in Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.

During the walkout, 750 passengers accepted the offer to exchange their flight ticket for a train ticket within Germany. As a precautionary measure, Lufthansa had hired 2,200 hotel rooms in the Rhine-Main area, but scarcely half were actually used. For passengers in transit without a visa to enter Germany, Lufthansa and the airport operator Fraport set up about 450 camp beds at the airport but only a dozen or so passengers made use of them. All the passengers held up in Frankfurt because of the strike were flown to their destination in the course of Saturday morning.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 D-AIHY (msn 987) of Lufthansa arrives at Los Angeles.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines to restart Osaka (Kansai)-Los Angeles flights on March 20, introduces “JAL Sky Suite 787″ service

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) will resume the Osaka (Kansai)-Los Angeles route on March 20, 2015. Additionally the carrier will resume Nagoya (Chubu Centrair)-Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) route on December 20, 2014.

The airline issued this statement:

JAL Group (JAL) has announced revisions to its international network, flight frequency and fleet plans in the second half of fiscal year 2014, the year ending March 31, 2015. The airline will launch two routes between Nagoya (Chubu) and Bangkok, as well as between Osaka (Kansai) and Los Angeles. Additionally, the airline’s fully revamped JAL SKY SUITE aircraft will be expanded onto more international routes. JAL is implementing adjusted flight frequencies and fleet plans in accordance with the needs of its customers. JAL is embracing new challenges to expand its network, and to enhance the quality of products and services in order to improve customers’ convenience.

The following flight schedules and fleet plans are subject to relevant authorities’ approvals and changes.

1. Expansion of International Network

JAL will advance the implementation of an expanded international network outside of Japan’s Tokyo Metropolitan Area, which was originally scheduled for FY2015. The airline will launch Chubu = Bangkok route from December 2014, and Kansai = Los Angeles route from March 2015. These are JAL’s first international flights from Chubu Airport in ten years, and concurrently its first international flights from Kansai Airport in six years. JAL becomes the only Japanese airline to operate nonstop flights on these two international routes. The airline is positively contributing to the economic development of the Chubu and Kansai regions, as well as to the improvement of customers’ convenience.

Launched Routes

Flight No.

Route

Dep. Time

Arr. Time

Aircraft

Date Effective

Days of Operation

JL737

Nagoya (Chubu) – Bangkok

10:30

14:50

767-300ER 787-8(*1)

Dec. 20, 2014 ~

Daily

JL738

Bangkok – Nagoya (Chubu)

22:55

06:20+1

JL060

Osaka (Kansai) – Los Angeles

15:20 (17:40)*(2)

09:20 (12:00)

787-8

Mar. 20, 2015 ~

Daily

JL069

Los Angeles – Osaka (Kansai)

11:20 (14:30)

15:50+1 (19:00+1)

(*1) Boeing 787-8 will utilized on the Chubu – Bangkok route from January 1, 2015.
(*2) “( )”are the Dep. and Arr. time on and after March 29, 2015, which are subject to change.

Chubu-Bangkok route

The Bangkok route will be initially operated with a Boeing 767-300 ERs, and from January 2015, the aircraft is scheduled to be replaced with the Boeing 787-8s in order to provide customers with a more comfortable in-flight experience. JAL will operate five daily flights between Japan and Bangkok after adding the Chubu – Bangkok service, which re-positions JAL as the leader in flight frequencies to and from Bangkok. Additionally, JAL customers arriving from Japan can transit at Bangkok to an additional 13 destinations beyond, including Myanmar and Cambodia, by using JAL codeshare flights operated by Bangkok Airways (PG).

Kansai=Los Angeles route

In addition to JAL’s daily Tokyo (Narita) – Los Angeles flight (*3), JAL will launch the Kansai – Los Angeles route, the only nonstop connection between Los Angeles and the area with Japan’s second largest economy and population, starting March 20, 2015.
(*3)Two daily flights are available between Narita and Los Angeles including the codeshare flights operated by AA.

The Kansai – Los Angeles route will operate utilizing the Boeing 787-8, which offers an improved in-flight experience because of the aircraft’s advanced technology, especially on long-haul routes. Additionally, in cooperation with American Airlines (AA), JAL’s partner airline for trans-Pacific joint business, customers can reach 37 additional destinations from Los Angeles, via AA’s network.

Additionally, Boeing 787-8s will be introduced on the Narita – Bangkok and Kansai – Bangkok routes from December 2014, as well as the Chubu – Bangkok route from January 2015, enabling JAL to provide fully-flat seats or shell flat seats in Business Class cabins on all medium and long haul routes to and from Southeast Asia and Honolulu.

Additionally, smaller aircraft will be introduced on select Chubu = Shanghai, Narita = Shanghai and Narita = Beijing flights. The airline will also utilize the Boeing 787-8 on its Narita – Delhi route from December 2014 and concurrently decrease flight frequency on its Narita -Seoul (Incheon) route. JAL is continuously reviewing and responding to meet changes in demand including the expected growth of transit needs between

 

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

December 1, 2014 ~

JL407/JL408

777-300ER (SS7) to 787-8 (SS8)

January 1, 2015 ~

JL004/JL003

787-8 to 787-8 (SS8)

December 1, 2014 ~

JL002/JL001

787-8 to 777-300ER (SS7)

JL771/JL772

777-200ER to 777-300ER (SS7)

October 26, 2014 ~

JL759/JL750

767-300ER to 767-300ER (SS6)

December 1, 2014 ~

JL033/JL032

767-300ER to 777-200ER

JL707/JL708

767-300ER to 787-8

JL727/JL728

JL749/JL740

777-200ER to 787-8

JL741/JL742

767-300ER to 787-8

JL097/JL098

767-300ER to 777-200ER

October 26, 2014 ~

JL809/JL802

737-800 to 767-300ER

JL877/JL874

767-300ER to 737-800

JL883/JL884

JL869/JL860

(*6) Aircraft type change for JL003 will be from January 2, 2015.

(*7) Aircraft type change for JL772 will be from December 2, 2014.
(*9) Aircraft type change for JL708 will be from December 2, 2014.
(*10) Aircraft type change for JL728 will be from December 2, 2014.

(*11) JL954 will be operated by Boeing 737-800 on October 26, 2014.

(*12) Days of operation: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Read the full report from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

JAL Sky Suite 787

In other news, JAL is also introducing a new “JAL SKY SUITE 787″ service on its new Boeing 787-8 on the Tokyo (Narita)-Frankfurt route (JL407/JL408) starting on December 1, 2014 and on the Tokyo (Narita)-New York route (JL004/JL003) on January 1, 2015.

JAL 787 Sky Suite Seating Chart

Additionally, JAL will introduce fully-flat seat named “JAL SKY SUITE” in Business Class on the 787.

JAL 787 Business Sky Suite

In Economy Class, as the second installment of “New Spacious Economy” on international routes, JAL SKY WIDER II will be introduced also on the 787.

JAL 787 Economy JAL Sky Wider II (JAL)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by JAL). Boeing 787-8 JA827J (msn 34837) arrives in New York (JFK).

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

ANA and Lufthansa Cargo obtain antitrust immunity for their Japan-Europe joint cargo venture

ANA-All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) and Lufthansa Cargo AG (Frankfurt) will launch a strategic air cargo joint venture on routes between Japan and Europe and vice versa. This is the first worldwide cargo joint venture of its kind. ANA has received antitrust immunity, i. e. approval for the joint venture from the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport after filing for it in the spring of 2014. In addition, the joint venture has been positively assessed by external counsel for compliance with relevant EU antitrust regulations.

Now ANA and Lufthansa Cargo can jointly manage activities covered by the joint venture including network planning, pricing, sales and handling on all routes between Japan and Europe and vice versa. Based on a joint contract which shall be signed in the next weeks, the two carriers aim to introduce the joint approach on shipments originating from Japan to Europe in winter 2014/2015 and for shipments from Europe to Japan mid-2015.

The joint venture will benefit customers by generating a greater selection of routings and a wider range of service options. Customers will especially profit from a larger and faster network with more direct flights, more destinations and more frequencies. By their moving under one roof at major stations, such as the airports Tokyo Narita and Nagoya in Japan and Dusseldorf and Frankfurt in Germany, customers will enjoy the services of both airlines at a single location.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. ANA Cargo’s Boeing 767-381F ER JA602F (msn 33509) arrives at bthe Tokyo (Narita) base.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Cargo: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FBT D-ALFC (msn 41676) of Lufthansa Cargo lands at Manchester.

 

British Airways to refresh 18 Boeing 747-400 cabins

British Airways (London) is upgrading 18 selected Boeing 747-400s for a cabin refresh including a new in-flight entertainment system. The airline issued this statement:

Some of British Airways’ much-loved Boeing 747s are to receive a cabin refresh including a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system.

Customers travelling on the 18 selected 747s will be treated to double the choice of TV programs and films thanks to the installation of Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system.

The new system, which will be installed from August 2015, will provide more than 130 movies and 400 TV programs on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation also helps to save the amount of fuel used by the aircraft.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus on these aircraft will have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. In addition, World Traveller customers will now have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

Richard D’Cruze, British Airways’ in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said: “We know that in-flight entertainment is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programing on board.”

The refit, which will be carried out by British Airways’ engineers in Cardiff, will include a cabin interior refresh bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft.

New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort and new style seat covers fitted to improve appearance and match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to the new aircraft colour pallet.

Kathryn Doyle, aircraft cabin interiors manager, said: “Our customers love our new aircraft, and we wanted to refresh the 747s in line with them as we know they have a special place in the heart of many of our customers. These aircraft will get some well deserved TLC and the improvements will be really noticeable to our frequent fliers.”

British Airways has introduced a number of recent changes to its in-flight entertainment, including the introduction of HBO and the Discovery Channel as well as a new ‘paws and relax channel’ showing cute footage of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, to enhance the wellbeing of customers.

British Airways was also the first European airline to permit the use of hand-held mobile devices after landing and the first European airline to introduce the use of in-flight entertainment systems from gate-to-gate.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-CIVO (msn 28849) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM to retire the Martinair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters in 2015 and 2016, will expand Transavia leisure flights

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) (Air France-KLM Group) issued this statement about its shrinking and unprofitable freighter fleet including Martinair‘s (Amsterdam) McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighter fleet:

At its meeting on September 4, 2014, the Air France-KLM Board of Directors examined the findings of the strategic review of its full-freighter operations which was launched earlier this year.

On top of the ongoing reduction of the full-freighter fleet, and facing a slower than expected recovery in demand, the Board of Directors has decided to reduce the full-freighter fleet based in Amsterdam to 3 aircraft in operation by the end of 2016. Five MD-11s will be phased out on an accelerated basis during 2015 and 2016.

By then, the Group will operate five full-freighter aircraft: 2 Boeing 777Fs in Paris and 3 Boeing 747 ERFs in Amsterdam, compared with a total of 14 in 2013.

The group intends to find alternative employment internally for all affected staff. It will engage in consultations on this matter with the Works Council and trade unions of the companies involved.

The Group will remain a major player in the cargo sector in Europe through its extensive belly network effectively supplemented by a limited number of full-freighter aircraft.

This adjustment of the full-freighter fleet is part of a broader strategic vision designed to increase cargo contribution to the group. Other measures include a strong focus on specialized products such as pharmaceuticals and express, as well as investment in state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and E-developments, further cost reduction and expansion of partnerships.

In other news, the Air France-KLM Group will expand its leisure operations under the Transavia brand with new bases outside of Paris and Amsterdam. The Group issued this statement:

At its meeting on September 4, 2014, as proposed by its Chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, the Air France-KLM Board of Directors approved the group’s development project on the leisure market in Europe.

This development will take place under the Transavia brand from the two existing airlines – Transavia France and Transavia the Netherlands – and new bases will be opened in other European countries.

This project will strengthen the development of Transavia France (Paris) and Transavia Airlines (Amsterdam) in the Netherlands. The terms of these developments are the subject of consultations in both countries.

The group is positioning itself as a major player in this rapidly growing market in Europe.

This project is part of the group’s new plan for growth and competitiveness, Perform 2020, which will be presented in details to investors and to the press on September 11.

Air France-KLM have also unveiled its new “Perform 2020″ program which replaces its “Transform 2015″ program. Here is the formal plan:

Air France-KLM unveiled its new Perform 2020 strategic plan.

Perform 2020 is the successor to Transform 2015, which represented the first phase in the Group’s turnaround. While maintaining the imperatives of competitiveness and the ongoing strengthening of the Group’s financial position, this growth plan will focus on the following three strategic areas:

  •   Selective development to increase exposure to growth markets
  •   A product and services upgrade targeting the highest international level
  •   An ongoing improvement in competitiveness and efficiency within the framework of strictfinancial disciplineAir France-KLM’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, made the following comments:
    “Transform 2015 will be completed by the year end having fully delivered on its objective of significantly improving the Group’s competitiveness and delivering a €1 billion-plus reduction in costs. Perform 2020, the strategic plan we are launching today, will be supported by two main levers: growth, which we are looking to capture in a number of areas, and competitiveness combined with financial discipline which should continue to ensure firm foundations for the development of Air France-KLM. This is why the ambitious initiatives we are launching today will go hand in hand with redoubled efforts to reduce costs and restructure activities which remain loss-making. By 2020, we will have built an air transport Group focused on a leading long-haul network at the heart of global alliances, with a portfolio of unique brands, restructured short and medium-haul operations with a reinforced presence in the low cost segment in Europe, leadership positions in cargo, maintenance and catering, and a significantly improved risk profile both operationally and financially.”

    1 See definition in appendix
    2 At constant currency, fuel price and pension cost

Business review

In an environment which remains challenging but with profitable growth opportunities across all the Group’s markets, Air France-KLM plans to reinforce its key strengths, namely its network, its products and services, and its brands, while adjusting its portfolio of activities.

The development of the passenger hub business based on an upgraded product offer, an increased customer focus and a stronger positioning of brands. Benefiting from the broadest long-haul network on departure from Europe, the Group will be able to continue to capture growth opportunites particularly via the reinforcement of strategic partnerships.

The Group will maintain strict capacity discipline with growth in passenger capacity expected to be around 1% to 1.5% for the 2015-2017 period.

The Group will continue to restructure its point-to-point operations, aiming at a return to operating breakeven by 2017. In addition to the full impact of the measures launched in 2013, this objective will be reached thanks to new initiatives to restructure the network and reduce costs, together with the creation of a single business unit combining HOP and the Air France point-to-point operations.

The accelerated development of Air France-KLM in the European leisure market, under the Transavia brand, based on the two existing companies – Transavia France and Transavia Netherlands – and new bases to be created in other European countries. In a growth market, the Group plans to build on the results achieved within the framework of Transform 2015 to move to a more pan-European scale. By 2017, Transavia will rank amongst the leading low cost carriers in Europe, operating a fleet of 100 aircraft and carrying more than 20 million passengers. This business should contribute an additional €100 million of EBITDAR in 2017. With profitability being impacted by ongoing ramp-up costs, the Group is targeting operating profits by 2018.

The finalization of cargo repositioning: a significant reduction in the full-freighter fleet, from 14 aircraft in operation in 2013 to 5 aircraft at the end of 2016, should enable this business to return to operating breakeven in 2017 (versus a loss of €110 million in 2013 and a €200 million loss including bellies). The group will maintain a small full-freighter fleet as an important commercial lever to support its revenue premium on bellies. The Group will remain a major player in the European cargo sector thanks to its extensive belly network, but with only very limited remaining exposure (15% of capacity) to full-freighter volatility.

The recent development of the maintenance business has proven successful, with increased profitability and rapid growth in the order book. The Group will pursue its growth in this segment, particularly in engines and components, including via targeted acquisitions. This business should generate an additional €50 million to €80 million of EBITDAR in 2017, depending on acquisitions.

From a selective capex management while adopting a disciplined approach to growth opportunities. financial perspective, Air France-KLM plans to pursue the reduction in its unit costs and The Group will leverage the structured approach implemented within the framework of Transform 2015 to maintain unit cost reduction at an annual rate of 1% to 1.5%. To achieve this target, the group will go beyond traditional efforts directed at reducing unit costs (e.g. reduction in external expenses, purchasing policy and renewal of the long-haul fleet). This will involve the ongoing restructuring of uncompetitive activities and implementing a systematic review of processes using benchmarking based on profit centers. It will also entail negotiating with staff on the achievement of productivity gains paving the way to growth.

A progressive increase in fleet capex will be undertaken within the framework of strict capex control. Investment will remain below its pre-2012 level. Dedicated sources of funding will be allocated to significant development opportunities to ensure control over credit ratios. For example, the first phase in Transavia expansion will be financed by the €339 million proceeds generated from the partial disposal of Amadeus shares on September 9.

Medium-term financial targets to 2017

As a result of all these initiatives, Air France-KLM has set itself the following Group financial targets:

  •   EBITDAR up by 8% to 10%5 per year between 2013 and 2017
  •   An adjusted net debt/EBITDAR4 ratio of below 2.5 in 2017
  •   Base businesses to consistently generate annual positive free cash flowThese targets are consistent with a ROCE of 9% to 11% in 2017.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Martinair’s McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (F) PH-MCS (msn 48618) prepares to land at London’s Stansted Airport.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Martinair: AG Slide Show

Transavia Airlines (Netherlands): AG Slide Show

Transavia Airlines (France): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Transavia Airlines’ (Netherlands) Boeing 737-8K2 PH-HZA (msn 28373) with a Kulula underside taxies at the Amsterdam base.

 

Southern Airways Express to add Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

Southern Airways Express (Memphis) will start nonstop flights between Chattanooga and Memphis on October 1. Chattanooga- Destin, Florida flights will also start in the spring according to the timesfreepress.com.

Read the full story from timesfreepress.com: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: FlugKerl2 via Wiki Commons. Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N807JA (msn 20800075).

Expanding Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 8.2014 Route Map

 

Hainan Airlines arrives in Paris

Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) on September 3, took off for the first time to Paris. Hainan’s flight HU 7907 took off from Hangzhou International Airport at 9:15 pm (2115), making a stop at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport, before heading on to Paris (CDG). This is the airline’s fifth European route following its routes to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Berlin. The launch of the service will provide new opportunities for further political, economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and France, as 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries.

Hainan Airlines held inaugural flight ceremonies at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International and Xi’an Xianyang International airports on September 3, with representatives from local government agencies and airline partners as well as Hainan Airlines chairman and vice president in attendance. Passengers onboard the inaugural Airbus A330 flight received gifts from the Hainan Airlines staff before the plane took off for its maiden flight to Paris, the city of romance.

According to Hainan Airlines’ head of marketing, the flight will be offered twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. HU 7907 departs Hangzhou at 8:50 pm (2050) and arrives in Xi’an at 11:10 pm (2310), then departs Xi’an the next day at 1:00 am (0100) and arrives at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport at 6:55 am (0655). The return flight, HU 7908, departs Paris at 2:25 pm (1425) and arrives the next day in Xi’an at 6:45 am (0645), then departs Xi’an at 8:45 am (0845) and arrives in Hangzhou at 10:50 am (1050) (arrival and departure times are local).

The route will be operated using an Airbus A330-200 wide-body aircraft. The plane’s cheery and spacious cabin seats 36 in Business Class and 186 in Economy Class. The Business cabin is configured with 180-degree flat-bed seats with built-in gentle massage and 74 inches of space separating each seat. In addition, wide HD LCD screens and adjustable reading light serve to make sure passengers feel comfortable in a private environment.

Since 1993, Hainan Airlines has evolved from a regional to an international airline with several long haul intercontinental routes. The airline has launched routes to Chicago, Boston and Paris in recent years. According to the Sino-French Joint Press Communique, which emphasized building a peaceful, democratic, prosperous and progressive world, both China and France seek to strengthen mutual benefits and win-win results in civil aviation and the aviation industry. This provides Hainan Airlines with strong policy support and confidence to speed up the build-out of its international route network.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Hainan Airlines’ Airbus A330-243 B-6118 (msn 881) taxies at Zurich.

Hainan Airlines: AG Slide Show

LOT Polish Airlines returns to the black

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOT Polish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,015 other followers

%d bloggers like this: