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Allegiant Air hosts The Game Plane, a new in-flight TV game show

Allegiant The Game Plane Mark Walberg

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) announced, in partnership with Alpine Labs, the premiere of THE GAME PLANE, the world’s first game show to be filmed entirely in-flight with real passengers competing in real time to win prizes on the spot.

Part quiz show, part game of chance, THE GAME PLANE features Allegiant passengers on their way to vacation, competing for thousands of dollars in prizes, including all expenses-paid vacations at Las Vegas’ most popular luxury resort properties, airfare to Honolulu on Allegiant, Las Vegas show tickets and more. THE GAME PLANE is produced by Alpine Labs and filmed in-flight on Allegiant scheduled service.

“Allegiant prides itself on being an innovator in the airline industry, so the opportunity to be a part of the first-ever in-flight game show is a perfect fit,” said Brian Davis, Allegiant Travel Company Vice President of Business Development. “The energetic, fun atmosphere of the show is an extension of our vacation-focused brand, and the amazing prizes won by the contestants — our passengers — highlight all of the amazing things our destinations have to offer.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Allegiant on this amazing opportunity to showcase a whole new setting for the game show,” said Alpine’s Kevin Abrams. “Our goal is to remind viewers how much fun going on vacation is and that there are still exciting new ways to visit the game show format. THE GAME PLANE is an example of how we are introducing an original take on production.”

The show will premiere on September 20, 2014 and will air in over 75 percent of U.S. television markets on a syndicated network of stations led by the CBS Television Stations group.

Copyright Photo: Alpine Labs. Host Mark L. Walberg started his television career as an assistant at Dick Clark Productions and quickly moved in front of the camera as the announcer for the popular game show Shop Til You Drop and then as host of Burnt Toast, a sports magazine show on ESPN. It was there that the late Brandon Tartikoff noticed his work, and that association produced the nationally syndicated The Mark Walberg Show. Since then, Walberg has hosted and been featured in an array of popular talk, reality competition, and game shows, including the FOX hit The Moment of Truth. He also has hosted home improvement competitions The Mansion and House Rules, knowledge quiz shows Test the Nation and Russian Roulette, and won The Weakest Link as a contestant playing for charity. He also hosted the relationship challenge Temptation Island. Realizing a long-held ambition to produce, Walberg created and produced Sunday Dinner, the first original series for the Odyssey Network, with long-time friend and television personality Mark DeCarlo (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jimmy Neutron).

In addition to his successful television career, Walberg believes strongly in devoting time to create opportunities for young people. Currently he is on the board of directors of Goodwill of Southern California. He’s proud to be part of an organization that is instrumental in providing hope and new futures for people who need help. He also is very involved with The Young Americans, a musical performance youth group that tours the world offering music workshops in underserved schools. In addition to Walberg, alumni include actor Tim Bagley (Grimm) and actress Nia Peeples (The Young and the Restless) He has completed production on a feature-length documentary about The Young Americans’ work. Says Walberg, “The personal transformation that happens to people when they are given the ability to express themselves through the arts, specifically music and dance, is inspiring.”

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United Airlines to pay its flight attendants $100,000 to leave the company, will recall all furloughed FAs

United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:

United Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) announced that United will offer its Flight Attendants an Enhanced Early Out Program, which allows participants a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and receive a severance payment. United also announced that it is recalling all Flight Attendants who are on voluntary and involuntary furlough.

United will offer lump sum payouts of up to $100,000 for Flight Attendants who apply for the early out and meet certain service and eligibility qualifications, and the company will award early outs in seniority order.

“We’re excited to offer this extraordinary early out program, and we look forward to rewarding Flight Attendants who’ve contributed so much to United over the years,” said Sam Risoli, United’s senior vice president, Inflight Services. “Working together with the AFA Master Executive Council Presidents Ken Diaz, Suzanne Hendricks and Marcus Valentino, we were able to develop a program that provides great benefits, minimizes disruption to Flight Attendants due to staffing imbalances and at the same time helps us be more competitive.”

“United’s investment in this Enhanced Early Out benefits United and all our Flight Attendants represented by the AFA,” said Mike Bonds, executive vice president, Human Resources and Labor Relations. “Recalling furloughed Flight Attendants and aligning our staffing to match our flying schedule will further facilitate the company and AFA reaching a joint collective bargaining agreement. It’s another positive step in what has become a productive relationship with AFA.”

United has more than 23,000 flight attendants.

Narita-based Japanese national Flight Attendants employed by CMI, and who are not employed by United or represented by AFA, have their own severance and early-retirement terms provided in their collective bargaining agreement under Japanese law, and therefore are not eligible for the United Airlines Enhanced Early Out Program.

United has achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of its represented work force, including pilots, dispatchers, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups. The company is engaged in expedited negotiations with the AFA and is in mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), representing United’s technicians.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N16709 (msn 28779) departs from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

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Los Cabos and La Paz, Mexico Airports damaged by Hurricane Odile

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico logo

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP), the operator of the airports at La Paz and Los Cabos in Baja, Mexico, has issued this statement late on September 15:

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (PAC) informs that operations at the Los Cabos and La Paz International Airports were suspended as of yesterday afternoon, September 14, 2014, as Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm, struck the area of Baja California.

Fernando Bosque, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “Our main concern is the safety of our passengers and employees. As such, we are fully cooperating with the state and federal authorities to ensure that are precautions are taken. Flights have been suspended since yesterday afternoon; at this time we are not fully aware of the extent of the damage to the operations and will keep the community posted as information becomes available. Our goal is to resume normal operations as soon as is possible.”

The Company is currently in the process of surveying the airports in order to determine the extent of the damage. Once additional information is available, GAP will be issuing an updated press release.

Activities at GAP’s 10 other airports are operating normally.

Several small aircraft are believed to have been destroyed.

Pictures of the damage to the terminal at Los Cabos: CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

Why does Kahului Airport use the airport code of OGG? Hawaiian Airlines answers the question as part of its 85th anniversary celebrations

Hawaiian OGG Jimmy Hogg Tribute

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) which is currently preparing to celebrate 85 years of flying on November 11, has answered the riddle for travelers to Maui; Why does the Kulului Airport use the three-letter code of OGG? Hawaiian issued this statement about the new wall at OGG:

Travelers to Maui will no longer have to puzzle over why Kahului Airport’s three-letter airport code is OGG. They need only spend a few minutes at a new wall paying tribute to Capt. Jimmy Hogg, the Hawaiian Airlines pilot and aviation pioneer for whom the airport is named.

The 8-foot tall, 42-foot wide wall at Gate 19 was presented on September 15 by Hawaiian Airlines, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

“We were approached with the idea of sharing the story of Captain Hogg’s life and career by TSA employees in Kahului, who are asked questions everyday about the origin of OGG,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai’i’s oldest and largest commercial airline. “Kahului Airport officials offered to provide us with the space and we were delighted to design this fitting tribute to Jimmy, whose epic career ran from the earliest days of commercial aviation in Hawai’i to the dawn of the jet age.”

Born and raised in Līhu’e, Kaua’i on a sugar plantation, Hogg grew up watching airplanes land at Nāwiliwili and decided at the age of 12 that he was destined to become a pilot. He started his aviation career on January 1, 1930 at Inter-island Airways as a mechanic’s helper. He became a co-pilot in 1936, and captain the following year. He went on to achieve a series of “firsts” with the airline, which was renamed Hawaiian Airlines in October 1941. Hogg made the first commercial flight after the attack on Pearl Harbor, coming under ground fire from those mistaking his plane for an enemy aircraft. On January 14, 1958, he flew Hawaiian Airlines’ first trans-Pacific flight, delivering a DC-6 from the West Coast to Honolulu.

When the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) began to standardize airport navigational beacons after World War II, it turned to Hogg for assistance. In 1957, when it was decided that Kahului Airport needed a three-letter code, the CAA took the opportunity to honor one of the pioneers of Hawai’i aviation. Hogg retired from Hawaiian Airlines in 1968 and passed away at the age of 84 in 1992. A video recap of his life is located at the bottom of this story.

Anniversary Activities

The dedication of the Capt. Jimmy Hogg Memorial Wall at Kahului Airport kicks off a series of celebrations leading up to Hawaiian Airlines’ 85th anniversary on November 11, 2014.

On October 4, 2014, Hawaiian Airlines will host an all-day community event at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii in Hilo, the airline’s first destination. Residents of Hawai’i Island are invited to enjoy the museum as well as live entertainment and exhibits. Weather permitting, free rides will be offered on the airline’s original aircraft, a 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker NC251M (msn 154) is pictured at Honolulu.

Hawaiian Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Trivia contests via Hawaiian Airlines social media channels will offer prizes throughout the months of October and November, including drawings for free sightseeing rides on the historic Bellanca.

On November 11, 2014, Hawaiian Airlines’ Team Kōkua of employees will be participating in simultaneous community service projects on the islands of Kaua’i and Hawai’i.

“Hawaiian Airlines has been flying almost as long as the advent of commercial aviation, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year—both of which are remarkable achievements,” said Dunkerley. “We thank our dedicated employees and our loyal customers, whom both are key reasons why Hawaiian Airlines is able to celebrate a successful and rich 85-year history of service to the Hawaiian Islands and the world.”

Celebrating 85 Years of Service

On November 11, 1929, Inter-Island Airways (the company changed its name to Hawaiian Airlines in 1941) launched Hawai’i’s first-ever scheduled interisland air service using two Sikorsky S-38 amphibian propeller planes that carried eight passengers and two crewmembers, and had a top cruising speed of 110 MPH.

The company’s inaugural flight 85 years ago from Honolulu to Hilo, with a stop on Maui, took one hour and 50 minutes. The first flight to Kaua’i was made the following day and all the Hawaiian Islands were soon receiving air service on a regular basis.

Along with being Hawai’i’s first commercial airline, Hawaiian Airlines’ 85-year history of service has featured several other notable achievements, including:

Inter-Island S-43 (Hawaiian)(LR)

Introducing airmail and air cargo service to the Hawaiian Islands in 1934.

Becoming America’s first federally certified air cargo carrier in 1942.

Hawaiian DC-3 (Flt)(Hawaiian)(LR)

Introducing Hawai’i’s first aircraft with pressurized passenger cabins in 1952.

Introducing Hawai’i’s first inter-island jet aircraft in 1966.

Becoming the nation’s first airline to operate a commercial flight with an all-female flight crew in 1979.

Being the first Hawai’i-based airline to offer scheduled service between Hawai’i and the U.S. Mainland in 1985.

Today, Hawaiian Airlines has a fleet of 50 aircraft – 18 Boeing 717-200 jets for interisland flights in Hawai’i; 11 Boeing 767-300 and 18 Airbus 330-200 wide-body jets for transpacific and international service; and three ATR-42 for its new turbo prop service that launched earlier this year, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Airlines will have four more A330s joining the fleet by the end of 2015. By the end of year 2020, the airline plans to have 22 A330s total and 16 new narrow body A321neo aircraft, along with six new A330-800neo aircraft starting in 2019.

Video: Do you know why the Kahului Airport code is OGG? The code of this Hawaiian Airlines station is named after Captain Jimmy Hogg, an accomplished pilot who started his career as a mechanic’s helper with Inter-Island Airways of Hawaii then later became the Captain of Flight Operation for Hawaiian Airlines.

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Route Map: Hawaiian Airlines today:

Hawaiian 9.2014 Route Map

New video on Air Tindi of Canada and their “Ski Pilots” is introduced

Just Planes has just introduced a new video on Air Tindi (Yellowknife, NWT).

Above video: A preview video of the larger video.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Tindi Cessna 208 Caravan 1 C-GATY (msn 305) departs from the Yellowknife seaplane base.

Air Tindi logo

Route Map of Scheduled Services:

Air Tindi 9.2014 Route Map

United Airlines to upgrade its Newark hub with new amenities for its passengers

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new plans to upgrade its Newark hub with new dining and retail experiences, including 6,000 Apple iPad tablets free of charge to use to “track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet”. Here is the full statement:

United Airlines and OTG Management LLC today announced plans to transform the dining and retail experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and create unparalleled services and amenities for United’s customers. The program will combine leading-edge technology, award-winning dining and renowned design.

The $120 million capital investment for the project will be provided by OTG, selected by United to oversee the transformation in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, including new chef-driven restaurants, expansive food halls, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops.

Leading Edge Technology: Upon completion of the planned project, air travelers waiting for a flight will be able to use almost 6,000 iPad tablets free of charge to track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet. And customers will not have to search for an outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating.

Chef-Driven Dining with Unique Local Flavor: More than 55 new dining venues are anticipated to provide travelers with an array of culinary choices – including restaurant concepts created by more than 20 celebrated chefs – as well as markets, cafes and exceptional food and beverage service in nearly 60 gate areas. Menus at all price points will emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and will highlight regional and local dining experiences.

Trendsetting Design: Renowned architects and designers will transform the physical interior of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free flowing spaces.

Customers will begin seeing immediate improvements in November, when temporary restaurant locations pop up to offer a taste of what’s to come. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) displays the historic 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” retrojet livery.

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Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:

United EWR Hub Map

New book claims the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 was due to a suicidal pilot

Book-Goodnight Malaysian 370 (LRW)

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 is still missing. No part of the Boeing 777-200 ER or its 239 passengers and crew members have been discovered or even located. The search for MH 370 continues in the remote Indian Ocean. This new book by New Zealand pilot Ewan Wilson and journalist Geoff Taylor presents a theory that some have suspected in the aviation community.

Description by Amazon:

The unbelievable facts behind the loss of Flight 370 will shock the travelling public. The book by New Zealand pilot Ewan Wilson and journalist Geoff Taylor presents compelling evidence about what actually occurred in the final hours of Flight 370, based on new analysis and new interviews with pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s family. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 captured the world’s attention and shocked everyone. The book takes you to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8 and brings together the lives of passengers and crew who ultimately met their fate on board what should have been a routine flight to Beijing on a well respected airline operating a state-of-the-art airliner with a near faultless record. For the first time, the book presents a detailed analysis of the flight, the incredible route it took, and who the authors believe was in charge of the aircraft as it plunged into the Indian Ocean. The book investigates each piece of evidence and eliminates all the possible scenarios until the reader is left with one shocking and unbelievable conclusion as to what happened to end the lives of 239 people that night. The authors also look at the most recent 777 tragedy MH17. They analyse how it occurred, the implications of the horrific event on future air travel and whether Malaysia Airlines can survive. The authors Geoff Taylor is a highly respected career journalist who is now deputy editor of the Waikato Times newspaper, one of New Zealand’s leading daily papers. Ewan Wilson is a commercial pilot, former chief executive of Kiwi International Airlines and Norfolk Air and has qualifications as a transport safety investigator. Goodnight Malaysia 370 is Wilson’s third book. He has also written Help My Plane’s on Fire while his first book Dogfight became a New Zealand best seller.

This book is available from Amazon.com via our World Airline News online store. All book orders are processed and sent by Amazon.com.

Read the analysis by the Huffington Post: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines has not issued a public statement since August 28 concerning its MOU between Malaysia and Australia where Australia will to continue to lead the search for MH 370.

What do you think?

WestJet to charge $25 for the first checked bag for Econo fares for domestic and U.S. flights

WestJet (Calgary) today announced it will charge a $25 fee for a first checked bag on Econo fares for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. The new fee will only apply to bookings made today onward, for travel on or after October 29, 2014. Guests flying to any of WestJet’s international destinations including Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe may continue to check a first bag at no charge.

This change, which will apply to Econo fares only, is expected to affect approximately one in five WestJet guests. Guests who select a Flex fare will receive one free checked bag while guests choosing a Plus fare will enjoy two complimentary checked bags in addition to waived fees, seat selection, more legroom and many other amenities. For more information on WestJet baggage fees, please visit westjet.com/baggage.

The baggage allowances for military personnel (with identification), infant and child equipment, mobility devices and code-share and interline guests are not impacted.

WestJet also today launched its new WestJet Rewards tiers program featuring three levels – Teal, Silver and Gold. Guests who qualify for the Silver tier will be able to check a first bag at no cost. Guests who qualify for the Gold tier will get two free checked bags. For more information on all the significant benefits offered with the new WestJet Rewards tiers, please visit westjet.com/tiers. In addition, we have added a free first bag as an enhanced benefit to our WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard credit card program.

Along with the launch of WestJet Rewards tiers, the airline also introduced a price-drop guarantee today on WestJet flights and WestJet Vacations packages. Guests who see that the price of their flight or their vacation package has dropped since their original purchase can receive the difference in WestJet dollars.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines’ Boeing 737-8CT WL C-GWRG (msn 39071) with the Split Scimitar Winglets arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

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Air France expects to cancel 60% of its flights tomorrow due to a pilots strike

Air France (Paris) has issued this statement in anticipation of a strike by its pilots tomorrow (September 16):

Air France expects to operate 40% of its flights on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, given an estimated 60% of pilots planning to strike.

The flight schedule is updated 24 hours in advance.

Air France asks its customers to check that their flight is operating before going to the airport.

7,000 Air France employees are doing all they can to assist customers.

Air France once again recommends its customers with a flight reservation between September 15-22 to postpone their trip or change their ticket at no extra cost.

Air France regrets this situation and is making every effort to minimize the inconvenience this may cause to its customers. Close to 600,000 texts and messages have been sent to inform customers due to travel on Tuesday individually and in real time.

If the strike action continues beyond September 16, the flight schedule will be adjusted accordingly. Customers will be informed of the potential impact the day before departure. However there may be other disruption and delays.

Meanwhile partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines issued this short statement:

This is the result of a dispute between Air France and the French pilots’ union about terms relating to Transavia. French pilots who are transferring to Transavia demand the same terms of employment as pilots at Air France. The strike is – as communicated – expected to last from Monday, September 15 to Monday, September 22.

The Air France pilots’ strike will not affect the KLM operation. A rebooking policy is in effect. Customers who are affected by the strike will be rebooked free of charge.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNC (msn 35542) approaches the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

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Lufthansa: Meet your cabin crew starting today from Munich on select flights

Lufthansa Oktoberfest crew

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) despite dealing with a series of strikes by its pilots, still knows how to party. The airline issued this statement for the upcoming Oktoberfest in Munich for select flights:

With just five days to go until the start of the Oktoberfest in Munich, the designated Lufthansa crew members dressed in traditional folk costume are ready for take-off. The inflight team of twelve women and two men will depart Monday evening (September 15) from Munich on flight LH 722 bound for Beijing. Other Lufthansa flights with the special “Oktoberfest crew” on board will depart for São Paulo on September 24 and for Mexico City on October 4.

Lufthansa crew wearing traditional Bavarian attire will, for the first time, also be taking off from Munich on selected European flights. To mark the beginning and the end of Munich’s Oktoberfest, a Lufthansa CityLine crew will also be swapping their uniforms for dirndls. These flights will depart from Munich on September 20 for Lyon and Copenhagen, and on September 21 for Zagreb and Bremen. On October 5, the traditionally dressed crew will fly from Munich to Zadar (Croatia) and Geneva.

The folk costume worn by Lufthansa’s customer service staff at Munich Airport has a new design this year. During the Oktoberfest, station staff can also wear the new folk costume instead of their Lufthansa uniforms.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa.

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The Beluga fleet celebrates 20 years of flying

Airbus (Toulouse) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its transport aircraft named the Beluga. The company issued this recognition:

With its maiden flight on September 13, 1994, the popular Beluga cargo aircraft, affectionately named after the white whale because of its remarkable shape, is celebrating this week twenty years of transporting Airbus component parts between Airbus’ European manufacturing sites.

Since 1995, the fleet of five Beluga aircraft (below) replaced the ageing Super Guppy transporters in order to supply the Airbus final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg. Today, more than sixty flights are performed each week between eleven sites, carrying crucial parts for all of the Airbus programs, including the A380*.

The Beluga fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International (ATI), an Airbus subsidiary airline, and each Beluga crew is composed of a pilot, a co-pilot and a flight engineer.

With the production start of the A350 XWB in 2012 and the production ramp-up on other Airbus programmes, the Beluga activities again will substantially increase over the next five years.

In order to accompany this challenge, Airbus launched in 2011 the Fly 10 000 project. Flight crew numbers and flight hours have grown and loading procedures have been further optimized, with the opening of new integrated loading facilities in Hamburg and Bremen in Germany and Saint-Nazaire in France. Broughton, UK and Getafe, Spain will follow soon. Fly 10,000 should allow the Beluga fleet to double its activities by 2017 (from 5,000 to 10,000 flight hours).

“The Beluga is an essential element of Airbus’ integrated logistics and production ‎system. It is thanks to its reliability and engagement of the Beluga teams that we can fulfil our constant pursuit of efficiency”, said Günter Butschek, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

The Beluga is based on the twin-engine A300-600R, appreciated for its reliability and its cost-effectiveness. It is powered by General Electric CF6-80C2 engines. With its impressive dimensions (56 m long, 17 m high, a fuselage diameter of 7.71 m and a main-deck cargo volume of 1,400m3), the Beluga is the champion of its category (compared with the Antonov AN-124 or even the C-17). The Beluga can carry a maximum payload of 47 metric tonnes non-stop over a range of 1,660 km/900 nm.

*only the Vertical Tailplane and tailcone, all other A380 components being transported through the “multimodal transport system (sea, river, road).

Top Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus Transport International A300B4-608ST Beluga F-GSTB (msn 751) gracefully (for a whale) departs from the Toulouse base.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The Beluga fleet joins a rare group photo at Toulouse.

Airbus Beluga fleet (Grd) TLS (P. Pigeyre-Airbus)(LRW)

 

Estonian Air is coming next summer to Milan

Estonian Air (Tallinn) will add Milan (Malpensa) and the Tallinn-Milan route on April 21, 2015. The new route will be flown twice-weekly with Bombardier CRJ900s.

In other news, Estonian Air reported in August 2014, it carried 53,554 passengers, an increase of 3% compared to the same month last year when Estonian Air carried 51,976 passengers. In August Estonian Air operated 935 flights, an increase of 6.4%.

In the first eight months Estonian Air carried altogether 368,263 passengers, a decrease of 2.6% compared to 2013. In the same period, Estonian Air operated 7163 flights, which is 2.8% less compared to the same period last year.

The 15-minute punctuality of Estonian Air flights in the first eight months was 92.7%, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to the same period last year. The regularity was 99.3%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points compared to the same period last year. In August the punctuality was 90.2 and regularity 99.3 percentage.

Estonian Air is aiming to provide Estonia with reliable and regular double daily connections to destinations of strategic importance and of substantial demand. Being a small country on the edge of Europe, Estonia depends on such connections, and Estonian Air is committed to provide these services.

Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, is the biggest operator at Tallinn Airport. The airline flies regular routes to Stockholm (Arlanda and Bromma), Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Oslo, Moscow, Munich, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Vilnius and Trondheim. In addition, from May to September, Estonian Air flies to Nice and Split, from June to August to Paris and from June to the end of October to Berlin. From December 2014 to March 2015, Estonian Air will add seasonal flights to Munich and from April to November 2015 to Milan.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) ES-ACB (msn 15261) taxies at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport during the winter.

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Promotional ad by Estonian Air for its new Milan destination:

Estonian Air Milan ad

SAS reports its third quarter income drops 44% to $69.5 million

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (SAS Group) (Stockholm) despite recent personnel cuts and cost saving measures reported its fiscal third quarter income (ending on July 31) dropped 44 percent to SEK (Swedish Krona) 496 million ($69.5 million).

The group blamed the decline on its challenging market conditions especially coming from Norwegian Air Shuttle. CEO Rickard Gustafson blamed Norwegian for flooding the market with more seats than the market can handle.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, on Wednesday September 10, SAS moved in to the new Queen’s Terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport. The Queen’s Terminal, or Terminal 2, is the new home of all Star Alliance airlines that fly to Heathrow – in total 23 members.

SAS operates 21 departures and 21 arrivals at the terminal to and from the Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen
and the regional cities Gothenburg and Stavanger. SAS flight SK 500 was the first SAS scheduled flight to operate from Terminal 2.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-883 LN-RPM (msn 30195) promoting the SAS Eurobonus program,  approaches runway 01R at Stockholm (Arlanda).

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Air Canada to add the Boeing 787 from Vancouver for its Asian routes

Air Canada (Montreal) is gradually introducing the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Vancouver, replacing its older Boeing 767-300 ERs on some of its long-range routes. The carrier will introduce the 787 on the Vancouver-Shanghai (Pudong) route on October 26, Vancouver-Tokyo (Narita) on December 15, Vancouver-Beijing on February 1, 2015 and Vancouver-Seoul (Incheon) on March 1, 2015 per Airline Route.

In addition, Air Canada plans to operate Boeing 787 on the Vancouver-Toronto (Pearson) route at least once a day during the winter season effective October 26.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257) departs from Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

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Air Seychelles to add two new destinations

Air Seychelles 2011 logo

Air Seychelles (Mahe) has announced the launch of nonstop flights to Antananarivo, Madagascar, commencing on December 3, 2014.

The twice-weekly flights to the capital’s Ivato International Airport (TNR) will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.

In other news, Air Seychelles has also announced the launch of twice-weekly flights to Dar es Salaam to commence on December 2, 2014, marking the next stage of growth in the airline’s regional strategy.

The Tanzanian capital becomes the third destination in Air Seychelles’ Indian Ocean and African network, after Mauritius and Johannesburg. The route will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft.

Air Seychelles recently added a leased Airbus A320 from partner Etihad Airways.

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Route Map: The route maps now shows the connecting routes of Etihad Airways growing list of “family airlines”.

Air Seychelles 9.2014 Route Map

Sunwing Airlines to start Ottawa-St. Petersburg/Clearwater flights on December 18

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) will start weekly (on Thursdays) nonstop Ottawa-St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida (Tampa Bay) flights on December 18 with 189-seat Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8BK C-FTJH (msn 29642) on a summer lease at Palma de Mallorca will be returning to Canada for the winter season. The airliner has been retrofitted with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.

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Swiftair orders four Boeing 737-400 freighter conversions from Aeronautical Engineers

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has announce that Swiftair S.A. (Madrid) has selected AEI to provide eight (8) Boeing 37-400SF passenger to freighter conversions. The contract calls for four firm orders plus an additional four options. The first aircraft, built in 1991 (msn 24438) (ex Samair) is a high gross weight Boeing 737-400 and is currently being modified at Commercial Jet Inc. in Miami, Florida, which is an authorized AEI Conversion Center. The second aircraft (msn 24445) is on location in Miami and will commence modification in mid-September. All eight aircraft will be modified at Commercial Jet Inc. in Miami, Florida.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Swiftair is a current Boeing 737-400 operator. 737-4Q8 (F) N156GA (msn 26298) arrives at Palma de Mallorca before it became EC-MCI.

Swiftair (Spain): AG Slide Show

American Airlines’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes shape at Paine Field, Everett

American first 787-8 final assembly (American)(LR)

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (N800AN, msn 40618) is now being assembled at Boeing’s Paine Field facility near Everett, Washington. The company has issued the above photo of the mid section of the fuselage being attached to the wings. The first 787 should be rolled out of the assembly plant in the first week of October. The second 787-8 will be entering final assembly around September 26.

The airline will take delivery of its first 787-8 in December. The first 787-8 is scheduled to enter revenue service in early 2015 initially on domestic routes.

American has 42 Boeing 787s on order including 16 787-8s and 26 787-9s, with 58 options. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of two 787s this year, 11 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and nine in 2017.

American will replace some of its older Boeing 767-300s with the new 787s.

Copyright Photo: American Airlines. The first 787 takes shape in Position 1A at Paine Field, Everett, where the mid-body and the wings were joined.

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Jetstar Airways to start Boeing 787 service to Honolulu from Sydney on February 19

Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) has announced it will start Boeing 787 service to Honolulu, Hawaii starting on February 19, 2015. The 787 will replace Airbus A330-200 aircraft currently assigned to the route.

In other news, Jetstar announced it will start flying three times a week between Gold Coast and Queenstown from December 13, 2014 and three times a week between Gold Coast and Wellington from December 12, 2014 (subject to government and regulatory approval).

Flights on both new Tasman routes will be operated by 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft in a single class. Gold Coast-Wellington services are offered on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and Gold Coast-Queenstown flights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner VH-VKA (msn 36227) is pictured in action at Sydney.

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Aircraft Video from Jetstar Airways:

Royal Jordanian to expand Boeing 787 flights to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur in October

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) inaugurated Boeing 787 service as planned on September 1 from its base at Queen Alia International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.

The pictured Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA is the first of five that will join the RJ fleet during this year as part of the company’s strategic plan to modernize its long-range fleet of aircraft, replacing the currently operating Airbus A340s and A330s.

As previously reported, JY-BAA was received on August 27, 2014, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787.

Royal Jordanian is the first airline worldwide to take delivery of a Boeing 787 with the latest Thales in-Flight entertainment system called AVANT. The system offers passengers the next level of in-flight entertainment with 17” touchscreens in Crown and 10.6” touchscreens in Economy Class.

RJ chose to configure its Dreamliner to carry 24 passengers in business class and 246 in economy.

Customers in all classes will experience an improved cabin environment featuring LED mood lighting, larger windows, bigger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems and reduced noise levels among other features.

Royal Jordanian will continue to expand its 787 operations. Effective October 12 the new type will be assigned to the Amman-Bangkok-Hong Kong route (four days a week). For the other three days a week, effective October 15, the aircraft will fly the Amman-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur route.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA (msn 37983) taxies across the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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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.

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

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:

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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.

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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

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

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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).

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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:

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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

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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).

 

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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:

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