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Delta to start winter seasonal service to both Montego Bay and Nassau from Minneapolis/St. Paul

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will start weekly seasonal service from the airline’s hub in Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montego Bay, Jamaica on starting on January 18, 2015 and Nassau in the Bahamas, starting 0n January 17, 2015. Flights will be operated on Airbus A320 aircraft with 150 seats, including 12 seats in Business Class, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 120 economy seats.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 N372NW (msn 1633) arrives at the MSP hub.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

 

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Allegiant Air’s pilots allege pilot attrition is accelerating at the company

Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots, represented by the Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, have issued this statement:

Pilot attrition is accelerating at Allegiant Air as pilots, even senior captains with many years invested, have been leaving in increasing numbers for companies luring them with better and safer operations, better working conditions, better schedules and increased compensation and benefits packages.

A significant number of pilots have recently left and more indicate they are planning to leave Allegiant Air in pursuit of greener pastures. Flights have been cancelled and Allegiant Air continues to deploy sub service due to a lack of crews to fly their airplanes. The airline’s management and investors should equally be concerned with pilot attrition, as it has a direct impact on the operation.

Not only is Allegiant Air having trouble retaining qualified pilots, but the management team is struggling to replace the losses by attempting to hire from a dwindling pool of qualified candidates who, once exposed to the realities of employment at Allegiant Air and the difficult relationship with an anti-union management team, often elect to leave as well.

Even as the number of new hires replacing former pilots at the airline is steadily climbing, some new hires elect not to show up for training.

The accelerating loss of pilots is not a sustainable model for the company, it’s not favorable for shareholders, and it certainly doesn’t offer perks for the remaining pilots on payroll. Already flying full schedules, some of the remaining pilots are finding themselves forced into covering additional flights, keeping them away from home for weeks and even months at a time.

The pilots, and the union representing them, are urging the management team to address the underlying conditions at the root of the crew shortage.

“Addressing several key issues would go a long way towards stemming the company’s losses,” said Teamsters Local 1224 President Daniel Wells, speaking on behalf of the Allegiant Air pilots. “The Teamsters have presented the company with a comprehensive proposal, to which they have refused to reply. The proposal addresses key and legitimate concerns held by the Allegiant Air pilots. An honest effort by the company to reach an agreement during contract negotiations would have a positive effect, stem the unsustainable losses they are experiencing, and allow the company to succeed going forward.”

In August 2012 the pilots overwhelmingly voted for Teamster representation. Following the union vote, working conditions at Allegiant Air began to plummet. Many pilot benefits were reduced below prior negotiated levels, resulting in a lawsuit and a court-ordered injunction against the company which directed Allegiant Air to restore benefits to previous levels.

“We want to work with the management team at Allegiant Air to build an airline where pilots will want to come and stay,” said Wells. “It’s time to stop spending money fighting in Federal Court and blaming government regulatory agencies for operational challenges.”

The pilots have taken their concerns to management and repeatedly extended their assistance to help Allegiant Air become a sustainable, successful airline. However, offers for a team effort and support from the pilots are met with disregard and disdain.

The union has begun surveying pilots who are leaving Allegiant Air in order to best identify and trend the causal factors leading to a pilot’s decision to leave. As soon as enough statistical data has been documented to ensure sound statistics, the pilots intend to present the data to their management team in another effort to stem meaningful change.

The Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and represents nearly 4000 members among 11 air carriers that operate both passenger and cargo aircraft. Local 1224 is the certified bargaining unit that represents all flight crew members employed by ABX Air, Inc., Allegiant Air, Atlas Air, Inc., Brendan Airways, LLC, Horizon Air Industries, Inc., Hyannis Air Services, Inc., Kalitta Air, LLC, Kalitta Charters II, LLC, Miami Air International, Omni Air International, Silver Airways Corporation, and Southern Air, Inc.

Allegiant has not yet responded with a public statement.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N881GA (msn 49708) arrives at the Las Vegas base.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines resumes flights to its neighboring countries after taking Ebola virus precautions

Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) despite concerns about the spreading Ebola virus, has resumed regional flights to Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Dakar and Lomé. The flights were suspended in August due to fears the virus would spread further. A press release was issued by the government:

Equatorial Guinea has resumed regional flights to neighboring African countries by its national air carrier, Ceiba Intercontinental, after taking control measures to safeguard public health.

The temporary suspension of the Ceiba Intercontinental flights was a precautionary measure adopted by the government, but it resumed the flights after it obtained equipment to detect and confront a possible Ebola outbreak. The flights were resumed in order to break the isolation of the affected neighboring countries, which need commercial air service in order to receive supplies and maintain commercial ties with the rest of the continent.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has invested more than 1 million Euros in the acquisition of healthcare materials, including ambulatory hospitals, ambulances, thermographic cameras for the airports of Malabo and Bata, protection suits, disinfection material, waterproof boots, protection glasses and laser thermometers, among other articles, aimed at confronting a possible Ebola outbreak in the country. Two quarantine areas and specially equipped isolation chambers have also been prepared in the cities of Malabo and Bata.

After verifying the size of the current Ebola outbreak, which has already caused the deaths of some 2,400 persons, the Government of Equatorial Guinea created a special committee for the control and prevention of this disease, and has organized awareness tours on Ebola throughout the entire national territory.

Equatorial Guinea also made a gesture of solidarity to its neighbors earlier this month, when President Obiang announced the donation of 2 million U.S. dollars to the WHO as a grant for the programs to combat Ebola. He made the announcement during the ceremony to present the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinean Prize for Research in Life Sciences.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FB 3C-LLY (msn 41157) arrives at Paine Field on a test flight before its delivery.

Ceiba Intercontinental: AG Slide Show

Ceiba’s new logo: Ceiba Intercontinental logo

 

Flydubai to add two more routes to Africa

Flydubai (Dubai) has announced the launch of flights to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Flights to the East African country will commence in October, expanding the airline’s network in Africa to 12 destinations.

In other news, Flydubai’s inaugural flight to Moscow landed today (September 23) at Vnukovo International Airport.

Previously Flydubai’s inaugural flight to Almaty landed at Almaty International Airport on September 16 and was met too by a traditional water cannon salute. This marked the start of the airline’s operations to Kazakhstan.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN A6-FDZ (msn 40253) arrives back at the Dubai hub.

Flydubai: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to start Houston-San Francisco service on November 20

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) starting on November 20 will launch daily nonstop service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and San Francisco as the airline continues to add routes away its traditional Denver hub.

Frontier is a subsidiary and operating brand of Indigo Partners, LLC.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N919FR (msn 1980) with Lance, the Ocelot, approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Current Route Map:

Frontier (2nd) 9.2014 Route Map

American to restore service from LaGuardia Airport to Atlanta on January 6

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is resuming service from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Atlanta starting on January 6, 2015. The restored daily route will probably be operated by Envoy Air under the American Eagle brand with Bombardier CRJ700s according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Envoy Air’s Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N543EA arrives in Raleigh-Durham.

American Eagle-Envoy Air: AG Slide Show

 

Greenland Express suspends operations, hopes to reorganize with new investors

Greenland Express (Keflavik and Aalborg) has suspended operations according to this report by check-in.dk. The flights were being operated with a Fokker 100 operated by Denim Air (above) twice-weekly. The flights from Denmark were making a technical stop in Keflavik, Iceland which was adding to the costs incurred by the company. According to the report, the company intends to restart operations with new investors and will look at possibly using an Airbus A320 for nonstop flights to Greenland. Greenland Express will lease the aircraft directly from the leasing company.

Read the full report (inn Danish): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Denim Air’s Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) PH-MJP (msn 11505) prepares to taxi to the runway at Amsterdam.

The first Airbus A320neo to make its first flight on September 25, Airbus reportedly shrinks the size of one bathroom

Airbus (Toulouse) is planning to conduct the first flight for its new Airbus A320neo (new engine option) (above) on Thursday, September 25.

According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Airbus is redesigning the size of the A320neo lavatories because the company believes the bathrooms take up too much space (this is while people are getting bigger!). According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Airbus is shrinking the width of one of the bathrooms to make more room in other areas. Airbus did not respond to confirm the media report.

Are airplane bathrooms getting too small for the general population?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-271N F-WNEO (msn 6101) is pictured doing a taxi test at Toulouse with the distinctive NEO markings.

 

FedEx pilots to conduct informational picketing today

FedEx Express‘ (Memphis) 4,200 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing on Tuesday, September 23, in three cities to show, according to the union, “their continuing frustration with ongoing contract negotiations and their resolute support of their Negotiating Committee.”

Informational picketing will take place on Tuesday, September 23, at the following locations and times (all times are local):

Anchorage
Outside FedEx sorting facility at Ted Stevens
Anchorage Int’l Airport, corner of Postmark
Drive and Rockwell Avenue
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Los Angeles
Maguire Gardens (South Flower Street and
West 5th Street)
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Memphis
Outside FedEx Air Operations Center (3131
Democrat Road)
Noon to 12:30 p.m.

According to the union, “FedEx Express and its pilot group came to a historic collective bargaining agreement in 2011. What made this agreement historic was the commitment to continue bargaining so as to foster a more efficient negotiating climate when formal negotiations commenced in 2013 despite having achieved a contract. “There was a real opportunity to fix some difficult problems with well-developed long-term solutions and without the pressure that comes with traditional bargaining. Unfortunately, management chose a different route,” said Captain Scott Stratton, chairman of the ALPA FedEx Master Executive Council. “We should have had a new contract by now, but instead we have spent too much time mired in a ‘traditional’ bargaining situation that does not promote good labor-management relations. In spite of management’s actions, the pilots remain committed to achieving a responsible negotiated agreement that recognizes our contributions to FedEx’s remarkable profitability.”

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10F (DC-10-10F) N554FE (msn 46708) lands at Raleigh/Durham.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

IAG converts eight Airbus A330-200 options into firm orders for Iberia

Iberia A330-200 (13)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

IAG (British Airways and Iberia) (London) has decided to convert eight A330-200 options, previously announced, into firm orders for Spain’s flag carrier Iberia, which will become a new operator of the A330-200. The aircraft will be delivered from the end of 2015 and will be equipped with GE CF6 engines. Iberia’s all Airbus fleet already includes eight A330-300s.

Iberia today operates an all Airbus fleet, including 13 A319, 12 A320, 18 A321, 8 A330-300, 8 A340-300 and 17 A340-600. On August 1, 2014, the new A330s were announced alongside an order for eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft. In total they will replace 16 A340 family aircraft in Iberia’s long-haul fleet. The airline flies to more than a 100 destinations in 38 countries.

Image: Airbus.

Iberia: AG Slide Show

US Airways puts its first American branded Airbus A330 into revenue service

US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) has painted its first Airbus A330 in the American Airlines‘ 2013 livery. Airbus A330-323 N270AY (msn 315) was painted at Amarillo, Texas and was delivered to the Philadelphia hub on September 18, 2014. The first revenue service was from Philadelphia (PHL) to London (Heathrow) on September 19 followed by Venice on September 20.

The aircraft operated to Dublin, Ireland on September 21 arriving the next day. Today N270AY is pictured departing from Dublin for the return journey back to Philadelphia.

US Airways next will repaint the PSA heritage Airbus A319 with American titles.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Wizz Air to expand operations in Poland and Romania, considers larger A321s

Wizz Air (wizzair.com) (Hungary) (Budapest) in March 2015 is expanding operations in Poland per Airline Route. The airline will launch the following routes:

Gdansk to Hahn (near Frankfurt) (twice weekly) starting on March 31 and to Molde (twice weekly) on March 30

Katowice to Belfast (twice weekly) starting on March 31

Poznan to Malmo (twice weekly) starting on March 30

In other news, Wizz Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the University of Debrecen and Pharma-Flight Kft., to establish an ATO-certified pilot school for talented individuals willing to pursue a career in aviation. The four parties agreed on facilitating the launch of the flight training program at the Pharma-Flight International Science and Service Center in 2015. The airline will be involved in type-rating certification, supervision of the program syllabus, audit of the exam results and overall monitoring of the progress of the program. In case of satisfactory results, upon the completion of the course, Wizz Air will offer the young cadets placement at one of its bases for further training.

Additionally, Wizz Air has announced a sale and leaseback agreement with Goshawk Aviation Limited for seven new Airbus A320 aircraft. The airplanes are planned for delivery between November 2014 and June 2015. This is the first financing deal between the two parties.

Goshawk is an aircraft leasing vehicle managed by Investec Bank plc with capital from Investec and Asian institutional partners. With the Wizz Air transaction, Goshawk has over 30 aircraft either delivered or scheduled to be delivered over the next 12-15 months.

In Romania, Wizz Air announced further expansion in Romania. This news follows the announcement of 13 new routes and additional based aircraft in Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. The airline will deploy one new aircraft in Bucharest, bringing its fleet in Romania to 17 Airbus A320s, representing 29% capacity growth in 2015 year-on-year. The 9th Bucharest based aircraft will be delivered at the end of July 2015.

Wizz Air also announced operations from Iasi airport, which will take the number of airports served by Wizz inRomania to 8. The new services from Iasi to Treviso will begin on December 20, 2014, Iasi –Milan Bergamo on March 31, 2015 and a Iasi-London Luton service will start on June 14, 2015.

From Bucharest, Wizz Air launched new routes to Pescara and Skavsta (near Stockholm), commencing on July 27, as well as a summer route to Heraklion commencing on June 20.

With these new services, Wizz Air is now offering a combined total of 97 routes to 15 countries from its 8 Romanian airports. The airline has also increased frequencies on 22 of the most popular routes across its Romanian network.

Finally, according to the Wall Street Journal the low-fare airline is considering swapping future Airbus A320 deliveries for larger A321s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LWX (msn 6001) taxies at Sandefjord.

Wizz Air (Hungary): AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines to add two-class Airbus A321 service to Boston and Denver from Miami

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will start two-class Airbus A321 service from its Miami hub to both Boston and Denver starting on December 2 per Airline Route.

American has gradually been expanding A321 operations on the following routes:

Dallas/Fort Worth – Los Angeles

Dallas/Fort Worth – Orlando

Los Angeles – Las Vegas

Miami – Dallas/Fort Worth

Miami – Las Vegas

Miami – Los Angeles

Miami – Orlando

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 N108NN (msn 5946) departs from Los Angeles.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Air France’s pilots: the strike will continue, Air France: we will speed up the development of Transavia France

Air France (Paris) is still reeling from a week-long strike by its pilots. The flag carrier has only been able to fly a small portion of its flights due to the on-going strike. Today (September 22) the pilot’s union rejected the latest offer by management to end the strike.

Air France announced today it expects to operate 42 percent of its flights tomorrow (September 23) as the strike continue.

Today Air France also announced it will speed up the development of the lower-cost Transavia France (Paris) with this announcement:

The pilots’ strike has been disrupting flight operations for seven days now, with catastrophic consequences for the Company’s customers, staff and financial situation. Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey wish once again to thank all staff who have rallied round in France and around the world to support and assist customers in this unprecedented situation. The Company wishes once again to present its sincere apologies to its customers.

This strike generates an operating loss of up to 20 million euros per day, plus customer compensations and the impact of the gradual recovery in traffic in the days following the return to normal operations. Once the dispute is over, the Group will update its EBITDA target for the 2014 financial year.

Negotiations with the pilot unions, notably the SNPL, have taken place daily. Since the beginning of the strike action, Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey have spent over 40 hours in meetings with pilot representatives. Every day, they have been submitting new constructive proposals to resolve this conflict. On their part, the pilot unions have not put forward any proposal demonstrating their willingness to find a solution.

Management can only note that talks have reached a deadlock situation.

Management also wishes to reassert that Air France-KLM’s development on the low-cost market in Europe is both strategic and urgent for the Group’s future, given that this market is fast-expanding and our competitors have adopted particularly offensive strategies on the French market.

The ambition set out in the Perform 2020 growth and competitiveness plan remains intact. The pilot unions have stigmatized the Transavia project by fuelling unfounded fears of “delocalization” and “social dumping”, which have never been at stake. Management regrets these mistaken interpretations, but has taken note of the concerns expressed.

Alexandre de Juniac, Frédéric Gagey and the managerial teams have since taken the following measures:

Postponing the plan to create Transavia subsidiaries in Europe (outside France and the Netherlands), while entering into extended talks about the project and building together the necessary guarantees by the end of the year.

A comprehensive negotiation and explanatory process with Air France and KLM unions will be set up. As for Air France, this process will begin as soon as the next Central Works Council meeting takes place, scheduled for September 25, 2014.
FASTER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSAVIA PROJECT IN FRANCE

The expansion of Transavia in France is vital for Air France, notably in order to defend the Group’s position at Orly Airport, as highlighted by the experts’ report published in July 2014 and supported by the SNPL. It is now urgent to implement this plan.

The project was presented to the unions of each staff category over a year ago, but was not finalized within the framework of the talks underway. The pilot unions’ demand to use, on the Transavia network, Air France pilots employed under Air France conditions and to replace the existing 44 Boeing 737s by Airbus A320s, would inevitably lead Transavia France to failure. The compromise solutions proposed by management have all been rejected.

In these conditions, if the pilot organizations do not agree to the economic and social terms and conditions of the project put forward, Management will be forced to begin the formal procedure for denouncing the agreement to create Transavia France (signed in 2007). This agreement currently restricts the development of Transavia France; its withdrawal will make it possible to implement the project more quickly.

The aim is to rapidly equip Transavia in France with additional aircraft beyond the 14 currently in the fleet. It should be remembered that this project included the creation of a thousand jobs over the next 5 years, including 250 jobs for French pilots. It will now be possible to hire staff faster. The project will, as expected, be primarily open to Air France pilots on a voluntary basis.

Moreover, Management confirms that the development of Transavia in France is not intended to impact Point to Point activity on the French domestic network. Transavia will not feed the Air France hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

“To remain in the race in Europe, we have no alternative than to rapidly expand Transavia. We are now taking every measure to explain and accelerate its growth out of France. The Air France-KLM Group is reaffirming its aim of reaching a fleet of more than 100 Transavia aircraft by 2017,” said Alexandre de Juniac. Frédéric Gagey continued: “These decisions must enable us to restore calm within the company and end the strike that has lasted too long for Air France, its customers and its staff.”

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Operations at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) will remain under the Air France brand but flights to Orly Airport will increasing be under the Transavia brand. With the expedited expansion of Transavia France the subsidiary is likely to get a new look. Airbus A319-111 F-GRHV (msn 1505) taxies at Nantes.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Transavia France: AG Slide Show

Current routes from Paris (Orly) by Transavia France:

Transavia France 9.2014 Route Map

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHC (msn 29651) wears the 2005 livery of the Dutch version of the original Transavia Airlines.

 

QANTAS Link to start nonstop flights from Brisbane to Hamilton Island

QANTAS Link (Sunstate Airlines) (Brisbane) has announced it will start nonstop flights between Brisbane and Hamilton Island with four weekly roundtrips with 74-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft. The new route will launch on November 28 at the start of the summer season.

The QANTAS Group offers 40 roundtrip services a week to Hamilton Island from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Cairns.

Copyright Photo: Peter Gates/AirlinersGallery.com. Sunstate Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-LQF (msn 4375) prepares to depart from Brisbane.

QANTAS Link-Sunstate Airlines: AG Slide Show

Google Map: Hamilton Island is located off the tropical Queensland coast near the Great Barrier Reef.

Map - Hamilton Island

QANTAS – QANTAS Link routes from Brisbane:

QANTAS-QANTAS LINK 9.2014 BRISBANE ROUTE MAP

Video: Behind the scenes:

 

Aircalin rebrands its fleet with this beautiful island look

Aircalin (Noumea) announced this new look on July 1, 2014. The first aircraft with the new look is the pictured Airbus A320-232 F-OZNC (msn 3547) arriving at Sydney. F-OZNC was leased from AerCap on July 16, 2014 and arrived in the islands in early August. The French registration is a combination of OZ (for Australia) and NC for New Caledonia where it mainly operates. The aircraft is now flying to Australia.

According to the airline, the “introduction of the heart-shaped logo was adopted by the three Provincial Tourism Boards. Seizing the opportunity offered by work on its new aircraft, Aircalin decided to revisit and refresh its livery design.”

The airline continued, “The two A330 aircraft will be repainted one after another when they undergo their Heavy Maintenance Checks scheduled over the period from August 16 and October 28, 2014. And finally, in 2015, the second A320 will also undergo its Heavy Maintenance Check and emerge with the new livery design.”

Aircalin fleet in the new look

Aircalin has chartered an Air Tahiti Nui Airbus 340 to replace the two A330s while they are undergoing maintenance.

According to Aircalin, Local PR and communications agency White Rabbit created the livery concept in line with rigorous specifications laid down by Aircalin: “To complement our new cabins, we need to give our aircraft a powerful visual identity designed to encapsulate and project the essence of New Caledonia abroad and to strike a strong chord with New Caledonians.”

Aircalin 2014 livery explanation

Aircalin currently operates two Airbus A330-200s, two Airbus A320-200s and two de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otters.

Aircalin flies to 11 destinations: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Nadi, Port Vila, Wallis, Futuna, Papeete, Osaka and Tokyo.

Route Map:

Aircalin 9.2014 route map

Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com.

Aircalin: AG Slide Show

Aircalin Video:

flyVista gets ready to add its first Airbus A320

flyVista (Tbilisi, Georgia) as previously reported,  commenced scheduled passenger operations on August 4, 2014 with Boeing 737-33R 4L-AJC (msn 28873). Now the new carrier is getting ready to add an Airbus A320.

According to the airline, “flyVista is a low cost carrier operating as the brand of Vista Georgia which is certified by Georgia’s civil aviation authority and follows its strict safety regulations. Starting in summer 2014, flyVista will be providing customers with safe and affordable scheduled flights to neighboring countries from its base in Tbilisi, Georgia. At flyVista the emphasis is not only on safety but also on providing its passengers with an enjoyable flight within its network. flyvista was established as the scheduled airline brand of Vista Georgia which is strategically partnered with Aerovista.”

The airline currently flies from Tbilisi to Almaty, Kiev and Tehran.

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A320-214 OE-ICW (msn 879) will become 4L-AJD when it is leased from GECAS. Previously the airframe was leased by Iberworld (EC-GZD), Spring Airlines (B-6258) and Senegal Airlines (6V-AII).

You can have the 1970s “Pan Am Experience” at Air Hollywood

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience photo

Air Hollywood, the studio in Hollywood where many movies involving airliners are filmed, is now offering the “Pan Am Experience” to help “passengers” relive the golden age of air travel  on the original Pan Am of the 1970s. Prices range from $297 for the First Class experience and $197 for Clipper Class. The “experience” never leaves the ground, it occurs inside the mock Boeing 747 cabin that is used for making movies. Air Hollywood describes the experience:

Air Hollywood logo

From its birth in 1927, Pan American Airways was the pioneer airline whose routes spanned 6 continents and more than 80 countries. Almost a century later, the name Pan Am is still a very powerful brand, and inside this Southern California motion picture studio sits an exact replica of the airline’s Boeing 747 and everything that made it so special.

Your Pan Am experience starts on the main deck with a cocktail and beverage service in the First Class cabin. Each stewardess that greets you will be adorned in her original 1970’s Pan Am uniform. Our Pan Am crew will offer various video & audio selections while you sit back in your Pan Am Sleeperette seat and sip a cocktail.

Soon after, you’ll climb the winding staircase where the crew will set your table for a truly memorable dining event. In classic Pan Am style, you’ll be offered your favorite cocktail and served a delightful gourmet meal. Everything from the china to the glassware is authentic with careful attention to the exquisite service delivery of the era and menu offerings of Pan Am.

After dinner, you will have an opportunity to view the vast collection of airline memorabilia and view other film production sets.

For the first time since Pan Am ceased operations, you can now relive the magic of this golden era in travel. We cordially invite you to personally experience this unique “flying” opportunity in the tradition of Pan Am.

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience cabin

Prices:

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience Prices

All photos above by Air Hollywood.

For more information: CLICK HERE

Pan Am (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-121 N751PA (msn 19655) “Clipper Midnight Sun” displays the classic 1976 livery of the first and original Pan Am.

Delta to suspend the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo Haneda route for the winter

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will suspend for the winter season the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo (Haneda) route on October 1 per Airline Route. The route will be restored on March 29, 2015.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N185DN (msn 27961) climbs away from London Heathrow Airport.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

 

Ethiopian Airlines orders 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Ethiopian 737 MAX 8 (03)(Flt)(Boeing)(LRW)

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have announced an order for 20 737 MAX 8s. The order, previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website, is worth more than $2.1 billion at list prices and also includes options and purchase rights for a further 15 737 MAX 8s. The order represents the largest single Boeing order by number of airplanes from an African carrier.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX has a total of 2,294 orders from 47 customers worldwide.

Ethiopian currently serves more than 83 destinations across five continents from its base at Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian flag carrier’s partnership with Boeing has existed for more than half a century, with a current fleet of more than 50 Boeing airplanes that includes Next-Generation 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, 787 Dreamliners and a cargo fleet of 757s, 777 Freighters and MD-11s.

Image: Boeing.

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aegean Airlines adds more routes for the winter and next summer

Aegean Airlines (Athens) is adding more destinations and frequencies to its existing network. Aegean has announced the operation of nine additional international flights from Athens, compared to the winter of 2013.

Aegean will also extend the operation of 8 summer seasonal flights into the winter period. The airline will also resume flights from Athens to Cairo. The winter timetable will operate from October 26, 2014 until March 28, 2015.

2014 summer flights from Athens to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Manchester, Zurich and Marseille will be continued into the winter season.

During the winter season, beginning on October 26, Aegean will continue to operate flights to Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Amman, while the company will resume flights to Cairo after a three year hiatus.

The company is also increasing the frequencies on routes from Athens to Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Rome and Tel Aviv.

Aegean will also increase the size of its fleet with the order of seven new Airbus A320s, equipped with the new “Sharklets” on their wings, which will be delivered directly from the manufacturer. The deliveries of the seven new aircraft will begin in June 2015 and will be completed in early 2016.

Aegean currently operates 205 international routes, from its eight Greek bases.

Increased frequencies on existing routes:

Athens – Barcelona from 3 to 4 weekly,
Athens – Berlin from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Budapest from 2 to 3 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Dusseldorf from 2 to 4 weekly
Athens – Geneva from 3 to 4 weekly
Athens – Vienna from 4 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Tel Aviv from 5 to 6 weekly
Athens – Prague from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Warsaw from 4 to 5 weekly
Athens – Rome from 9 to 12 weekly

For the Summer 2015 schedule, the airline will launch of 23 new routes. These new routes are mainly focusing on Corfu, Irakleion and Rhodes according to Airline Route.

Planned new summer service:

From Corfu to Paris and Rome

From Heraklion to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Geneva, Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen), London (Gatwick), Metz, Milan (Malpensa), Nantes, Prague, Rome (Fiumicino), Stockholm (Arlanda), Stuttgart and Toulouse

From Rhodes to Amsterdam, Geneva, Larnaca, Lyon, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv and Vienna

Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVJ (msn 3365) departs from London (Stansted).

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aegean is celebrating this award from Skytrax:

Aegean FA-Best Regional (Aegean)(LRW)

 

American Airlines and the Association of Professsional Flight Attendants reach a tentative agreement on a new contract

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new joint collective bargaining agreement covering more than 24,000 flight attendants.

“We are building an airline that will compete aggressively in a global marketplace. Today’s tentative agreement with our flight attendants is another step forward in our integration,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “We thank the APFA and the union negotiation team for their leadership and professionalism in representing their 24,000 members. Jim Mackenzie of the National Mediation Board also played a key role and we are grateful for his leadership.”

APFA will be communicating details of the tentative agreement directly to their membership, which will then go to the combined flight attendant membership for a ratification vote.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N753AN (msn 30261) climbs gracefully away from London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

EgyptAir to end Manchester service on October 25

EgyptAir (Cairo) will end Cairo-Manchester service on October 25 per Airline Route. The route is operated five days a week.

The route, served by Boeing 737-800s, started on June 1, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-866 SU-GDD (msn 35566) prepares to touch down in Brussels.

EgyptAir: AG Slide Show

AeroLogic adds a new route to Hong Kong

AeroLogic (Leipzig/Halle) on October 26 will add a new weekly cargo route from Frankfurt to Hong Kong via Ashgabat. The return flight will operate nonstop per Airline Route.

The company was established as a joint venture by Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Deutsche Post Beteiligungen Holding AG. The respective companies of the shareholders entrusted Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express with the operational responsibility.

AeroLogic has its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC), its own traffic rights, and is responsible for all airline operations including aircraft, pilots and network.

The route network includes more than 20 destinations in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia and North America. During the week, AeroLogic mainly flies to Asia within the express network of DHL Express, and on the weekend to the USA within the network of Lufthansa Cargo respectively.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FZN D-AALC (msn 36003) taxies at Paine Field in Everett.

AeroLogic: AG Slide Show

Video:

Jin Air to introduce the Boeing 777 on the Guam route on December 22

Jin Air logo (large)

Jin Air (Seoul) is planning to introduce the Boeing 777-200 ER on the daily Seoul (Incheon)-Guam route on December 12 per Airline Route. It is unclear if Jin Air will be the operator or will sub out the flying.

Jin Air: AG Slide Show

Current Route Map:

Jin Air 9.2014 Route Map

Gol considers buying Embraer E2 jets

Gol logo

Gol Transportes Aereos (Sao Paulo) has announced is studying the possibility of buying the new Embraer E2 jets, which will be available starting in 2018. These aircraft would be an option for its less dense routes that cannot support 130 to 140 seats. The company will eventually disclosure to the market if, and when, it decides to proceed.

Gol: AG Slide Show

Image: Embraer.

 

Embraer E175-E2 (Flt)(Embraer)(LRW)

IranAir to retire its last Boeing 747SP on November 23

IranAir (Tehran) is the last passenger airline operator of the Boeing 747SP in the world. The flag carrier will offer a final farewell flight over Tehran on November 23. The Jumbo is currently operating between Tehran (Imam Khomeini International Airport) and Kuala Lumpur.

45 Boeing 747SPs (Special Performance) were built between 1974 and 1989 by Boeing. The “Stubby Jumbo” specialized in long, usually thin, routes in the early years.

In other news, IranAir will resume weekly Tehran-Moscow (Sheremetyevo) service on September 23 with Airbus A320s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SP-86 EP-IAC (msn 21093) will operate the last flight. EP-IAC is pictured in the original 1962 markings arriving at Paris (Orly). EP-IAC was delivered new to IranAir on May 27, 1977.

Boeing 747SP Slide Show: AG Slide Show

IranAir: AG Slide Show

KLM to retire its last McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on November 11 with a special “farewell flight”

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) is the last passenger operator of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. KLM operated 10 285-seat MD-11s. Each MD-11 was named after famous women in history.

The airline will operate its last regularly scheduled revenue passenger flight on October 25 between Montreal (Trudeau) and Amsterdam. KLM has also announced an one hour farewell flight for $139 on November 11 from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

More form KLM: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The MD-11s are currently being operated to both Toronto and Montreal. MD-11 PH-KCB (msn 48556) departs from Toronto (Pearson) bound for the Amsterdam hub.

KLM: AG Slide Show

 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opens its extended south runway

FLL Extended Runway 10R-28L (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) yesterday (September 18) opened its rebuilt and extended south runway, 10R-28L. JetBlue Airways flight 1028 was the first flight to landed on the longer runway.

Copyright Photo: FLL.

Air China to increase the Beijing-London Heathrow route to double daily

Air China (Beijing), to meet market demand, starting October 26, 2014, will increase its Beijing – London (Heathrow International Airport) service to two daily flights.

The newly added flights are flights CA855/6. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 14:30 and arrives in London at 17:50 local time. The inbound flight departs from London at 20:25 local time and arrives in Beijing at 14:45 Beijing time. The original daily flights CA937/8 are operated as normal – the outbound flight leaves Beijing at 12:30, and the inbound flight departs from London at 17:40.

After the schedule expansion, the Beijing – London (Heathrow) service as a whole is operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Its Business Class is configured with 180-degree full-flat seats whose ergonomic design can fully meet the needs of premium business travelers looking to have a fortifying rest during the flight. All classes of service are outfitted with personal entertainment system (AVOD) and power sockets, keeping passengers entertained for the duration of the flight. In addition, on its China-Europe routes, Air China also offers such services as seasonal healthy meals and chauffeured transfers for VIP passengers.

As a member carrier of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline network, Air China has been actively expanding its European route network. Currently, Europe has become Air China’s largest overseas market, and Air China now operates over 100 flights between China and Europe a week, enabling passengers to travel from Beijing nonstop to 20 European cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Moscow and Madrid. At the same time, relying on the extensive route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can easily fly passengers to 1,328 destinations in 195 countries.

Air China issued this statement on the arrival of the pictured B-2006 in Beijing:

Air China’s aircraft which sports the “Air China Loves China” color scheme arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport on September 28, Beijing time, and September 29 marks the day of its maiden flight CA 1501 Beijing – Shanghai. After that, it will be operated on routes Beijing-Shanghai/Guangzhou.

The background color of the new artwork is white. The aircraft’s tail is emblazoned with the “Air China Loves China” design, which is a nod to the red national flag painted on the nose. The fuselage is adorned with patterns of red silk, a Chinese cultural element, symbolizing the bond between Air China and China and highlighting the joyous celebration of China’s National Day. The letter “C” in the word “CHINA” is designed in such an artistic way as to wrap the character “love”, conveying to people of Chinese descent around the world the key message that Air China loves China.

According to an Air China executive, Air China’s predecessor was Civil Aviation Administration of China Beijing Branch established on January 1, 1955. Air China’s development in the past nearly 60 years is nothing short of a microcosm of the growing prosperity of the nation. The carrier has gone international and has joined the ranks of the world’s finest airlines. Therefore, the new color scheme worn by the aircraft is intended to express Air China’s congratulations to the mother country. To create an atmosphere of festivity, during the National Day Air China will also place an outdoor billboard and use baggage stickers, boarding passes and vehicle stickers that carry the “Air China Loves China” design to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of the republic.

Since the first Boeing 777-300 ER of China’s airline industry was put into service by Air China in July 2011, the type has been very popular with travelers. Today, Boeing 777-300 ER has become the leading type on Air China’s key international routes to European and American cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, Vancouver, Frankfurt and Paris and hot domestic routes from Beijing to Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. Of long-range twin-engine jets, Boeing 777-300 ER widebody aircraft has many pluses in terms of both range and passenger capacity. It is more fuel efficient and quieter, aligned with the universally endorsed concept of green flight. AirChina has always been committed to providing better flying space and wonderful travel experience for passengers. On Air China’s Boeing 777-300 ER, ultra-large First Class seats can accommodate 2 people having a meal at the same time; Business Class seats can become full-flat beds; Economy Class seats are designed based on ergonomic principles. First Class and Business Class passengers can have exclusive access to the Central Bar. All classes of service are outfitted with personal entertainment system, power outlets and barrier-free toilets. The mood lighting system can mimic wonderful moments in a day from sunrise to sunset. Boeing 777-300ER has become the preferred choice of business travelers, and is playing an important role in helping Air China expand its presence in the international market.

According to industry experts, Chinese airlines are renewing their fleet of long-range aircraft. With their state-of-the-art technologies and amenities, widebodies like Boeing 777-300 ER and Boeing 747-8 will become the leading types that will help Chinese airlines make inroads into long-haul international markets. In recent years, Air China has seen the number of widebodies delivered to it and the number of its international long-haul routes increasing rapidly, far ahead of the competition. By June 2014, Air China had a fleet of 512 aircraft of Boeing and Airbus families (including those operated by the companies Air China has a stake in). These aircraft are 6.22 years old on average. AirChina has the youngest fleet in China and a reasonable fleet structure featuring both long-range and medium-range aircraft. New aircraft additions will help further extend Air China’s route network.

It is reported in October, Air China’s newly delivered Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental widebody will be put into service. It is anticipated that by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan, Air China’s fleet (including the aircraft of the companies in which Air China has a stake in) will have reached about 665 aircraft. In the future, Air China will continue to introduce highly efficient, well-performing widebodies like Boeing 787-9 and Airbus 350. By the end of 2015, Air China will have received the delivery of 7 Boeing 747-8s, offering passengers pleasant travel experiences. At present, Air China has become an airline that offers services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It operates 323 passenger routes, serving 162 cities in 32 countries (regions). Relying on the route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can fly passengers to 1328 destinations in 195 countries.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-39L ER B-2006 (msn 44931) is decorated in a special “Love China” motif and is pictured after its first flight on September 16, 2014. B-2006 is the last of an initial order of 20 stretched Triple Sevens. B-2006 was handed over on Friday, September 26.

Air China: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways flight 1416 makes a safe landing at Long Beach with smoke in the cabin

JetBlue flight 1416 LGB

JetBlue Airways (New York) flight 1416 from Long Beach to Austin, Texas today (September 18) declared an emergency after the number two engine failed 10 minutes into the flight. Flight 1416 returned to LGB and made a safe landing after smoke was detected in the cockpit and the cabin. The Airbus A320-232 N656JB (msn 3091) came to a safe landing on runway 30. The cockpit crew popped the chutes and the 147 passengers and crew members exited the aircraft. Four people reportedly suffered minor injuries exiting the aircraft.

Read the full report from ABC 7: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

On September 18, the flight crew aboard flight 1416 reported an issue with the number two engine and returned to Long Beach Airport. The airplane landed safely, and all customers and crew have evacuated via slides with no reported injuries at this time. While the runway at Long Beach is closed, inbound flights are being directed to nearby airports.

UPDATE 11:00 PST

The aircraft has moved from the impacted runway, and flights will be resuming from runway 12/30. An area crewmember has accompanied one customer who requested transport to an area hospital for observation. We’re working with customers for re-accommodation on alternate flights.

Twitter photo by Melanie Lawson.

Dave Barger to exit JetBlue Airways, Robin Hayes becomes the new CEO

JetBlue logo

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced that Robin Hayes, the company’s current President, will succeed Dave Barger as Chief Executive Officer, effective February 16, 2015. Barger will serve on the JetBlue Board of Directors until February 15, 2015, and Hayes is expected to join the Board on February 16, 2015.

Barger said, “Helping to found and lead JetBlue has been the experience of a lifetime. We set out to create a better airline, and through our commitment to that simple goal, the people of JetBlue succeeded in establishing a new standard for value and customer service in our industry. I have been looking for the right time to take the next step in my life for a while, and my decision was ultimately determined by the strong state of the company and my absolute confidence in Robin’s leadership. I want to thank Robin and all of our crewmembers. With their incredible passion and dedication, I know that JetBlue’s best days are ahead.”

Prior to joining JetBlue, Hayes was British Airways’ Executive Vice President for The Americas. Over the span of a 19-year career with British Airways, he also served as Area General Manager for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Hayes is a graduate in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. He received a BSc and a master’s in engineering from the university.

Chairman of the Board Joe Peterson wrote this on the JetBlue blog:

One of the best things about being Chairman of JetBlue is having the privilege to share exciting new developments with the JetBlue community. Today, we are announcing the details of our CEO succession plan. Robin Hayes, our current President, will succeed Dave Barger as CEO of JetBlue, effective February 16, 2015.

After more than 16 years with the company, Dave has decided to take the next step in his life. As a founder of the company and its CEO for the past seven years, Dave has been a driving force in building JetBlue into an industry leader and one of the world’s great brands. We will all miss working with Dave.

At the same time, we are delighted to name Robin as Dave’s successor. During the six years Robin has worked with Dave, the Board, and our leadership team, he has proven himself to be a highly effective, collaborative leader. At a company like JetBlue, these are crucial attributes. It is a testament to the strength of this organization that, as young as we are, we have such a deep bench of exceptional talent. In addition to knowing the industry inside and out, Robin and the rest of our leadership team are steeped in our unique culture and know it is what makes JetBlue great.

Competition in the airline industry continues to intensify, but we are confident JetBlue will continue to grow profitably while preserving what makes it special in the eyes of customers and crewmembers. Under Robin’s leadership, the company will maintain its operational focus on safety and efficiency while continuing to expand its network in underserved markets and launch new product initiatives – like Mint and Fly-Fi – to create value for shareholders by enhancing the JetBlue Experience for customers. Dave, Robin and the Board all agree that continued evolution – which has been the key to our success – remains the path to long-term success for our company. In fact, Robin set many of these strategies in motion while Chief Commercial Officer at JetBlue, from developing a robust network growth plan which provided geographic diversity to continuing our disruptive nature with JetBlue’s answer to the transcontinental gap – Mint.

This transition in leadership marks another important milestone in JetBlue’s exciting journey. The Board and I thank Dave for everything he has done to make JetBlue what it is today, and we congratulate Robin on this appointment. We look forward to working together to continue building one of the world’s great airlines.

Will the change at JetBlue mean more fees and a higher profit? Bloomberg Businessweek explores this question: CLICK HERE

Is JetBlue being too nice to its customers? The Motley Fool looks at the issue of more fees for the carrier: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo Below: JetBlue Airways. Left to right: Outgoing CEO Dave Barger, incoming CEO Robin Hayes and Joel Peterson, Chairman of the JetBlue Board of Directors.

JetBlue Dave Barger, Robin Hayes, Joel Petersen

QANTAS Airways to operate the last Boeing 767 revenue flight on December 27

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will retire its last Boeing 767 on December 27 per Airline Route and confirmed by the airline. The last flight, flight QH 490, will operate from Melbourne to Sydney. The company retired the type from international service on September 14 when it was replaced on the Honolulu route. The Boeing 767-300 currently only operates on domestic routes.

QANTAS introduced the smaller Boeing 767-200 in 1985. The first 767-238 ER (VH-EAJ) was delivered on July 3, 1985.

The first Boeing 767-338 ER (VH-OGA) was handed over to the company on August 30, 1988.

Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Several of the 767s were used for promotional reasons. Boeing 767-338 ER VH-OGG (msn 24929) in 2013 promoted the Disney’s Plane movie. VH-OGG arrives at the Sydney hub.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show
AG Banner Taglines Website by photographers 1800

 

British Airways to resume flights to Kuala Lumpur on May 27, 2015

British Airways (London) will restore service to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia starting on May 27, 2015 from London (Heathrow). The daily route will be operated with Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft per Airline Route. The weakness of Malaysia Airlines flights probably led to the decision to restore the route.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-236 ER G-YMMA (msn 30302) gracefully climbs away from London (Heathrow Airport).

British Airways: AG Slide Show
AG Banner Taglines A gallery 1800

Frontier Airlines to add three new routes from Phoenix

Frontier Airlines (2nd) has selected Phoenix for more new routes as it continues to build its network away from its traditional Denver hub. The low-fare airline on November 20 will add new routes from Phoenix to Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Salt Lake City and San Francisco per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N902FR (msn 1515) with “Woody”, the Wood Duck, on the tail, taxies to the runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to charge $25 for the first checked bag on economy tickets on domestic flights

Air Canada (Montreal) is following the actions of WestJet (Calgary) and will now charge for the first checked bag on domestic flights flying on Economy Class Tango fare. The airline issued this statement:

Air Canada said today that it has adjusted its first checked bag policy for North American travel to align it with prevailing North American industry practices. The carrier’s fee for a first checked bag on U.S. transborder routes, in place since 2011, remains unchanged.

Starting September 18, 2014, customers purchasing Air Canada’s lowest Economy Class Tango fare for travel on or after November 2, 2014 on domestic flights within Canada and to and from the Caribbean and Mexico will now be charged $25 for a first checked bag, in line with the baggage allowance policies of other North American carriers. This change is expected to affect an estimated one in five Air Canada passengers on domestic flights within Canada, representing approximately five per cent of the airline’s customers system-wide.

The fee for a first checked bag does not apply to Economy Class tickets purchased using Flex and Latitude fares that offer additional flexibility. In addition, the first checked bag fee does not apply to Altitude Prestige, Elite and Super Elite members, Star Alliance Silver and Gold members and customers purchasing Air Canada Vacations packages. Business Class customers continue to receive an allowance of two checked bags, and military personnel (with identification) up to three checked bags, regardless of destination. Air Canada’s baggage allowance policy continues to allow for a car seat and stroller to be checked as additional pieces of baggage free of charge.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRH (msn 073) arrives at Montreal (Trudeau) in the Star Alliance color scheme.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines today starts nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Albuquerque flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (September 18) started daily nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Albuquerque, the multi-cultural metropolis of New Mexico.

Upcoming, the carrier will start nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun flights on November 6.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N583AS (msn 35681) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Washington’ Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Brussels Airlines to retire the last BAe RJ85 tomorrow

Brussels Airlines (Brussels) is planning to phase out its last BAe (Avro) RJ85 tomorrow (September 19). The last flight is scheduled to be a roundtrip flight from Brussels to Stockholm (Bromma) and return. The last flight will be flown with the pictured OO-DJP (msn E2287). After the retirement, Brussels will continue to operate 12 BAe (Avro) RJ100s.

In other news, the company is now using a new tagline:

“The new tagline ‘We Go The Extra Smile’ expresses this mission and the airline no longer speaks about passengers, but calls them ‘guests’ instead.”

The airline appears to also be heading towards a new livery with this short statement:

“Brussels Airlines has teamed up with marketing agency TBWA, who have worked out a fresh new style for the airline, with new colors which will be used in all future campaigns.”

Meanwhile the airline is reporting an increase in traffic in August and released this statement:

“Brussels Airlines registered a very strong passenger growth of 19.1% during the month of August. In total, the airline welcomed over 100,000 passengers more compared to the same month last year. The seat load factor rose by 4.4 percentage points to 81.5%.
A total of 622,845 passengers opted for a European or intercontinental Brussels Airlines flight last month. That’s 100,055 more passengers than in August 2013. The strong growth is due to the expansion of the flight offer to Mediterranean summer destinations, the highly competitive ticket fares and the increase in the number of connecting passengers (intra-European and European-intercontinental). With this increase, Brussels Airlines follows the general growth trend registered by Brussels Airport.

Out of the 622,845 passengers, 520,422 flew to short or medium-haul destinations and 102,423 boarded a flight to or from the US or Africa.

The growth trend, which Brussels Airlnes has continuously registered since the beginning of the year, has also led to a higher overall seat load factor. The passenger load factor grew by 4.4 percentage points to 81.5%, a record in the history of the airline.

In addition to its scheduled flight activity, Brussels Airlines operated many holiday flights for tour operators, meeting and incentive agencies and sports clubs. The most important event last month was without a doubt Red Devils flight ‘SN2014’.”

Top Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. OO-DJP arrives back at the Brussels base.

Brussels Airlines: AG Slide Show
AG Banner Taglines A gallery 1800

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines. The airline will soon introduce a new look.

Brussels Airlines tails (Brussels)(LRW)

Swiss orders 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft + 10 options

Airbus (Toulouse) has confirmed the previous report from the Lufthansa Group that Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has placed a firm order for 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. Here is the short statement from Airbus:

Lufthansa Group’s supervisory board has announced that Swiss, a member-airline of the Group, will expand its Airbus A320 fleet with a firm order for 15 A320neo aircraft, plus an additional ten of the type to be confirmed at a later stage. The fuel-efficient NEO-fleet will gradually renew and replace Swiss’ existing fleet of A320 Family aircraft.

Related to this, Airbus also confirmed Lufthansa Group’s firm order for ten A320ceo aircraft for its subsidiary Eurowings. The new aircraft will become the backbone of the new low cost business model announced by the Lufthansa Group in July 2014, which foresees Eurowings operations on direct connections within Europe.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The newer A320neo aircraft will replace the older A320s like Airbus A320-214 HB-IJX (msn 1762) arriving at Zurich.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

AG: AG Banner Taglines No Ads! 1800

EasyJet orders 27 additional Airbus A320s

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has placed an order for 27 additional current engine option Airbus A320s, taking its combined total order for the type to 315 aircraft.

Currently EasyJet operates a fleet of some 225 A320 Family aircraft. In June 2013, EasyJet became a customer for the A320neo, with an order for 100 aircraft. Altogether, with this latest order, EasyJet’s combined total order for all members of the A320 Family rises to 415 aircraft.

EasyJet is the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe and operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks. The airline is the UK’s largest by numbers of passengers carried.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWU (msn 6095) holds shot of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

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Delta to bring back nonstop seasonal service to Liberia, Costa Rica, will expand flights to Punta Cana

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will bring back its nonstop seasonal service connecting Liberia, Costa Rica with Los Angeles and the airline’s hubs in Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York-JFK. Additionally, seasonal service between San Jose and Minneapolis/St. Paul will be reinstated.

Delta continues its expansion in Costa Rica, operating 40 weekly services during the peak season and connecting the cities of San Jose and Liberia with key destinations in the United States.

In other news, Delta will expand its service to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic during the high demand season, including flights from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York-JFK.

Flights will be operated using Airbus A320 and Airbus A319 aircraft and will complement existing Delta service to this luxury Caribbean destination.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 N322NB (msn 1434) takes off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show
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Aloha Air Cargo to acquire a Boeing 767-300F and launch cargo flights to Los Angeles

Aloha Air Cargo logo copy

Aloha Air Cargo (Honolulu) is breaking out of the inter-Hawaii market. The company has announced it will acquire a Boeing 767-300F freighter and launch services to Los Angeles on October 23. The airline issued this statement:

Aloha Air Cargo is expanding their air cargo service with the addition of a direct, wide-body Boeing 767-300F aircraft from Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL). The new, five-times weekly roundtrip flight is scheduled to begin service October 23, 2014 adding needed capacity into and out of Los Angeles, CA. The new air cargo service will be geared toward freight forwarders, consolidators, passenger carrier partners, and businesses looking to sync up with Aloha’s existing interisland network, for seamless movement of through cargo shipments to the Neighboring Hawaiian Islands.

Aloha Air Cargo will be operating a Boeing 767-300F, with a maximum payload of 125,000 pounds, from Los Angeles International Airport on a Tuesday through Saturday rotation, departing at 2 am (0200) PST, and arriving into Honolulu International Airport at approximately 5 am HST (0500). Return flights will operate Monday through Friday, departing Honolulu at 2:30 pm HST (1430) and arriving into Los Angeles at approximately 10:45 pm PST (2245).

The flight will significantly increase Aloha’s domestic capacity between North America and the Pacific region, and improve service reliability and frequency for onward shipments into Kailua-Kona (KOA), Kahului (OGG), and across the State of Hawaii. Likewise, the wide-body capability will further strengthen the platform and service performance that the Aloha network offers customers and carriers shipping from Asia to the Americas.

Aloha Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

Current Route Map:

Aloha Air Cargo 9.2014 route map

Etihad Airways to introduce a special livery with its first Airbus A380, here is a clue

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has 10 new Airbus A380-800s on order. The airline is intending to introduce a new special livery (or a new color scheme for the fleet?) with the first delivery. The company has not yet unveiled this special design but we now have a clue. Today in Toulouse this Airbus A380 took to the skies.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-WWAB (msn 170) wears this temporary registration until the first A380 is handed over in December.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Piedmont Airlines’ pilots approve the new contract, will fly American Eagle jets

Piedmont Airlines’ (2nd) (US Airways Express and American Eagle) (Salisbury, MD) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), voted to ratify amendments to their current agreement with the company. With 86 percent of the pilot group participating in the ballot, 77 percent of those pilots voted to approve the modifications to their current contract, which includes plans to refleet the airline as well as guaranteed opportunities for Piedmont pilots with the airline’s parent company, American Airlines.

“With much of our fleet of Dash 8s nearing replacement age, we needed to look long term as to what was best for the pilots on the property now, and what would provide career options for pilots just joining Piedmont,” said Capt. Bruce Freedman, chairman of the Piedmont unit of ALPA.

Under the modified agreement, Piedmont pilots can now take advantage of a seniority-based flow-through procedure to fly at American Airlines, and pilots have secured flying at Piedmont by obtaining minimum fleet commitments. In exchange, Piedmont pilots agreed to increase their share of medical premium payments and, over time, revise pay scales to reflect more commonly used industry approaches.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The Bombardier DHC-8 turboprop fleet is gradually being repainted. However the Dash 8s will need to be replaced and this new agreement paves the way for the company to fly American Eagle jets in the future. Bombardier DHC-8-314 N329EN (msn 290) departs from the Charlotte hub.

US Airways Express-Piedmont Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group approves 10 Airbus A320s for Eurowings, will replace its Bombardier CRJ900s, SunExpress Airlines may operate low-cost long-haul flights with Airbus A330-300s

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) today (September 19) outlined its plans for Eurowings (Lufthansa Regional) and its new long-haul division, possibly flown by SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul).

The Lufthansa Group’s quality and growth initiative presented on July 9, 2014 is gathering pace.

At the Supervisory Board meeting on September 17, the Supervisory Board Members were informed by the Executive Board of the implementation progress made so far. The Lufthansa Group’s Supervisory Board has paved the way for the planned transition to a more economical type of aircraft at Eurowings by approving an order for ten Airbus A320ceo planes for the company. With its fleet of 23 aircraft, Eurowings services domestic German and European routes from airports other than the Frankfurt and Munich hubs on behalf of Germanwings. A further 13 A320s will be transferred from the Group’s total aircraft order volume to Eurowings starting in 2015, in order to make its entire fleet consist of Airbus aircraft. Replacing the current Eurowings fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets with modern A320ceo aircraft will further increase the Düsseldorf-based airline’s unit cost advantage and will thereby improve its ability to compete with low-cost airlines in Europe. The Lufthansa Group intends to use its Wings concept to cement its good market position in passenger traffic in its home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the long term, including with point-to-point connections. Business on these routes away from the major hubs is characterised by above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and by stiff competition from the rapidly expanding low-cost airlines.

The Executive Board also presented its plans for the new cost-efficient offer for long-haul connections as part of the Wings concept to the Supervisory Board. One option for realizing this concept could be a new platform based on the airline SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), which is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. In this respect, talks with the Star Alliance partner are to continue. The idea is for the new platform to complement the Lufthansa Group’s product range with up to seven Airbus A330-300s and to commence operations in autumn 2015 with three aircraft in Munich, Düsseldorf or Cologne. The focus here will be on destinations that promise above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and that round out the Lufthansa Group airlines’ current route networks. In addition to the founding of this new long-haul airline, other intercontinental traffic approaches will be developed in order to once again profitably fly leisure travel-dominated routes using the Lufthansa brand in the future.

To offer this, up to 14 Airbus A340-300s from the long-haul fleet will be fitted with a cabin that is optimized for leisure travel. Commencing with the start of the 2015/2016 winter flight timetable, this A340-300 sub-fleet will fly at a much lower cost while nevertheless offering the high-quality travel experience of a Lufthansa flight, with high service standards and comfort levels. The as many as 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats, and will in particular serve new leisure travel destinations or markets from which Lufthansa would otherwise have to withdraw without the introduction of this less expensive offer.

“The combination of our core brands’ focus on quality and the premium sector, and the development of new platforms for the leisure travel sector, which is experiencing dynamic growth but is also price-sensitive, is our way of working towards a successful future for the Lufthansa Group airlines,” said Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. This would strengthen the successful multi-hub system comprising the key hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, he added. This strategy additionally gave the Company the scope to also grow in sectors of this kind, where the Lufthansa Group’s traditional quality brands were not able to participate in market developments, he said.

In addition to the growth concept for the Lufthansa Group airlines, the Supervisory Board is approving capital expenditure of €60 million by Lufthansa Technik AG in Frankfurt. The Group’s technical division intends to build a new wheel and brake workshop in Frankfurt’s eastern dock area (Osthafen). The building is expected to commence operations as early as at the start of 2017. These new operations will allow Lufthansa Technik, which is the world’s leading provider of aircraft-related technical services, to also achieve further growth in the important segment of wheel and brake maintenance. In so doing, Lufthansa Technik will safeguard the existing 130 jobs for qualified employees based in Frankfurt and will create the parameters for further growth. The building is to be fitted with cutting-edge building services so as to exceed the requirements of Germany’s Energy Conservation Regulations (EnEV) by 30 per cent.

In related news,  Lufthansa Group also approved the purchase of 15 Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) family and ten Airbus A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft at its meeting today. The new A320neo orders will be delivered to Lufthansa Group airline Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) from 2019 onwards, where they are intended to replace older aircraft from the same family. The ten new A320ceo aircraft will be delivered to Eurowings in 2016 and 2017 and will replace older Bombardier CRJ900s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The aging and expensive 14 Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s will be assigned to the new leisure group starting with the 2015-2016 winter schedule. The 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats. Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-313 D-AIGT (msn 304) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Eurowings: AG Slide Show

SunExpress: AG Slide Show
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Delta Air Lines to introduce Airbus’ new pivoting overhead carry-on stowage bins for its new Airbus A321s

Delta A321-200 (07) overhead bag storage (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has announced the following cabin enhancement option for the Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will be the first customer.

Airbus will introduce its new pivoting overhead stowage option for the A320 Family aircraft beginning in the first quarter of 2016 with the delivery of the first of 45 brand new A321 aircraft for Delta Air Lines. In 2013, Delta placed an order for 30 new A321s and added a further 15 in 2014.

The new pivoting bins from Airbus, which are also available for retrofit, take full advantage of the A320’s wide fuselage cross section to offer the most overhead stowage volume of any single-aisle airliner per passenger. Aesthetically, they embody a modern curved appearance which incorporates Airbus’ most up-to-date design branding – as exemplified in the cabin of the new A350 XWB airliner.

Addressing today’s passenger expectations for more carry-on baggage, not only do these new overhead bins offer 10 percent increased volume over current A320 bins, but the efficient A320 cross-section also allows increased capacity for up to 60 percent more luggage in practice. For example, each section now efficiently accommodates eight TP22-enhanced* roller bags. Alternatively, the same section can also hold four TP24s** (the largest type of carry-on roller bag).

* TP22 ‘enhanced’ roller bags measure 22x 14.5 x 9 inches – i.e. half an inch higher than ‘FAA’ standard bags.
** TP24 roller bags, measuring 24 x 14.5 x 11 inches

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Delta A321-200 WL (07)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

 

Video: Delta’s latest TV commercial:

Qatar Airways receives its first Airbus A380

Qatar A380-800 A7-APA (06) Delivery Ceremony (Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways (Doha) has taken delivery of the pictured Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) today (September 17), its first Airbus A380. Airbus issued this statement:

At a ceremony in Hamburg hosted by Airbus, Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines welcomed a new star to its fleet – the Airbus A380. In the presence of His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, the airline took delivery of the first of its 10 Airbus A380 aircraft on order.

The delivery marks the beginning of a new chapter for Qatar Airways, as it pushes boundaries and expands its operations. The A380, with its unique combination of increased capacity, long-haul range and unbeatable fuel efficiency, will enable the airline to carry its passengers even further and at deluxe comfort standards.

As a five-star performer, the A380 has become a firm favourite with passengers and airlines, due to the smoothness of the flight, quietness of the cabin and the spaciousness of the overall aircraft layout. These unique characteristics allow Qatar Airways to achieve their ambition of providing excellent services to their passengers. The A380’s built-in cabin flexibility has also given Qatar Airways the opportunity to make innovative use of the aircraft’s space, offering the airline’s passengers an exceptional in-flight experience.

All seats are equipped with the latest entertainment systems, and the stylish and comfortable interior for Qatar Airways’ A380 will accommodate a total of 517 people – 461 in Economy, 48 in Business and eight in First Class, featuring the widest first-class seats in the industry. The aircraft has two full-length passenger decks – First and Business Class cabins will both be located on the aircraft’s upper deck, along with a special lounge area for premium passengers.

Qatar Airways is the 12th world class carrier to fly the A380. The airline’s first A380 will make its debut on the popular London Heathrow route, from Hamad International in Doha, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle.

With 318 orders so far by 19 customers the A380 captures 90 percent of the Very Large Aircraft market. With the delivery today, the global A380 fleet mounts up to 142 aircraft, having accumulated over 1.5 million flight hours on some 180,000 commercial flights. To date over 65 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every four minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 41 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Handing over Qatar Airways’ new A380 flagship: Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier (right) and His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

FedEx Corporation’s earnings surge in the first quarter to $606 million

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported its earnings for its fiscal first quarter surged by 24 percent to net income of $606 million. The corporation issued this financial report:

FedEx Corporation today reported earnings of $2.10 per diluted share for the first quarter ended August 31, up 37% from last year’s $1.53 per share.

First Quarter Results

FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the first quarter:

• Revenue of $11.7 billion, up 6% from $11.0 billion the previous year

• Operating income of $987 million, up 24% from $795 million last year

• Operating margin of 8.5%, up from 7.2% the previous year

• Net income of $606 million, up 24% from last year’s $489 million

Operating income increased primarily due to higher volumes and increased yields at all three transportation segments. Results in the first quarter also include benefits from lower pension expense and the company’s profit improvement programs. These benefits were partially offset by higher aircraft maintenance expense due to the timing of certain engine maintenance events.

During the quarter, the company acquired 5.3 million shares of FedEx common stock. As of August 31, 2014, no shares remained under the existing share repurchase authorizations. Share repurchases benefited earnings in the quarter by $0.15 per diluted share.

Outlook

FedEx reaffirmed its fiscal 2015 earnings forecast of $8.50 to $9.00 per diluted share. The outlook assumes no net year-over-year fuel impact and continued moderate economic growth. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2015 remains $4.2 billion.

“FedEx reported strong first quarter results, as all three of our transportation segments drove higher revenues and improved profitability year over year,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our profit improvement programs are progressing as planned and we continue to expect strong earnings growth this year.”

2015 Rate Increases

As previously announced, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates effective January 5, 2015.

FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services.

FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%. In addition, as announced in May, FedEx Ground will also begin applying dimensional weight pricing to all shipments.

FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%. This rate change applies to eligible FedEx Freight shipments within the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), between the contiguous U.S. and Canada, within Canada, between the contiguous U.S. and Mexico, and within Mexico.

Details of all changes to rates and surcharges are available at fedex.com/us/2015rates.

Corporate Headquarters Costs

Effective this fiscal year, the company ceased allocating to its transportation segments the costs associated with the corporate headquarters division. These costs are now included in “Corporate, eliminations and other.” Prior year amounts in this release have been revised to conform to the current presentation.

FedEx Express Segment

For the first quarter, the FedEx Express segment reported:

• Revenue of $6.86 billion, up 4% from last year’s $6.61 billion

• Operating income of $369 million, up 35% from $273 million a year ago

• Operating margin of 5.4%, up from 4.1% the previous year

Revenue increased due to higher U.S. domestic package volume and international export package yields partially offset by lower freight revenue. U.S. domestic package volume grew 5%, as 8% growth in overnight and deferred box volume was partially offset by lower envelope volume. U.S. domestic yield increased 1% from higher fuel surcharges, changes in service mix and increased rates. FedEx International Priority® volume grew 1%, while FedEx International Economy® volume increased 3%. International export revenue per package increased 3% due to fuel surcharges, higher rates and weight per package.

Operating income and margin improved as higher U.S. domestic package volume, improved international export yield and benefits from profit improvement programs more than offset higher aircraft maintenance expense and lower freight revenues.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FHT N883FD (msn 39285) of FedEx Express climbs away from the runway at Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC).

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Boeing and Avolon finalize an order for 787 Dreamliners, 737 MAXs

Avolon logo

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and leasing company Avolon have finalized an order for six 787-9 Dreamliners and five additional 737 MAX 9s, valued at more than $2.1 billion at list prices. Avolon announced a commitment to purchase the airplanes during the 2014 Farnborough Airshow in July.

This marks Avolon’s first order for the 787 Dreamliner and will increase the lessor’s 737 MAX portfolio to 20 airplanes.

The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,200 orders from 47 customers worldwide. The largest in the 737 MAX family, the 737 MAX 9 offers the best fuel-efficiency per seat and will be 7 percent per trip less expensive to operate than its competitor, the A321neo. The 737 MAX 9 provides versatile growth capacity for airlines needing larger single-aisle options in their fleet.

United Airlines choses Republic Airways Holdings to operate 50 new Embraer E175s, United will phase out the Q400s

United Airlines (Chicago) today (September 17) announced the company will amend its existing agreement with regional carrier Shuttle America, to add 50 Embraer E175 aircraft. Shuttle America‘s (Indianapolis) parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), will determine which of its carriers will operate the new 76-seat aircraft under the United Express brand.

United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop airplanes and older, less-efficient aircraft and are in addition to 70 E175s whose deliveries began this year for other carriers to operate as United Express.

E175 Features:

The E175s will offer 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats. The aircraft also offer more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft; a power outlet at each United First seat; and large overhead bins that can accommodate standard-size carry-on bags.

Additional Fleet Updates:

In addition to expanding the E175 fleet, United plans to make the following changes to its United Express service:

1. Extend the airline’s agreement with Shuttle America on 38 E170s, with new expiration dates beginning in September 2019 and continuing through December 2022; and

2. Begin removing, in 2015, 31 Bombardier Q400s operated by Republic Airlines, a carrier also owned by Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (some of the aircraft will go to Flybe).

In related news, Embraer S.A. and Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), operator of the largest E-Jets fleet in the world, announced a contract today for the sale and purchase of 50 firm E175 jets. The value of the firm order, which will be included in Embraer’s 2014 third-quarter backlog, is estimated at $2.1 billion, based on 2014 list prices. The aircraft will be operated for United Airlines under the United Express brand. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2015 and extend until 2017.

This contract is in addition to the order signed by Embraer and Republic in January 2013 for 47 firm and 47 option E175s – 34 of which have already been delivered. In addition to the new order, Republic maintains 32 options for E175s.

This transaction is in connection with the transfer of Q400 turboprop airplanes currently operated by Republic Airlines to UK’s carrier Flybe Limited. Concurrently, Flybe and Embraer have agreed to reduce by 20 the outstanding order for 24 E175’s the airline has on order backlog. Therefore, the net increase to Embraer’s backlog in the 3rd quarter will be 30 E175 jets.

Republic Airways was one of the first U.S. carriers to fly Embraer E-Jets, operating its first E170 in 2004. With this new order, the Republic Airways E-Jet fleet will consist of 72 E170s and 151 E175s for a total of 223 E-Jets. Republic Airways is also a long-time customer of the ERJ 145 regional jet family with 41 flying as Delta Connection aircraft.

Finally, United Airlines launched its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service at Denver International Airport, offering chauffeured convenience at more airports than any other carrier. With this expansion, United offers the service at all of its U.S. hub airports.

The Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service provides the airline’s top frequent flyers with greater comfort and convenience, offering an additional way for these customers to save valuable time when connecting through the airline’s hubs. United will chauffeur selected Global Services members and United Global First customers to their connections in Denver in a Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC SUV, powered by environmentally friendly, clean diesel technology.

United representatives will meet customers at the aircraft, escort them to the waiting Mercedes-Benz vehicle and drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flight. The expediting service gives priority to customers with close connections.

United also offers the transfer service at its hub airports in Chicago, Houston, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles.

Along with tarmac transportation, the airline and Mercedes-Benz USA partner to provide promotional packages and bonus miles to United’s MileagePlus Premier members, which include Global Services members, who purchase or lease certain new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Current offers are available at united.com/Mercedes.

Earlier this year, United opened a new Global Services reception lobby for its top frequent flyers at the airline’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International airport. In October, the airline will open a Global Services reception lobby at San Francisco International Airport. In June, United unveiled an all-new United Club airport lounge and United Global First Lounge at London Heathrow International Airport’s new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal.

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America currently operates 38 Embraer ERJ 170-100SE aircraft for United Airlines under the United Express brand. N637RW (msn 17000051) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

United Express-Shuttle America: AG Slide Show

United Express-Republic Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 31 Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) for United Airlines at its hubs. N202WQ (msn 4202) arrives at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).

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