Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) on March 30 introduced its summer schedule until October 25, 2014. The airline issued this statement on the highlights of the enhanced schedule:
This summer Aeroflot plans to launch flights to 52 countries, including seven CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine). The route network of Aeroflot comprises 125 destinations (73 outside Russia), including 49 destinations in Europe, 12 in Asia, 7 in America and 5 in the Middle East and Africa.
Aeroflot’s CIS network includes 11 destinations: Baku, Bishkek, Yerevan, Minsk, Tashkent, Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Karaganda.
Aeroflot continues to play a significant role in shaping the structure of Russian civil aviation and further development of the domestic air travel. Thus daily flights will be operated on two new destinations in Russia: Novy Urengoy and Rostov-on-Don. Aeroflot will continue services on routes introduced under the winter season 2013/2014: Moscow – Ulan-Ude and Moscow-Chita.
Including the cities above, Aeroflot’s domestic service embraces 41 the most popular destinations in Russia: Abakan, Anapa, Astrakhan, Barnaul, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Gelendzik, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Magnitogorsk, Mineralnye Vody, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhnekamsk, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Omsk, Perm, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Simferopol, Sochi, Surgut, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ufa, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Yakutsk.
Flight frequency will also be increased at the most popular domestic destinations: Saint Petersburg (from 105 to 112 weekly flights), Sochi (from 35 to 42), Krasnodar (from 28 to 41), Samara (from 28 to 35), Nizhny Novgorod (from 28 to 35), Chelyabinsk (from 21 to 28), Nizhnekamsk (from 14 to 21), Anapa (from 14 to 21), Gelendzik (from 7 to 14), Mineralnye Vody (from 7 to 14), Orenburg (from 7 to 14), Tomsk (from 7 to 14), Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (from 7 to 10).
Aeroflot’s fleet is growing with deliveries of new long-haul Boeing 777-300 ERs (above), which will provide services to Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Khabarovsk, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, New York (JFK), Beijing, Seoul and Shanghai.
Traditional winter destinations – Innsbruck and Phuket – will be replaced by summer ones like Gelendzik, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Dubrovnik, Split and Tivat.
Aeroflot network will be strengthened by 109 destinations on which aircraft of Aeroflot Group subsidiary companies will be used. Aeroflot marketing flights will be operated on 116 routes.
During Summer Season 2013 Aeroflot together with its subsidiary companies and code sharing partners will fly to 351 unique destinations in 66 countries, including Russia.
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3M0 VP-BGB (msn 41679) completes its final approach to the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (April 2) launched a new spring advertising and marketing campaign, ‘Air on the Side of Humanity,’ to remind customers there is a better way to fly. With TV spots running in Boston, Fort Lauderdale and New York and multi-channel components, the new campaign leverages the plight and perspective of the most overlooked fliers of all – pigeons. The end result is an integrated campaign that flies in the face of conventional airline branding with JetBlue making a bold statement about siding and flying with humanity.
The 360-degree campaign includes TV, online advertising, a first of its kind web video series, microsites, mobile, social, experiential and out-of-home advertising, all dedicated to entertain and bring JetBlue’s Inspire Humanity mission to life.
“We have built the airline you would have built for yourself, by offering what other airlines don’t – lots of legroom, friendly crewmembers, unlimited free snacks, free entertainment at every seat, Fly-Fi and more. Giving customers all of the comforts of home while in the air,” said Marty St. George, JetBlue’s senior vice president of marketing and commercial strategy. “This campaign is meant to encourage travelers to pause and consider the type of experience they want and deserve while flying.”
In the campaign, JetBlue delivers multi-media narratives from the perspective of a pigeon that draw playful comparisons on how people are treated by other carriers including cramped spaces, limited snacks, flying on someone else’s schedule and the feeling of being ignored.
The ‘Air on the Side of Humanity’ campaign expands with new components including an experiential launch event in New York City and a video series collaboration with Funny Or Die, extending the metaphor at the center of the ‘Air On The Side of Humanity’ campaign.
The media strategy is video-led (television and online) featuring both long- and short-form messaging, the web series created in partnership with Funny Or Die, custom JetBlue-branded and curated Spotify playlists, an interactive mobile rich media experience utilizing accelerometer functionality to entice audience interaction, and custom Buzzfeed posts with messages tailored to each market.
In a five-part video series entitled “Shoo’s Bird’s Eye View,” JetBlue and Funny Or Die collaborate for branded vignettes that highlight a pigeon’s unique point of view and bring a playful tone to both the triumphs and trials of humans. The humorous shorts live on JetBlue’s digital experience and social hub, CentralPerch, as well as FunnyOrDie.com, and leverage the social media footprint of the two brands through social activation and promotion. In this series that begins today and continues throughout the month with new content weekly, JetBlue celebrates the things that make us human, demonstrating its continued commitment to inspiring humanity and showing what sets JetBlue apart from all other airlines and service-centric brands.
Beginning on April 2, JetBlue, New York’s Hometown AirlineTM brings the campaign to life with New Yorkers with an experiential teaser activation where model pigeons are being placed around favorite city hot spots, emulating a grassroots event on behalf of underserved fliers. Passersby will socially interact via a hashtag. Across the market, disruptive print executions will feature floating ads demonstrating key features of the JetBlue experience, while commuters will experience transit media takeovers in subways, bus shelters, taxi tops and on taxi television. A regional section takeover features a high impact push down unit while cross-device HTML 5 synched digital media units will roll out on select digital channels.
Rounding out the campaign in Boston and Florida, consumers will experience similar disruptive print executions in the Boston Globe, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald and interactive homepage takeovers on Boston.com and MiamiHerald.com – where it’s first-to-market. Boston will bring back a first-to-market execution of pigeons riding atop taxi tops and expand with Out-of-Home strategically positioned to reach the business traveler, while Florida will reach Hispanic audiences via television and digital executions across Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura networks.
The creative, media and online experiences were led by Mullen’s Boston office, JetBlue’s agency-of-record since 2010.
Videos: JetBlue Airways.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is celebrating 50 years of flying to Chicago with increased service to the United States. The airline issued this statement:
SAS was the first airline to fly over the North Pole to the U.S. West Coast in 1954. Ten years later, SAS also began flying to the U.S. Midwest and is now celebrating 50 years of service between Copenhagen and Chicago. In 2014, SAS is continuing to increase its traffic, adding five weekly departures and a new route to the USA. In doing so, SAS is cementing its position as Scandinavia’s biggest and most capable airline for travel to the United States.
On April 2, 1964, SAS launched the route to Chicago (O’Hare) with the maiden flight from Copenhagen. Captain Jens Mueller flew passengers and crew in a Douglas DC-8-33 to Chicago via Montreal, sowing the seeds for a successful route, which has since been operated by aircraft including the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Boeing 767 and Airbus A330and A340. More than 3 million people have flown this route with SAS, and today the airline flies directly from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Chicago.
SAS operates a nonstop route between Copenhagen and Chicago (O’Hare) with one flight a day every day of the week. This will now also apply to the route to San Francisco, which is getting an extra departure on Tuesday, making it a daily service as of June 10.
SAS currently flies from Stockholm to Chicago every day in the summer and five times a week in winter. SAS is adding another winter departure to Chicago (O’Hare) from Stockholm, which will also be getting an extra flight to New York (JFK). SAS is also adding two more departures a week on the Oslo-New York (JFK) route in winter. Oslo-New York (JFK) operates daily in the summer.
SAS has also just announced the opening of a new route between Stavanger and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) (please see our previous report).
Details of the expansion of U.S. services:
· Copenhagen-San Francisco: From June 10 to October 25, 7 departures per week (Tuesday has been added)
· Stockholm Chicago: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Thursday has been added)
· Stockholm-New York: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Friday has been added)
· Oslo-New York: Daily departures in the summer. On the winter timetable (from end of October) 6 departures per week (Tuesday and Wednesday have been added)
· Stavanger-Houston: From 20 August with 6 departures per week (except Saturday)
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus Airbus A340-313X OY-KBM (msn 450) in the Star Alliance motif departs the runway at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport (ARN).
Lufthansa‘ (Frankfurt) pilots started their three-day strike today (April 2). The strike has virtually grounded the German airline except for a few short-haul and long-haul international flights.
Lufthansa has cancelled 3,800 flights until late Friday.
According to Reuters, the pilots want Lufthansa to reinstate a retirement plan that allowed them to receive 60 percent of their pay and benefits when they leave the airline before the retirement date.
Lufthansa’s pilots were forced to retire at 60, leaving a gap of five years before the legal retirement age of 65. The retirement age for pilots was raised to 65 in Europe in 2011 according to Reuters. Lufthansa says it is no longer necessary.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
The airline issued this statement:
As a result of strike actions of the German pilots’ union “Vereinigung Cockpit” (VC) at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings from Wednesday, April 2, 2014, to Friday, April 4, 2014, Lufthansa has reduced its schedule significantly.
Flights of the Lufthansa Group Airlines Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are excepted from the strikes and schedule adjustments.
Previously on March 31 the airline issued this statement:
Due to the strike announced by the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings have canceled about 3,800 flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During the three day walkout of the cockpit crew only about 500 Lufthansa short and long haul flights will be operated.
Flight cancellations on such a massive scale will affect a total of 425,000 passengers. Lufthansa will inform all passengers who have registered their contact details in their booking or in their Miles & More profile about flight changes via text message and email. Most of the remaining domestic and European flights will be flown by the daughter companies Eurowings and Lufthansa Cityline, whose pilots are not participating in the walkout.
In addition to Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo will also be affected. For the three strike days 23 of 31 planned cargo flights from Frankfurt have been already canceled.
The pilots of Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Air Dolomiti as well as the pilots of Brussels Airlines will not participate in the strike. Where possible, these companies will use larger planes on routes from and to Germany in order to bring as many rebooked Lufthansa passengers as possible to their destinations.
Additionally, Lufthansa will re-book affected passengers on other airlines and in cooperation with German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) will provide train tickets on domestic routes.
Copyright Photo: Pascal Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVH (msn 25045) with the special “50 Years of Innovation – Boeing and Lufthansa” emblem, arrives at the Frankfurt base.
Nok Air (Bangkok) of Thailand has converted two previously booked Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) NextGen aircraft options to firm orders. The options were acquired under a contract announced on November 19, 2013 that also included two firm-ordered aircraft and four purchase rights. At that time, Bombardier also confirmed that Nok Air would be the launch customer for the new extra capacity seating option of the Q400 NextGen turboprop that will allow the aircraft to accommodate up to 86 passengers.
China Express Airlines (Chongqing) has converted previously announced conditional purchase agreements for three Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets into a firm order. The conditional purchase agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, with options on an additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, were announced on December 2, 2013, along with a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGen airliners.
China Express provides regional passenger services to 44 cities throughout China with its fleet of five Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft and nine 84-seat CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The airline was the first to operate the CRJ900 aircraft in China.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com.
Flybe (Exeter) today (April 1) unveiled its new “Faster than road or rail” purple livery. The pictured Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECY (msn 4157) was the first and was painted at East Midlands as part of its new advertising campaign.
Copyright Photo: Flybe.
Do you like the new color scheme?
Vote in our poll:
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Canada (Montreal) have finalized an order for 61 737 MAX airplanes to lead the airline’s single-aisle fleet renewal plan. The order, valued at $6.5 billion at list prices, consists of 33 737 MAX 8s and 28 737 MAX 9s, as well as 18 options and 30 rights to purchase additional 737 MAXs.
The 737 MAX improves fuel efficiency and reduces carbon emissions by 14 percent, while reducing the operational noise footprint by 40 percent, compared to today’s aircraft.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology LEAP-1B engines from CFM International with other advancements including Advanced Technology winglets, large flight deck displays and the Boeing Sky Interior to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,900 orders to date from 37 customers worldwide.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane completed in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in third quarter of 2017.
Israir Airlines (Tel Aviv) will commenced weekly Airbus A320 service to Stuttgart, Germany starting on June 4 according to Airline Route.
The company is also introducing three new routes this summer to Memmingen (May 30), Tbilisi (April 2) and Verona (April 3).
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 4X-ABF (msn 4354) prepares to land in Moscow (Domodedovo).
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) launched its UP division on March 30. 180,000 tickets were sold before the first flight departed. Up launched operations with low-fare service to five Destinations: Berlin, Budapest, Kiev, Prague and Larnaca.
Berlin: Up to 12 weekly flights
Prague: Up to 11 weekly flights
Kiev: Up to 11 weekly flights
Budapest: Up to 12 weekly flights
Larnaca: Up to 6 weekly flights
A total of up to 52 weekly flights to UP destinations
Copyright Photo: El Al/UP. The inaugural flight ceremony at the gate before boarding.
The inaugural flight to Berlin was piloted by Captain Hovev Ben David, Manager of the 737 fleet, together with First Officer Izhar Katzir (below).
Copyright Photo: El Al/UP.
The business model combines a low base fare and passengers can add for additional services – such as seating, check-in at the airport, baggage and other services.
Economy Class passengers may order meals, for a fee, from an UP menu that will be offered to them during the flight.
The menu includes a selection of fresh products: sandwiches, salads, baked goods, muesli, as well as snacks, soft drinks, hot drinks and alcoholic beverages. The fresh food offered for sale, including sandwiches, are Mehadrin kosher with certification provided by the Chief Rabbinate under supervision of Rabbi Moshe Nachshoni. All ingredients have Badatz kashrut certification.
In other news, financially El Al reported a full-year net profit of $25.4 million for 2013, reversing the $18 million loss the airline posted ithe previous year.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q 4X-EKO (msn 30287) of UP departs from Zurich.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) on March 29 started daily nonstop service to Shanghai, China. Ethiopian operates the Shanghai flight using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 24 Cloud Nine Business Class and 246 Economy Class seats.
Shanghai is Ethiopian’s 80th international destination.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Up close on the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport. Boeing 787-8 ET-AOO (msn 34743) taxies past the camera.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) and Spanish authorities are celebrating today the opening of the new base in Barcelona. It is the sixth Spanish base along with Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
The mood among the travelers were on top when Norwegian, Spanish authorities and partners celebrated the opening of the new base in Barcelona with a ribbon cutting, refreshments and speeches.
Between March and October this year Norwegian expects to fly around 700,000 passengers to and from Barcelona. During the same period last year traveled 490,000 passengers to and from the Catalan capital.
Three Boeing 737-800 are now based at the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Over 120 pilots and cabin crew have been hired locally with competitive wages and working conditions. Norwegian opens four new routes and increase frequencies on existing routes from April 2014. Norwegian now has 11 nonstop routes from BCN and 69 flights a week from Barcelona.
Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. The latest Norwegian Boeing 787-8 EI-LND (msn 35310) arrived at Dublin on delivery from Boeing on March 26. The Dreamliner was rolled out yesterday (March 31) with a decal of Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz on the tail.
CityJet (Dublin) and its subsidiary VLM Airlines will be sold by AirFrance-KLM to Intro Aviation. Air France-KLM on March 28 agreed to accept the offer from Intro Aviation. The new owners are expected to take control in about four weeks. CityJet (Air France by CityJet) will continue to fly for Air France.
Air France-KLM issued this short statement:
On March 28, 2014 Air France accepted the firm offer received in December 2013 from Intro Aviation GmbH to purchase CityJet and its VLM subsidiary. The closing of the transaction for the CityJet shares should take place in April 2014.
Air France and CityJet will pursue their commercial co-operation as part of a new industrial plan which foresees, in particular, the development of flights under the CityJet brand on departure from London City to European destinations, and CityJet continuing to operate flights on behalf of Air France on departure from Paris-CDG.
The announcement of this future sale is important for the staff of CityJet and VLM. One of the aims of the operation is to set the conditions for a new long-term development for the company and its staff.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. CityJet’s BAe RJ85 EI-RJG (msn E2344) lands at EuroAirport in Air France colors.
US Airways (Phoenix) yesterday (March 31) as planned, completed its transition to Oneworld along with TAM Airlines (Sao Paulo) marking the biggest single-day expansion of the alliance since its launch 15 years ago.
US Airways’ regional affiliates, operating as US Airways Express, also transitioned to Oneworld, following US Airways’ recent merger with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
With its regional affiliates, US Airways serves more than 200 destinations and 30 countries with a fleet of more than 620 aircraft. It carried 82.5 million passengers in 2013 and currently operates 3,200 departures a day. It uses the two-letter code US, but this will be changed to AA once the two airlines combine under a single operating certificate.
It has added more than 50 destinations to the oneworld map – most in its US home but also two in Canada and one each in Ireland and Mexico – along with its key hubs of Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington DC’s Reagan National, expanding oneworld’s presence across the USA, particularly throughout the East Coast and across the North Atlantic.
Once the integration is completed, the new American will offer service to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries, carrying 190 million passengers a year on a fleet of 1,500 aircraft.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continued its rapid expansion in Seattle/Tacoma with the launch of new daily nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, March 29. The route, established as part of Delta’s joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways (London).
Through its trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, Delta offers Seattle-area travelers nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam while also providing connecting service to more than 150 additional destinations beyond those European hubs.
This spring Delta will also begin expanded Seattle/Tacoma service from Anchorage; Fairbanks, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Vancouver to support its growing international gateway that currently serves London Heathrow, Amsterdam and Paris-Charles de Gaulle as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita, and Tokyo-Haneda.
In June, Delta will begin new international service from Seattle/Tacoma to Seoul and Hong Kong, bringing Delta’s total nonstop transoceanic destinations to nine, as many as all other SeaTac international carriers combined.
By this summer, Delta will offer more than 2,500 daily international seats as part of its 79 peak-day departures to 25 destinations.
Delta currently operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N667US (msn 24222) departs from Tokyo (Narita).
Flybe (Exeter) is introducing a new purple brand built around a new “Fastest Way from A to Flybe” ad campaign. The first aircraft, Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECY (msn 4157) named the “Spirit of Liberum”, is due out of the paint shop at East Midlands (EMA) tomorrow with the new look. G-JECY is due to go into revenue service from Exter to Manchester on Thursday (April 3) afternoon.
The airline issued this statement:
Today (dated April 1) marks the beginning of a new era for Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, that today unveils a major brand refresh with a reinvigorated product and service offering: Flybe Purple brings to life its core business of time-saving, punctual travel with the introduction of a vibrant, dynamic modern ‘look and feel’, a touch of fun and a world-first 60:60 On Time Guarantee for passengers.
The changes reflect a distinctive new product based firmly on the customer proposition that Flybe is the Fastest Way from A to Flybe, faster than rail and road.
Flybe’s flagship product is its world-first 60:60 guarantee that promises its customers if a flight arrives more than 60 minutes’ late at its destination due to a delay within Flybe’s control, they will qualify for a £60 voucher towards their next flight as long as they book within 60 days.
There is also a new-look website, and ticket options have been re-named so that ‘what you see is what you get’ – ‘Just Fly’ replaces ‘Essentials’; ‘Get More’ is the previous ‘New Economy’ and ‘All In’ is the former ‘Plus’ ticket choice.
An eye-catching purple aircraft, the Spirit of Liberum, will be the first Flybe Bombardier Q400 to take to the skies in special commemorative livery: and Improved on-board experiences feature the introduction of stylish purple crew uniforms and purple mood lighting as well as daily on-board winners, deplaning gifts and an on-time musical celebration.
Paul Simmons, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “As an airline we are dedicated to continuously looking at ways to improve as a business. Our brand refresh is a significant step forward for us as we move to become the UK’s local airline of choice with a focus on time-saving and punctual travel for regional customers. Purple is not just our new brand colour – it reflects our passion for delivering on our commitment to being the Fastest Way from A to Flybe.”
The new uniforms:
Videos: New TV ad and the making of the new ad campaign:
Hawaii Island Air, Inc. (Island Air) (Honolulu) has placed a firm order for two Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) NextGen turboprop airliners and has also taken options for four additional Q400 NextGen aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered with a dual-class, 71-seat configuration. Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional airline and second oldest carrier.
Island Air previously operated the type briefly in the past.
InterCaribbean Airways (formerly Air Turks and Caicos) (Providenciales) has announced the introduction of new scheduled nonstop air service connecting Kingston to Montego Bay, with 16 weekly flights each way.
The flights will be operated by 30 seat Embraer 120 aircraft with onboard flight attendant starting on April 16.
InterCaribbean Airways is the national carrier of the Turks & Caicos Islands and operates a fleet of Embraer EMB-120 and Beech 99 aircraft, operating flights domestically to Grand Turk and South Caicos, in addition to International flights to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago in the Dominican Republic; Cap Haitien and Port Au Prince in Haiti; Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica; Nassau in the Bahamas; new services to Samana, Dominican Republic and San Juan, Puerto Rico begin on April 2, 2014.
TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo), the Brazilian carrier of the LATAM Airlines Group, today (March 31) joined Oneworld, an airline alliance currently undergoing the largest expansion in its history.
This is one of the most important steps to achieve the entry of all LATAM Airlines Group into Oneworld. LAN Airlines has been a member of Oneworld since 2000 as well as all of its affiliates, namely LAN Argentina, LAN Colombia, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru, have already joined. TAM’s affiliated airline in Paraguay (TAM Mercosur), will also join Oneworld soon. As a result, all passenger airlines of the LATAM Airlines Group will be members of the same alliance.
To celebrate this moment, today TAM’s first aircraft bearing the Oneworld logo will be on display at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo with the presence of CEOs and representatives of all Oneworld member airlines, who traveled to Brazil especially for this event.
As a result of the merger with LAN Airlines, TAM left the Star Alliance to join Oneworld.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Air Canada has made a “business decision to exit this segment of the market,” which it has been operating since 2001. The division will shut down this year when the current contracts expire.
The division’s main customers are sports teams, entertainment bands and political parties.
Air Canada lists past and current customers:
United Jewish Association
And many more…
Professional sports teams:
Toronto Maple Leafs
In other news, Air Canada has announced it will operate seasonal nonstop flights every Monday and Saturday from July 5 to September 1, 2014, between Ottawa and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida.
Copyright Photo: Eddie/Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com (all other images by Air Canada). Airbus A320-211 C-FPWD (msn 231) touches down in Las Vegas.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) today (March 31), as planned, operated the last Boeing 747 flight. The pictured Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) with 497 passengers and 17 crew members operated a round trip from Tokyo (Haneda) to Naha, Okinawa and back, ending 35 years of continuous Boeing 747 operations. JA8961 was delivered to ANA for domestic operations on May 13, 1993.
ANA today (March 31) also retired the Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-300 (Q300).
Read the full report from ZipanguFlyer (with photos): CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) departs from Tokyo (Haneda).
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) according to Airline Route, planned to operate the last scheduled Ilyushin Il-96 flight yesterday (March 30) between Tashkent and its Moscow Sheremetyevo hub. The type was introduced in 1993.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Ilyushin Il-96-300 RA-96015 (msn 74393202012) taxies at Salzburg, Austria.
Wizz Air Ukraine (Kiev) has announced a new route that will connect the Ukrainian capital of Kiev with Naples in Italy. The route will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft starting on June 14 2014.
Wizz Air Ukraine’s route network from Kiev will now consist of a total of 14 routes to six different countries.
Meanwhile the company is suspending flights from the eastern Russian-speaking city of Donetsk (above map) in the Ukraine to Budapest, Rome (Fiumicino), Bergamo (Orio al Serio, near Milan), Larnaca and Dortmund.
The low-fare carrier is moving based aircraft from Donetsk to the ethnic Ukrainian city of Lvov in western Ukraine (above map) given the tension in the Ukraine between the eastern and western portions of the Ukraine.
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A32-232 UR-WUA (msn 3531) approaches the runway at Antalya.
Air Moldova (Chisinau) has announced the launch of a new route between Chisinau and Barcelona starting on June 3, 2014.
The twice-weekly flight will be operated on Embraer 190 aircraft.
In other news, despite the tension in neighboring Ukraine, all flights to Russia are operating normally.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR ER-ECB (msn 19000325) exits the runway at Antalya, Turkey.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is launching services between Stavanger, Norway and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) on August 20. This fulfils the wishes of leading players in the oil industry for better connections between Norway, and the rest of Scandinavia, and Houston, Texas.
The route will be operated by a business version of the Boeing 737-700 and will have an SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board, with just 44 comfortable business seats, along with a modern inflight entertainment system and full-service meals and service.
SAS has entered into a wet lease agreement with PrivatAir (Geneva) , which has this special version of the Boeing 737-700. The aircraft will carry SAS’s distinctive colors and logo.
The route will launch on August 20, just ahead of the major oil exhibition in Stavanger, Offshore Northern Seas (ONS). Tickets for route, which will operate daily except Saturdays, go on sale on April 29.
Top Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS’ Boeing 737-783 LN-RRB (msn 32276) approaches the runway at Madrid (Barajas).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. PrivatAir’s Boeing 737-7AK HB-JJA (34303) arrives in Amsterdam.
EasyJet to expand its presence at its London’s Luton Airport home, unveils the new Tartan livery at Inverness
EasyJet (UK) (London-Luton) has agreed a new 10 year deal with London Luton Airport which could see the airline more than double its size at the airport from four to nine million passengers a year. The expansion would also see the creation of 2,500 new jobs at the airport – the UK’s sixth largest – and in the surrounding region.
EasyJet has 15 aircraft based at London Luton, its second largest London base, and plans to grow its capacity by around 20% over the next year – adding new business and leisure routes and increasing frequencies on some of its existing 39 routes from London Luton.
EasyJet is the largest airline operating from London Luton with 1,600 staff employed locally and 39 destinations served.
EasyJet first launched flights from London Luton Airport with one aircraft in 1995 and the airport remains the home of the airline with its headquarters based there.
London Luton Airport is one of the UK’s largest airports and carried 9.7 million passengers in 2013, departing to over 100 destinations. The Airport directly and indirectly employs over 600 and 8,000 staff respectively and is a key economic driver for the region.
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by EasyJet). Airbus A319-111 G-EZBF (msn 2923) in the Tartan design prepares to depart from Gatwick Airport on the south side of London.
The airline issued this statement about G-EZBF:
EasyJet today (March 31) celebrated the launch of new early morning flights between Inverness and London Gatwick by unveiling a special edition tartan plane and EasyJet tartan kilts.
EasyJet was joined by Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP and Highlands MP Danny Alexander as well as representatives from Visit Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Inverness Chamber of Commerce .
These services not only secure the long term future of air links between the Highlands and London following Flybe’s decision to exit the route but will also help to keep businesses in the Highlands connected to London.
To mark the occasion easyJet created the ‘Highland aircraft’ tartan which is the first to be registered to an airline since records started in 2008 and one of the most prominent orange designs available. The easyJet tartan also features on a special edition Airbus A319 aircraft – named ‘Inverness’ – which will operate on easyJet routes across Europe to help promote the Highlands as a tourism destination.
The new Inverness to Gatwick flights will be followed by four new easyJet routes launching this spring – Herakilon and Bodrum from Edinburgh and Spilt and Kos from Glasgow. In total EasyJet expects to carry over 5.3 million passengers on Scottish flights this year ensuring it remains Scotland’s largest airline.
Air Lituanica (Vilnius) launched flights to Tallinn on March 12. The number of flights on the Prague route will be increased to 5 times a week, on business days. The flights to Munich will be increased to 4 flights per week; passengers will also have a chance to take a flight on Sundays. The number of flights to Berlin increases to 6 times per week; flights will be operated on a daily basis, excluding Saturdays.
On May 3 the carrier increased the number of flights to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to 5 times a week.
Air Lituanica also flies to Brussels on a daily basis, excluding Saturdays.
Air Lituanica on March 5 added additional flights to Berlin (Tegel) and Prague on March 15.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Estonian Air, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEB (msn 17000106) has been replaced with an ERJ 175.
InterSky Luftfahrt (Bregenz and Friedrichshafen) for the summer season will operate six weekly flights from Zurich to Dresden starting on May 5 per Austrian Aviation Net.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-314 OE-LIA (msn 505) in the special Steirmark livery arrives in Zurich.
TAP Portugal (Lisbon) will be flying to Bogotá and Panama City four times a week starting in July. The new will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with flights departing from Lisbon at 12 noon (1200) and arriving in Bogotá at 3:55 pm (1555). The flight then leaves for Panamá at 4:55 pm (1655), arriving there at 6:25 pm (1825). The return flight departs for Lisbon at 7:40 pm (1940), where it arrives at 11:00 am (1100) the following day (all local times).
The new route will operate with Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a seating capacity of 268.
TAP Portugal starting on July 1 will introduce new ATR 42-600 aircraft, replacing Beechcraft 1900Ds. TAP is also adding new service to Oviedo. The airline issued this statement:
TAP has announced the eleventh new route it will launch in 2014. The new route will connect Lisbon and Oviedo from July 1.
The launch of the Oviedo service has been made possible because of an important change to the fleet operated by PGA — Portugália Airlines (Lisbon), with the replacement of two 19-seater Beechcraft 1900D aircraft with two 46-seat ATR 42-600s, which also have a longer range.
Oviedo will become the eighth Spanish city with direct TAP flights, joining Madrid and Barcelona (which have direct flights from Lisbon, Porto and Funchal), Seville, La Coruña, Bilbao, Malaga and Valencia.
In 2013, TAP carried 944,000 passengers between Portugal and Spain, a 6% increase from 2012.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 CS-TOF (msn 308) of TAP Portugal arrives at Miami International Airport.
All four aircraft will be delivered from March through June 2014. The airline currently operates a fleet of eight 50-seat SAAB 2000 turboprop aircraft.
Etihad Regional will configure each aircraft with 68 seats.
The lease of the aircraft was arranged by Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the world’s largest turboprop leasing company headquartered in Billund, Denmark.
Etihad Regional’s Maiden Flight Takes To The Skies – 23 Jan 2014 En
Darwin Airline adopted the new name and brand after Etihad Airways invested in the regional carrier with a one third share.
Etihad Regional’s first commercial flight, flight F7 154, took to the skies on January 23, 2014, with a newly branded 50-seat SAAB 2000 (HB-IZP) aircraft. The flight departed from the airline’s hub in Geneva, Switzerland and landed on schedule at Rome Fiumicino Airport in Italy.
The first Etihad Regional branded aircraft was unveiled at a launch event in Zurich on January 16, 2014, showcasing the airline’s new livery and brand new logo. All 10 aircraft in the Etihad Regional fleet will feature the new livery by the end of June 2014.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) HB-ACB (msn 662) was leased and delivered on March 13 and visited Zurich today in the new look.
Routes from Geneva (red lines are regular routes, blue are seasonal):
Lufthansa’s pilots to strike on April 2-4, Lufthansa calls on the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union to resume talks
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC), from April 2 through 4 next week. The labor dispute involves pay and retirement issues.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Lufthansa has called for renewed talks to end the dispute and has issued this statement:
Lufthansa has called on the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) to resume joint talks as soon as possible. “We still have four and a half days to avoid further disruptions for our customers, which would occur with the strike that has been announced,” said Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal, Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We are willing to continue the discussions at any time and have laid the groundwork for negotiations with the new offer for the wage settlement and the offer concerning early retirement from flight service. With the goodwill of everyone involved, we should be able to avoid a strike,” Ms Volkens continued.
VC has announced a three-day strike for employees of Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings at every German airport from April 2-4.
Although Lufthansa continues to hope for a negotiated solution, it is working flat out to keep the effects of a strike on its customers to a minimum. “We greatly regret the fact that this strike from April 2-4 may prevent us from bringing our passengers to their destination or back home on time. We will do everything to take care of those affected as well as we possibly can. Wherever possible, we will offer alternative travel options with. At the same time, we are still working to solve the collective bargaining dispute,” Ms Volkens said.
Lufthansa will, in any event, inform its customers in good time about the details of flight cancellations, rebooking options and alternative travel arrangements at LH.com. The Company will also send information about changes to flights by email and text message to customers who have provided their contact details.
Lufthansa made VC an improved offer for the wage settlement. It provides for a sustainable pay increase of 5.2 per cent for the period from May 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015 as well as a one-off payment for all pilots at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings. A pay freeze is planned for the first six months of this period. There is to be a one-off payment of €2,000 for the period from November 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013. This corresponds to 1.2 per cent of the pilots’ total remuneration. For the period from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015, salaries are ultimately to rise in two stages by a total of 5.2 per cent: by 3 per cent retroactively as of January 1, 2014, and by another 2.1 per cent as of July 1, 2014. The original plan of linking salary increases to the Company’s performance has been dropped. Lufthansa has therefore accepted key demands made by VC. This offer means that the pilots would make a contribution to ensuring the Group’s future viability comparable with that of other groups of employees.
Lufthansa also offered to ensure that pilots can continue to retire early in future. The offer safeguards the positions of all employees who joined Lufthansa before January 1, 2014. As before, these employees can receive up to 60 per cent of their last gross salary until they reach the earliest possible statutory retirement age of 63. From 2017, the earliest possible age at which pilots can retire from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior to up to 60 for younger employees. Employees who have been with the Company for thirty years or more are not affected at all by the changes. Pilots at Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings can already leave flight service only when they reach 60 years of age, and then make use of transitional benefits.
The previous wage agreement also stipulated that Lufthansa German Airlines cockpit staff had to reach an average age of 58 for early retirement. Lufthansa’s offer now raises the agreed average early retirement age within three years from 58 to 61 years, starting in 2016. The effective average age for taking early retirement in 2013 was already 58.9 years. This also reflects the general societal trend towards longer working lives.
For pilots who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. The matter of financing these benefits is the subject of future talks with VC.
For all employees, the offer still includes employer-financed insurance against incapacity for flight service.
Read the 2013 Lufthansa Group Annual Report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” taxies at Zurich.
Aigle Azur Transport Aeriens (2nd) (Paris-Orly has taken delivery of a new Airbus A320 fitted with Sharklets.
The new A320 is configured with a two class layout with 36 seats in Business Class and 138 in the main cabin. The new aircraft replaces another A320 from the all-Airbus fleet of twelve aircraft – seven A320s, four A319s and one A321.
Airbus A320-214 F-HBIX (msn 6012) (above) was handed over on March 13 and arrived at Paris-Orly Sud base on the evening of March 13, 2014. The new airliner entered revenue service the following day from Paris (Orly) to Bamako. The aircraft is mainly being used for flights between Paris-Orly and Moscow and Paris-Orly and Bamako.
By adding this new Airbus to its fleet, Aigle Azur has now become the second French airline to operate this type of aircraft, which is the latest generation of the Airbus A320 family.
Aigle Azur is planning to operate its last scheduled Airbus A321 service with A321-211 F-HBAF (msn 1006) from Paris (Orly) to Algiers and return on April 3 according to Airline Route.
Top Copyright Photos: Aigle Azur.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Pepscl/Airlinersgallery.com. The pictured A321-211 F-HBAB (msn 823) in the old 2001 colors was previously returned to GATX on September 30, 2013 and is now with Atlasjet as TC-ATZ.
Besides Moscow, Aigle Azur specializes in connecting Paris (Orly) with destinations in Portugal and Africa:
Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) will add five seasonal new routes this summer, including twice-weekly Alicante-Santander (starting on June 20), twice-weekly Barcelona-Cluj (June 27), weekly Barcelona-Santa Cruz de la Palma (June 21), twice-weekly Barcelona-Tallinn (June 20) and Santiago de Compostela-Amsterdam (three flights per week) (June 21) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL EC-LUO (msn 5530) with Sharklets approaches Brussels for landing.
EasyJet (UK) (London-Luton) has announced that it has agreed a new seven year deal with Gatwick Airport (GAL) from April 2014 which will incentivise the airline to grow at the airport and provide the framework for EasyJet and GAL to further improve customer experience for easyJet’s passengers.
EasyJet plans to continue to grow at Gatwick through increasing our slots and by deploying larger aircraft as EasyJet replaces 156 seat A319s with 180 seat A320s and, from 2017, A320neos. In the next fiscal year (ending in March 2015) alone the airline will increase capacity and passenger numbers by around 10% compared to the previous year.
The agreement has been reached within the new ‘commitments’ framework which will replace the current regulatory regime as confirmed by the CAA last year.
EasyJet started flying from London Gatwick Airport in 1999 and now has 57 aircraft based there, operating on 108 routes. The airline has around 1400 cabin crew and 700 pilots operating from the airport.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. William Shakespeare touches down at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area on the fuselage of Airbus A319-111 G-EZBI (msn 3003).
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) will launch nonstop two-class Airbus A321 “Mint” service between the New York (JFK) hub and San Francisco on October 26 according to Airline Route.
According to the airline, “Mint will offer an unparalleled in-flight experience: the longest lie-flat beds in domestic business class (a) and four private suites among the 16 Mint seats.
Mint will feature a pre-departure drink, followed by a cocktail and amuse-bouche once airborne. JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline™, has partnered with the popular New York City-based restaurant Saxon + Parole to curate the onboard menu. Mint travelers will customize their meal by choosing among five “comfort food with a twist” offerings, served tapas-style, followed by dessert. Fresh cappuccino and espresso made from the first purposely built cappuccino machine for a U.S. airline will be available throughout the flight.
JetBlue will also be the only U.S. airline to offer customized men’s and women’s amenity kits from partner Birchbox, a global discovery retail company that offers consumers a personalized way to discover, learn about and purchase the best beauty and grooming products from prestigious brands. With an amenity kit designed specifically for JetBlue, loyal customers will receive new favorite products often as these unique kits will be changed several times throughout the year.
The Mint seat:
JetBlue chose to fully customize the Mint seat, featuring:
Fully lie-flat beds up to 6′ 8″ (203cm), averaging the longest in the U.S. domestic business class market (a)
The only private suites with closing doors in the American market, four on each flight
Seats up to 22.3″ wide, making them the widest seats on average in the U.S. domestic market (a)
Air cushions with adjustable firmness
15-inch flat screen with up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio
Dual 110 volt power outlets with two USB ports
“Wake me for service” indicator, allowing customers to customize their service needs
A refreshed core experience
JetBlue’s brand new Airbus A321 aircraft will also feature an enhanced core product, including a new world-class seat designed to maximize comfort, larger 10.1″ personal screens offering up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio (d), in-seat power outlets accessible to all customers and a drink holder. As a result of the new next-generation slimmer seat design, customers will enjoy even more living space and the most legroom in coach (e), as well as more comfort.
To add even more to the core experience on New York-Los Angeles/San Francisco flights, JetBlue created the marketplace for all new Airbus A321s, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience throughout the flight.
The airline’s A321 fleet will also offer free (f) superfast Fly-Fi for all customers, JetBlue’s revolutionary in-air Wi-Fi.
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by JetBlue). Airbus A321-321 N907JB (msn 5865) arrives on runway 09L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Video: Humanity in customer service and the new Airbus A321 Mint Service:
United Airlines (Chicago) Boeing 737-900 ER (N69818) took to the skies on Friday (March 28) to honor the company’s top 100 employees. The new Boeing 737-900 ER features the company’s “United 100″ logo on the exterior. The airline designed the United 100 program to recognize 100 employees nominated and selected by their co-workers for exemplary performance or achievements that support the cornerstones of the company’s business plan. Being honored as a United 100 recipient is the company’s highest honor for employee recognition.
The United 100 plane also features a plaque inscribed with the winners’ names on a wall inside. The airline plans to update the plaque with the annual winners’ names each year.
United this week honored these top employees at its second annual “United 100″ celebration in downtown Chicago. At the luncheon, Smisek surprised the winners with an announcement that the newest aircraft in the company’s fleet would be dedicated in their honor.
The winners also each received a crystal award and 100,000 MileagePlus miles. The 100 winners, who represent every work group in the company, and their guests came from throughout the United States as well as nine international locations for the event, where United’s senior leadership congratulated and recognized them for their great efforts to go above and beyond for customers, co-workers and the company.
In 2013, 5,612 employees were nominated for United 100. The 100 annual winners are selected by their divisions from among the approximately 400 quarterly winners, who are chosen by divisions. All of United’s more than 85,000 employees are eligible for the program.
Additionally, United Airlines is expanding its extensive trans-Pacific network this weekend, connecting its San Francisco hub with Taipei, Taiwan, beginning today (March 29), and launching a second daily flight between Houston and Tokyo tomorrow (March 30).
United will host inaugural gate events in both San Francisco and Houston, marking the importance of these flights to tourism and economic development.
United will operate both services with Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The aircraft flying San Francisco-Taipei will offer 269 seats – eight in United Global First, 40 in United BusinessFirst and 221 in United Economy, including 113 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats.
The aircraft flying Houston-Tokyo will offer 267 seats – 50 in United BusinessFirst and 217 in United Economy, including 72 United Economy Plus seats.
In United Global First and United BusinessFirst, United offers customers seats that recline into fully flat beds, personal on-demand entertainment, in-seat power and USB ports, enabling travelers to rest or to be productive in-flight. Customers in United Economy also enjoy personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat and in-seat power.
United is the only U.S. airline to offer the comfort of flat-bed seats in its premium cabins on every long-haul, international flight from the continental United States. The airline also offers more extra-legroom economy seating than any U.S. airline.
These Taipei and Tokyo additions come as United plans to introduce three-times-weekly Boeing 787 service June 9 between San Francisco and Chengdu, China, pending government approval. This nonstop service would be the first by a U.S. airline from the United States to mainland China, beyond Beijing and Shanghai. The company also plans to offer, subject to government approval, nonstop Boeing 787 service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, six times weekly beginning on October 26.
With these changes, United also operated its last scheduled Boeing 747-400 from Los Angeles last night (March 28) to Sydney. The type may revisit LAX again as a substitution.
Top Copyright Photos: United Airlines.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N107UA (msn 26900) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
American Eagle Airlines’ (Envoy) (subsidiary of the American Airlines Group) (Dallas/Fort Worth) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have rejected by a 70-30 percent margin the “concessionary contract”. ALPA issued this statement:
American Eagle pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) expressed their collective will and on March 28 rejected a concessionary contract proposed by American Airlines Group (AAG). With 92 percent of the eligible pilots casting their ballots, 70 percent voted against ratification of the contract.
“The Eagle pilots made a clear choice today, and it was not an easy one,” said Capt. Bill Sprague, chairman of the Eagle ALPA Master Executive Council. “Despite threats from AAG management that they would seek other express carriers to conduct our flying, today’s vote demonstrates that the demands for contract concessions were not acceptable. Today’s vote clearly shows that pilots can, and will, vote against any agreement that is not in their best interests.”
The proposed contract changes were a combination of pay freezes, reductions in per diem, and increased health-care costs in exchange for a promise to refleet the airline and enhance the existing agreement to transfer pilots to American Airlines. These concessions were in addition to the $43 million the pilots gave the company during bankruptcy last year.
Having previously worked under a 16-year contract that concluded with AMR’s bankruptcy filing, the American Eagle pilots have not seen meaningful contractual gains since 2004. New-hire pilot pay begins at less than $23,000 per year. Had the contract been approved, first officers would have been capped at about $38,000 per year after four years of service.
“Management has said many times to us that this agreement is their ‘bottom line’ offer and believe that they will be able to get the same cost savings from another provider,” Sprague said. “We question whether any regional airline is able to attract and retain pilots by offering poverty-level wages. American Eagle already has a career progression arrangement with American, and yet, due to a lack of pilots, it’s unable to perform the regional flying that American Airlines desires. Other airlines are experiencing the same problem.”
According to Reuters, American Eagle (Envoy) will shrink.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Will American Eagle Airlines (soon to be Envoy) go the same way as Comair? CEO Doug Parker, with the looming pilot shortage, now has a difficult decision to make as the pilot unions and members are drawing a line on wages and benefits concessions. The next move is from AAG management. The likely outcome is to gradually downsize Envoy and move large regional jet operations to other American Eagle carriers and gradually phase out the 50-seat ERJs currently operated by American Eagle. Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N536EA (msn 10315) of American Eagle (Envoy) arrives at Toronto (Pearson).
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will be the first U.S. airline to allow self-tagging of bags from home on select introductory routes. The airline issued this statement:
Self-tag online debuts on April 21 for passengers traveling nonstop between Seattle/Tacoma and San Diego, Anchorage or Juneau, Alaska, with plans to expand the option for customers traveling from other airports later this summer. This launch follows the completion of a successful pilot program, which was offered to customers traveling between Seattle/Tacoma and Hawaii in 2013.
Starting on April 21, travelers flying to or from any of the four debut cities will receive a pre-trip email with a link to request a free reusable bag tag holder by mail. Tag holders will also be available to pick up at each of the four airports. Passengers who elect to self-tag will enjoy a designated Self-Tag Express™ lane when they arrive at the airport.
How self-tag online works:
Book a trip at http://www.alaskaair.com.
Follow instructions in your pre-trip email to request a bag tag holder by mail or pick up a holder in person at one of the four participating airports.
Check in online up to 24 hours before your flight and follow the instructions to print a bag tag at home.
Insert printed bag tag into the tag holder.
At the airport, follow signs for Self-Tag Express™ lanes.
Show the agent your boarding pass, identification and drop off your bags.
Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to launch self-bag tagging from home, another chapter in the carrier’s long history of pioneering technologies and innovations to make flying easier. Alaska was the first airline in North America to sell tickets over the Internet, and the first in the world to allow customers to check in and print boarding passes online. Last year, the carrier installed kiosks with self-tagging printers at 10 airport locations including Seattle/Tacoma, Anchorage and Portland, Oregon.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N703AS (msn 28893) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC), one of the introductory cities for self-tagging.
China Airlines introduces a “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan” decorated Airbus A330-300 logo jet
China Airlines (Taipei) this month introduced a logo jet dedicated to the ethnic diversity in Taiwan. The airline issued this statement on the special Masalu! Taiwan Airbus A330-300:
The “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan” liveried aircraft is the result of a partnership between Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan and China Airlines. The pictured B-18358 made its inaugural flight on March 11 from Taoyuan Airport to Auckland via Sydney. China Airlines flies to Auckland seven times a week, promoting Taiwan’s indigenous culture to the world. Continuing with China Airlines’ Taiwan Culture and Creativity series, the new liveried aircraft is the only one of its kind in the world, displaying details of a traditional wedding of the Paiwan tribe. The drawings come from renowned indigenous artist Sakuliu Pvavaljung’s Wedding Celebration series, shown in the public for the first time. These drawings of joyful celebration welcome people to enjoy the diversity Taiwan has to offer.
The liveried aircraft is an Airbus A330-300, with a capacity of 30 Business Class seats and 277 Economy Class seats. There are illustrations on the cabin interior and designs on the head-rest covers containing indigenous elements, and inserts in the seat pockets introducing the livery on the plane. The aircraft will mainly serve Australia and New Zealand routes, along with Japan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia routes. In July 2013, Taiwan and New Zealand established the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs of Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), and it is the first agreement of its type to incorporate a chapter on indigenous cooperation. Taiwan’s indigenous people and New Zealand’s Māori both belong to the Austronesian language family, and research has shown that they have similar genetic characteristics. Because of their close links both culturally and genetically, Taiwan and New Zealand agreed to strengthen ties between the two indigenous groups. Therefore, the first flight for “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” was to Auckland, New Zealand, marking historical significance.
The inaugural flight ceremony began with a vibrant Paiwan tribe wedding ceremony, followed by a melodious performance of “Song of the Sea” by Taipei City Indigenous Youth and Children Chorus, together with China Airlines pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance crew of indigenous descent. The attendees at the unveiling of the liveried airplane included Wu Den-yih, Vice President of Taiwan, Lin,Chiang-I (Mayaw.Dongi), Minister of The Council of Indigenous Peoples, Sun Huang-hsiang, Chairmain of China Airlines, and Lin Peng-liang, President of China Airlines. Each passenger on the inaugural flight received a passport cover, bag, and deck of cards with indigenous print, and a Visiting Taiwan’s Indigenous Tribes notebook.
The illustrations on “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” come from the father of modern indigenous art, Sakuliu Pvavaljung. They are from his series of works titled Wedding Celebration, depicting unique marriage traditions from the Paiwan tribe. The illustrations chosen best capture the essence of these works, and include the sending of dowry from the groom on the right side of the fuselage, and the carrying of the bride and the swing ceremony on the left side of the fuselage. The logo “MASALU! TAIWAN” on the body of the plane uses the Paiwan greeting “Masalu” to welcome people to Taiwan.
The indigenous people of Taiwan are few and precious, numbering approximately 530,000 and constituting two percent of the population. The government of Taiwan officially recognizes 14 peoples, and each has preserved their own culture, language and customs. The Council of Indigenous Peoples has partnered with China Airlines on a liveried aircraft in order to promote the rich culture of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, and to draw people from all over the world for a taste of Taiwanese aesthetics. The inaugural flight not only echoes New Zealand and Taiwan bringing tourism ties closer through the ANZTEC agreement, but also expands on economic development in Taiwan’s tribes.
As a leading player in Taiwan’s aviation industry, China Airlines promotes Taiwan’s strength as a cultural hub, and in recent years has released 3 launched aircraft from its Taiwan Culture and Creativity series. The first liveried airplane, “Love & Hug,” features works from artist Jimmy Liao, in which little children are locked in loving embrace with protected animals and planet earth. The second liveried airplane, “Taiwan Tourism,” a collaboration with Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, shows LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), ecology, romance, cuisine, shopping, culture and other features of Taiwan tourism offerings with a creative cultural flair. The third liveried airplane, “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan,” displays the customs of Taiwan’s indigenous people, showcases Taiwan’s cultural creativity.
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302 B-18358 (msn 1346) departs today (March 28) from the Taipei (Taoyuan) base.
Air Canada (Montreal) has announced that its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge (Toronto-Pearson), is expanding to Western Canada to serve a number of predominantly leisure markets from Vancouver and Calgary to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Anchorage. Flights on these routes, currently operated by Air Canada, will be converted to Air Canada rouge service beginning this spring, as will flights to San Diego from Toronto.
In addition, the airline announced that it will introduce new seasonal nonstop service operated by Air Canada rouge between Vancouver and Phoenix beginning on December 17, 2014. Existing service from Calgary and Toronto to Phoenix will also be converted to Air Canada rouge.
Air Canada flights on the following routes will be converted to Air Canada rouge Airbus A319 service beginning this spring:
Las Vegas, NV, daily flights effective April 28.
Los Angeles, CA, four times daily effective May 1.
Anchorage, AK, daily effective May 16.
San Francisco, CA, four times daily effective July 1.
Phoenix, AZ, daily effective December 17.
Las Vegas, NV, daily effective April 28.
Los Angeles, CA, twice daily effective May 1.
Phoenix, AZ, daily effective December 17.
San Diego, CA daily effective March 29.
Phoenix, AZ, daily effective May 4; up to three times daily during the winter season.
With the addition of these routes, together with its previously announced summer 2014 schedule to Europe, the Caribbean and the United States, Air Canada rouge plans to operate a total of 54 routes, including new service this summer to Barcelona, Dublin, Lisbon, Manchester, Nice and Rome.
In other news, Air Canada has revised its introductory plans for the new Boeing 787. The airline has cancelled plans to operate the new type initially to London (Heathrow). The 787 will now operate from Toronto (Pearson) to Zurich from May 18 through June 29 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. 264-seat Boeing 767-33A ER C-GHPN (msn 33424) arrives at Las Vegas.
Air China (Beijing) plans to start Beijing – Vladivostok (Siberia, Russia) service on June 3, 2014.
The four-times weekly service CA 701/2 will be operated on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday. The outbound flight departs at 06:25 Beijing time and arrives at 11:35 local time; the return flight departs at 12:35 local time and arrives at 12:00 Beijing time.
Vladivostok is also known in Chinese as Haishenwai. Located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula in the east of the Eurasian continent, Vladivostok is close to Russia’s borders with China and North Korea. There’s a three-hour time difference between Vladivostok and Beijing. Vladivostok is the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The Beijing – Vladivostok service is Air China’s third route to Russia after Beijing – Moscow and Beijing – Chita were introduced.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-89L B-5423 (msn 36742) arrives back at the Beijing (Capital) hub.
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) today (March 28) announced it has become the Official Airline of the Fremantle Football Club (rugby) and the Premier Partner and Official Airline of the West Coast Eagles for the next five years.
As part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to Western Australia, the airline today also unveiled a unique ‘give-back’ program designed to deepen the support between fans and the clubs.
From today, Virgin Australia will give $10 back to clubs for every flight taken by Velocity Frequent Flyer members who register their club preference during the 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Virgin Australia will also reward the WA fans that fly the most during the season with an exclusive seat on board a charter flight from Perth to the AFL Grand Final, including tickets to the game and accommodation.
Read the full story from the football club: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photos: Virgin Australia.
Embraer (São José dos Campos) yesterday (March 27) delivered, in a ceremony held at the Company’s headquarters, in São José dos Campos, the first dual-class 76-seat Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) to SkyWest Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) (St. George, Utah). The aircraft is part of the firm order signed by the airline last year, for 40 E175 aircraft. SkyWest Airlines will operate the aircraft as an United Express carrier for United Airlines. The E175s are configured in a dual-class 76-seat layout.
An additional 60 orders are reconfirmable, subject to SkyWest being awarded Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) contracts with major U.S. airline partners. The agreement between SkyWest and Embraer also includes options for another 100 E175s, taking the potential total order up to 200 airplanes.
In a separate deal with Embraer, SkyWest became the launch customer of the E175-E2, ordering 100 aircraft with 100 additional options, for deliveries beginning in 2020.
SkyWest is the largest regional airline group in the world and is the parent company of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines. Both companies have long histories with Embraer and were early customers for the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft. More than 40 EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft currently fly in the SkyWest Airlines network, primarily in the western United States. ExpressJet Airlines operates 251 aircraft of the ERJ 145 family and is the largest ERJ operator in the world.
The new type is due to enter revenue service on May 17, 2014 on the Chicago (O’Hare)-Washington (Reagan National) route.
Copyright Photo: Embraer.
Routes operated as United Express:
The first Airbus A380 for Asiana Airlines (Seoul) was rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg, marking the completion of its painting. The aircraft will then have completion of its cabin and enter a final phase of ground and flight tests in Hamburg, during which all cabin systems will be thoroughly tested, including air flow and air conditioning, lighting, galleys, lavatories, seats and in-flight entertainment systems. In parallel, Airbus will also undertake advanced performance tests with the aircraft before it flies back to Toulouse for preparation of its delivery to the airline in the second quarter of this year.
Asiana Airlines has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft from Seoul initially on regional services in Asia followed by long-haul routes to the United States.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. The first A380 is A380-841 F-WWAP which will become HL7625 (msn 152) on the handover.
Video: From National Geographic – Building the Airbus A380:
Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737-800 (737-81D C-GNCH, msn 39438) (above) with a new Sky Interior direct from Boeing. The airline issued this statement:
“Sunwing Airlines is pleased to announce it has taken delivery of its newest aircraft directly from the Boeing facility in Seattle. Earlier this month, Sunwing representatives travelled to the Seattle headquarters of Boeing to pick up their latest aircraft — the state-of-the-art 737-800 Boeing plane which is configured within Sunwing fleet specification to accommodate 189 passengers. Sunwing Captain, John Hudson and crew operated the brand new aircraft carrying the Sunwing representatives from Seattle to Toronto.
The Next-Generation aircraft contains most modern interior features such as an innovative cabin mood lighting system, pivoting overhead stowage bins that add to the openness of the cabin, as well as advanced-technology wing design that helps increase fuel capacity and efficiency. After leaving Boeing, the 737-800 series plane was retrofitted with the Split Scimitar Winglets technology prior to its integration into Sunwing Airlines flight operations. This technology improves performance of the aircraft and decreases fuel burn by approximately seven per cent over the same aircraft with no Winglets.”
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81D C-GNCH taxies at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle on a clear day.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Sunwing Airlines.
SkyWest Airlines (Delta Connection) (St. George, Utah) will upgrade service to Twin Falls, Idaho this summer to Bombardier CRJ200 service from Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia flights. The airlines issued this statement:
“Flying in and out of Twin Falls is about to get an upgrade with the start of new jet service this summer. The daily Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, are scheduled to begin June 5. This transition to larger, jet aircraft will continue to make flying out of Magic Valley Regional Airport simple and convenient.
The twice-daily jet service will be onboard the 50-passenger Bombardier-manufactured Canadair Regional Jet 200 (CRJ200) and will replace the current 30-passenger EMB-120 Brasilia flights.”
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N912SW (msn 7595) prepares to touch down in Los Angeles.
Delta Connection routes operated by SkyWest Airlines:
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced new nonstop service today from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) starting on September 2.
This will be followed by Seattle/Tacoma-Albuquerque, New Mexico nonstop flights starting on September 18.
Alaska Airlines issued this statement and also deleted routes:
Alaska Airlines is growing its Seattle/Tacoma hub again with the addition of new daily nonstop service to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Baltimore. The cities are in addition to previously announced service to Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa, Florida, scheduled to begin this June and September.
With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will now offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 78 destinations from Seattle.
Summary of new daily service:
Seattle – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle – Baltimore: starting September 2
Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18
Other Schedule Changes
As part of its overall network strategy, Alaska Airlines is discontinuing service between four city pairs: Los Angeles and San Jose, California, on April 5; Portland, Oregon, and Long Beach, California, on August 23; Atlanta and Portland on September 1; and previously announced summer Anchorage-Denver flights.
Introducing Albuquerque and Baltimore
The new routes will be flown with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska already serves the area through Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). BWI is the stronghold of rival Southwest Airlines. Boeing 737-890 N528AS (msn 35696) completes the river approach into DCA.
Adria Airways (Ljubljana, Slovenia) has signed a firm purchase agreement for two Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets according to the manufacturer. A Star Alliance member with over fifty years of experience in scheduled and charter services, Adria Airways has been a Bombardier customer since March 1997. The carrier currently operates four Bombardier CRJ200, two CRJ900 and two CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) S5-AAK (msn 15128) of Adria Airways arrives in Frankfurt.