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Southwest Airlines announces new nonstop service between Dallas Love Field and both San Francisco and Oakland

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced two additional destinations from Dallas (Love Field). Flights between Dallas and both San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport begin on January 6, 2015.

The carrier previously announced its post Wright Amendment offerings from Dallas (Love Field) which, along with the additions of Oakland and San Francisco, gives Dallas Customers access to a total of 33 destinations via nonstop service on Southwest Airlines by January 6, 2015.

Beginning October 13, 2014, Southwest will add nonstop service from Dallas (Love Field) to Baltimore/Washington, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Ronald Reagan Washington National.

On November 2, 2014, Southwest will add additional nonstop city offerings from Dallas (Love Field) to Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, Nashville, New York (LaGuardia), Phoenix, San Diego, Orange County/Santa Ana, and Tampa.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8301J (msn 36980) “Warrior One” lands in Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines:

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Delta to resume the Salt Lake City-Mexico City route on December 20

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will resume the Salt Lake City-Mexico City route on December 20. Airbus A319 equipment will connect Delta’s SLC hub with its partner AeroMexico’s MEX hub with daily service according to Airline Route.

Delta dropped this route in September 2012.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 N319NB (msn 1346) prepares to touch down in New York (JFK).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

American updates its new Airbus A321 routes

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) introduced the new two-class Airbus A321-200 on the Los Angeles-Miami route on August 1 (rather than Los Angeles-Dallas/Fort Worth route) according to Airline Route.

Other planned Airbus A321 routes:

Los Angeles-Dallas/Fort Worth (August 22)

Los Angeles-Las Vegas (September 3)

Miami-Las Vegas (September 3)

Dallas/Fort Worth-San Francisco (September 3)

Dallas/Fort Worth-Miami (October 2)

Dallas/Fort Worth-Orlando (October 2)

Miami-Orlando (October 2)

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 N101NN (msn 5834) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

 

Thai Smile to move some routes to Don Mueang Airport

Thai Smile Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Airport-BKK) has announced it will move some of its routes to Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to better compete against its low fare rivals. Effective August 8 it will operate from DMK to Chiang Mai, Kohn Kaen and Phuket.

The airline issued this statement:

Thai Smile Airways will add services to and from Don Mueang Airport in order to provide more passenger convenience for travel to domestic destinations, effective August 8, 2014.

Thai Smile Airways (airline code WE) will operate initially to three domestic destinations from Don Mueang Airport.

Thai Smile Airways is offering special promotional fares for one-way travel to Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen with prices starting at 990 Baht, for one-way travel to Phuket with fares starting at 1,090 Baht.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HS-TXE (msn 5436) departs from Phuket, Thailand.

Thai Smile: AG Slide Show

Thai Smile DMK Ad (Thai Smile)(LR)

Thai Smile logo

Route Map:

Thai Smile 8.2014 Route Map (LRW)

Lufthansa Group resumes flights to Erbil, otherwise will avoid Iraqi airspace

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about flying over Iraq:

After renewed consultation with the relevant national security authorities, the Lufthansa Group has decided to resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) from today (August 4). Erbil lies well outside the direct crisis zone in Iraq, and flights to and from the city will be routed to avoid overflying the zone. Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flies twice-weekly to Erbil, a further daily flight is operated by Austrian Airlines (Vienna).

For the time being, however, transit traffic to Asia and the Middle East, for example, will continue to detour Iraqi airspace. The Lufthansa Group is in close and regular contact with the relevant national security authorities, also in Iraq. Based on our own assessment, there is currently no danger in overflying Iraq. Nevertheless, the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid the Iraqi airspace above the section controlled by Isis for the time being. In taking this step, the Lufthansa Group is taking into account the growing apprehension of customers and our own flight crews. The safety and well being of passengers is naturally our paramount priority. The changes in flight routes apply to all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Aside from Lufthansa, those airlines include Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. The new flight routes will not significantly lengthen flight times.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVS (msn 28286) of Lufthansa with the short-lived “Fanhansa” titles for the recent FIFA World Cup departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

flyafrica.com launches operations

flyafrica.com 737-500 Z-FAA (14)(Grd)(flyarica.com)(LR)

flyafrica.com (Harare) finally launched scheduled passenger operations on August 1 from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. The start was delayed from July 23.

The flyafrica.com fleet is made up of five Boeing 737-500s including the pictured Z-FAA.

Copyright Photo: flyafrica.com.

flyafrica.com logo

Dobrolet is forced to shut down due to European sanctions

Dobrolet (2nd) (Moscow-Sheremetyevo), Aeroflot’s wholly owned low-cost carrier subsidiary, started scheduled passenger operations from Moscow (Sheremetyevo) to Simferopol, Crimea on June 10, 2014 as we originally reported. Since then, the airline introduced a second route to Volgograd. Planned new service to Samara, Ufa, Perm, Ekaterinburg, Surgut and Kazan will be postponed until further notice.

Due to new sanctions imposed by the European Union, the leases of the Boeing 737-800s from European companies has been cancelled leaving the airline without any aircraft. The airline has been forced to suspend its own operations starting today. However the carrier is wet leasing aircraft from Orenburg Airlines to fly their schedules.

The European Union blacklisted Dobrolet on July 30, 2014 as part of a sanctions package against Russia.

The airline issued this statement (translated from Russian):

Dear passengers!

In connection with the cancellation of the contract of leasing aircraft Boeing 737-800, due to the sanctions imposed by the EU in respect of airline Dobrolet, we are forced to temporarily suspend flights on all routes from August 4, 2014.

On the route Moscow-Simferopol-Moscow all passengers with flights to September 15 inclusive, will be transported by Orenburg Airlines at the date and time specified on the ticket.

On the route Moscow-Volgograd-Moscow all passengers with flights to August 20 inclusive, will be transported by Orenburg Airlines at the date and time specified on the ticket.

Flights on other routes are temporarily canceled, passengers will automatically receive a full refund.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!

Update: On August 6, 2014 the airline announced it had ordered sixteen new Boeing 737-800s to be delivered in 2017-2018. This batch of aircraft may be coming from a non-European leasing company as Boeing has not confirmed this new order.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Leased from BBAM, Boeing 737-8FZ VQ-BTS (msn 41991) arrives back at the Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) base.

Route Map:

Dobrolet (2nd) 8.2014 Route Map

Flydubai to fly to Tehran and Mashhad in Iran

Flydubai (Dubai) today announced the launch of flights to Tehran and Mashhad, the carrier’s first two destinations in Iran.

Flights to Tehran will begin on August 11 and Mashhad on August 10. Flydubai will serve Iran with four flights a week, providing passengers with greater convenience when travelling between the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The carrier will be looking at expanding its network in the market as it continues to strengthen the trade and travel links from Dubai to the region.

The carrier, which took delivery of three new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s in July (one is pictured above), has grown its fleet to 39 aircraft with more than 100 new Boeing aircraft on order.

Flydubai commenced its new services to Kandahar in July and Aden at the beginning of August. The airline is also set to commence flights to Moscow and Kazakhstan in September, Mumbai in October and to Sarajevo and Zagreb in December.

Top Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8KN A6-FEM 9msn 40264) was handed over to the carrier on July 14, 2014.

Flydubai: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Flydubai. According to the carrier, “Orange represents the warmth of the climate and the people and blue represents the sparkling clear sea and endless blue skies. The free flowing bands on the tail are reflective of the ever-changing coastline of Dubai”.

Flydubair tail (Flydubai)(LR)

Route Map:

Flydubai 8.2014 Route Map

Some airlines including the Lufthansa Group, QANTAS and Royal Jordanian are temporarily avoiding Iraqi airspace

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is not flying over Iraq through today. The Group issued this statement:

After renewed consultation, the Lufthansa Group has decided effective immediately not to fly over Iraq until and including Sunday. This includes flights to Erbil in northern Iraq for this time period. Normally, Lufthansa flies twice weekly to Erbil and Austrian Airlines operates a daily flight. The company is also in regular and close contact with the responsible security authorities in Iraq regarding flight safety. Based on our own evaluations there is currently no danger in flying over Iraq or for Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines flights to the north Iraq city of Erbil. Nevertheless and as a precautionary measure the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid Iraqi air space effective immediately and including Sunday. The reason for this is that the background of the decision made by some aviation authorities is not clear yet and needs a comprehensive evaluation. With this step the company carries the growing uncertainty of customers and crew members that results from the different evaluations of aviation officials. Lufthansa regrets the resulting inconvenience for its customers. However, the safety and security of its passengers is the highest priority of the company. The changed flight routes apply to all group airlines. In addition to Lufthansa, this includes Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. By avoiding Iraqi air space flight times will not significantly increase.

Meanwhile QANTAS Airways issued this statement about Iraqi airspace:

Qantas has closely monitored the issue of flight paths over conflict zones, particularly in light of the MH 17 tragedy, with safety our first priority.

We have no new information that alters our safety assessment of flying over Iraq, especially given the altitudes we maintain over this region.

However, given the various restrictions imposed by different governments in the past 24 hours, including by the United States’ FAA, QANTAS temporarily rerouted its flights within the Middle East to avoid Iraqi airspace. This change will apply until further information becomes available.

The flight path adjustment applies to services between Dubai and London, and is not expected to significantly increase flight times on this route.

We will continue to assess this situation and make any further amends we think are prudent.

In addition, Royal Jordanian suspended all flights to Baghdad for at least 24 hours on security grounds yesterday according to Reuters.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKE (msn 636) departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

FlySafair to finally launch low-fare operations on October 16

FlySafair (Johannesburg) has finally been cleared to fly. Previously the subsidiary of Safair (Johannesburg) on October 8, 2013 had been prevented from flying by a court order of the High Court of South Africa.

The new airline will now launch scheduled passenger operations on October 16 between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Services between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth will start later on October 30

Here is a list of the full schedules: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 ZS-JRE (msn 26065) is tugged at the JNB base.

FlySafair banner

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

Safair: AG Slide Show

Video: A TV commercial for FlySafair:

Video: A short history of Safair:

European Coastal Airlines to launch seaplane flights in Croatia

European Coastal DHC-6 (ECA)(LRW)

European Coastal Airlines-ECA (Zagreb, Croatia) is a new seaplane operator founded in 2000. Ever since its foundation it has been working on the infrastructural in Croatia to start regularly scheduled seaplane operations to connect major cities and the islands along the Croatian coast. The goal is to connect all 66 inhabited islands of Croatia as well as expand operations later to Italy, Monaco and Greece.

European Coastal logo (large)

The new seaplane carrier is planning to launch scheduled passenger flights later this month with a fleet of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters and Grumman G-21A Goose aircraft. The first flight will connect Split Airport with the resort destination of Jelsa on the island of Hvar. The new airline will also soon operate flights from Pula, Rab, Split and Zadar.

European Coastal Island Hopping banner (LRW)

Read the interview with CEO Klaus Dieter Martin: CLICK HERE

All images by European Coastal Airlines.

European Coastal DHC-6 Cockpit (ECA)(LRW)

Above: The cockpit of the DHC-6 Twin Otter 9A-TOA.

European Coastal DHC-6 Cabin (ECA)(LRW)

Above the cabin of the DHC-6 Twin Otter.

Video:

Emirates arrives in Abuja, Nigeria, its 144th destination

Emirates (Dubai) add Abuja, Nigeria on August 1. Abuja is Emirates 26th destination in Africa and its 144th worldwide.

Emirates flight EK 785 landed at Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on August 1, marking the start of the airline’s daily service to its second destination in Nigeria. Services to Lagos were launched just over 10 years ago.

Emirates’ Dubai-Abuja route is served by an Airbus A340-300 which offers 267 seats in a three-class configuration – 12 First Class, 42 Business Class and 213 Economy Class seats. Customers on the route experience Emirates’ award-winning hospitality – from multi-national cabin crew and gourmet cuisine to the ice entertainment system, which offers hundreds of channels of audio and visual entertainment. Customers also enjoy Emirates’ generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business and 50kg in First.

Emirates flight EK 785 departs Dubai daily at 1050 and arrives in Abuja at 1510. The return flight, EK 786 departs Abuja at 1935 and arrives in Dubai at 0550 the next morning.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313 A6-ERS (msn 139) arrives back at the Dubai hub.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

IAG has its best second quarter since 2007

International Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London) reported second quarter net income of €280 million ($376 million) up from €127 million ($170.5 million) net income for the same period a year ago. This is the best second quarter results since 2007.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-336 ER G-BNWD (msn 24336) of British Airways arrives at Baltimore/Washington.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus has its highest second quarter operating results since 2010, wants to expand to North America, especially Dallas/Fort Worth

Aer Lingus (Dublin) posted a first half net loss of €12.3 million ($16.5 million), narrowed from a €23.5 million ($31.5 million) net loss in the same period a year ago. This includes the highest second quarter operating result since 2010 despite a €10 million negative effect of industrial action.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The airline has been very happy with the  results of new service to San Francisco and Toronto and wants to further expand with new routes to North America. Dallas/Fort Worth is high on their list for new routes according to this article by the Irish Independent.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus is using Air Contractors Boeing 757-200s formerly operated by Finnair for the Toronto route. Boeing 757-2Q8 EI-LBR (msn 28167) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to open several winter seasonal flights, Sarasota/Bradenton to revert to mainline service

Air Canada (Montreal) will revert to mainline service on the Toronto (Pearson)-Sarasota/Bradenton route on November 1 from rouge service. The route will initially operate twice weekly with Airbus A319s/A320s until December 13 when it becomes daily for the winter season per Airline Route.

Additionally Air Canada is starting weekly seasonal Ottawa-Samana, Dominican Republic  flights with Embraer 190s on December 22.

Air Canada will also start weekly seasonal Embraer 190 service from Montreal (Trudeau) to San Salvador in the Bahamas on November 1.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRK (msn 084) in the Star Alliance motif rests between flights at the Toronto (Pearson) base.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

SeaPort Airlines to introduce Burbank-San Diego service on October 1, wants to serve San Felipe, Mexico

SeaPort Caravan N24MG (08)(Grd)(SeaPort)(LRW)

SeaPort Airlines, Inc. (Portland, OR) has announced that it will increase its presence in Southern California with the introduction of nonstop flights between Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR) and San Diego International Airport (SAN) beginning on October 1, 2014.

The carrier will initially offer four roundtrips each weekday on the new route, one roundtrip on Saturday, and two roundtrips on Sunday. All flights will be operated with SeaPort’s Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft and are scheduled for 65 minutes from gate to gate.

Flights on the Burbank – San Diego route will be timed to allow connections with SeaPort’s proposed new service between San Diego – San Felipe (Baja California, Mexico). Subject to receipt of necessary approvals from the United States and Mexico governments, SeaPort plans to offer four weekly roundtrips on the route beginning on or around November 1, 2014.

Copyright Photos: SeaPort Airlines.

SeaPort to San Felipe, Mexico (LRW)

 

Delta to drop the Tokyo Narita-Hong Kong route on October 26

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to drop the Tokyo (Narita)-Hong Kong route on October 26. The airline is realigning its Pacific network per Airline Route. The route is served with Boeing 767-300 ERs.

In addition, Delta is also dropping the Nagoya-Manila route on October 26.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N169DZ (msn 29689) climbs away from the runway at Narita International Airport (NRT) near Tokyo.

Delta Air Lines (current livery): AG Slide Show

 

A new aviation documentary is coming in 2015

Aviation- The Invisible Highway

The Invisible Highway is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents, it renews our appreciation for one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring aspects of the modern world.

Video: The trailer for the new series:

TWA advertisement from the “Golden Years” of commercial aviation:

TWA Poster (LRW)

TWA-Trans World Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

QANTAS Airways to refurbish its Boeing 737-800 fleet

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will refurbish its fleet of 67 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, providing customers with a greater level of comfort and enhanced in-flight entertainment options.

The upgrade will commence in mid-2015 and be completed within 12 months.

According to the airline, “29 of our latest 737-800 aircraft already have full seat back video on demand in-flight entertainment for each passenger, the refurbishment will see wireless Q-streaming entertainment installed on the 38 remaining 737-800 aircraft to supplement the screens that fold down from the ceiling.”

QANTAS has 67 Boeing 737-800s in its domestic fleet, and will receive four new aircraft by December. Earlier this year the last of the older Boeing 737-400s was retired. The average age of the QF Boeing 737-800’s is 6.7 years.

The installation of QStreaming on the Boeing 737s is part of a broader overhaul of QANTAS’ in-flight entertainment offering, including 100 more hours of content per month, and the introduction of Sky News, Foxtel and Fox Sports for inflight news and additional programming.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-VZL (msn 34194) was delivered on April 22, 2011.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

PEOPLExpress lands in Atlanta

PEOPLExpress (2nd) 737-400 (PEOPLExpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress (2nd) (Newport News/Williamsburg) touched down today (August 1) with its new service connecting Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.

“Atlanta was an important destination for the original PEOPLExpress in the 1980s and we’re delighted to return with the same great low fares and convenient non-stop service,” said Jeff Erickson, a long-time airline executive leading the start-up. “People have been very receptive and supportive of our service. From the very beginning, PEOPLExpress was designed to provide a fun, creative and innovative approach to air travel to dispel the myth that low air fares have to mean low service or an impersonal experience. PEOPLExpress is restoring the concepts of respect, value and excitement to the air travel experience. It’s time to Fly Smart!™”

The Boeing 737-400 service operates daily, arriving from Newport News at 11:50 a.m. and departing Atlanta at 12:50 p.m.

Airport officials today welcomed PEOPLExpress with a water cannon salute and ribbon-cutting at the gate.

PEOPLExpress launched service June 30 to Newark, N.J., Boston and Pittsburgh and added West Palm Beach, Florida, to its route map on July 14 and has carried nearly 20,000 customers in its first month of service. On Aug. 28, PEOPLExpress begins service to both St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, and New Orleans.

PEOPLExpress has developed a low-cost, a la carte service model that enables customers to create a customized travel product reflecting their individual wishes and budgets. Customers can choose to fly at an ultra-low price with friendly and attentive service but minimal frills or they can opt to purchase extras they want to make their trip more enjoyable, such as priority boarding, pre-assigned seating or an upgrade to a Living Large™ seat with more personal space.

Top Copyright Photo: PEOPLExpress (2nd).

Bottom Copyright Photo: Atlanta Airport. The first flight arrives at the gate at ATL.

PEOPLExpress 737-400 arrives in ATL (ATL)(LR)

Spring Airlines Japan launches operations today

Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) today (August 1) as planned, launched passenger operations from Narita International Airport to Hiroshima, Saga and Takamatsu with its 189-seat Boeing 737-800s according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) became JA01GR on delivery.

Spring Airlines Japan: AG Slide Show

60 international investigators reach the Malaysia Airlines MH 17 crash site today, Malaysian Police secure the site

Malaysia logo-1

According to CNN, 60 international investigators today (August 1) reached the crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 in the eastern part of the Ukraine where fighting continues. Malaysian Police, after receiving permission, have secured the crash site.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Last night (July 31) Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia issued this statement:

Like the Netherlands, Malaysia is in mourning. We mourn the loss of all 298 lives on board MH 17.

And as we watched the first bodies arrive in Eindhoven, our hearts reached out to the people of the Netherlands, who have lost so much.

The flags flying at half-mast told their own story: of the nations who lost their sons and daughters. And of our determination to work together to bring them home.

Malaysia stands with the Netherlands, with Australia; with all countries whose people have been lost. We stand together, united in grief, and ready to help however we can.

Earlier, Prime Minister Rutte and I spoke about the continued military activity at the crash site; the inability of international investigators to deploy across it; and the human remains that may still lie there.

For the sake of the grieving families, it is imperative that all remains at the crash site are repatriated as soon as possible. Every single victim must be given dignity and a decent funeral.

Our other priority is to ensure the international investigators are given full and unfettered access to the site, so that they may collect evidence and carry out their vital work. Only then will we be able to find out what happened to MH 17; only then can we achieve justice for the victims and their families.

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved. But the people on board that plane had no part in it.

We ask that there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site – by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.

We ask that all sides respect the lives lost, and the integrity of the site, so that the investigation may proceed. The long walk towards justice begins with this step.

A team of 68 Malaysian police has arrived in Kiev. They will work together with the Dutch and Australian teams to help secure access to the site.

Malaysia fully supports the international investigation, and we are grateful to the Netherlands for their lead role in the international team.

Repatriating the remains of victims as fast as possible is a shared priority. Malaysian experts are already helping here in the Netherlands with the painstaking task of identification – and we stand ready to provide more assistance if required.

On behalf of Malaysia, I would like to thank Prime Minister Rutte and the Dutch people for all they have done, and continue to do, for the victims of this senseless and tragic act.

Thank you.

Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld part ways, Shamu airplanes to be repainted

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and SeaWorld have issued this joint statement:

“Southwest and SeaWorld have mutually decided not to renew their partnership when the contract expires at the end of the year. Our promotional marketing relationship began in 1988 and was one of the first of its kind – focused on co-marketing opportunities between Southwest passengers and SeaWorld visitors.

The companies decided not to renew the contract based on shifting priorities. Southwest is spreading its wings with new international service, and increased focus on local market efforts. With an increasing international visitor base, SeaWorld is looking to focus on new and growing markets in Latin America and Asia, among others.

The companies will continue to work together through Southwest Vacations. Southwest’s three specialty airplanes will return to the company’s traditional livery.

Southwest and SeaWorld have enjoyed their long relationship, and wish each other continued success.”

Southwest and SeaWorld have both been coming under a lot of public pressure on change.org in the form of a public petition calling for Southwest to separate itself from SeaWorld in the wake of the documentary Blackfish movie which criticized SeaWorld’s on-going procedures concerning the capture, training and containment of its orca whales. The death of a SeaWorld female trainer by an orca in captivity also spurred the release of the movie.

Read the petition: CLICK HERE

SeaWorld logo

SeaWorld responded to the movie Blackfish with this statement: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The three remaining Shamu specially painted Boeing 737s will be repainted. Boeing 737-7H4 N713SW (msn 27847) arrives in Los Angeles.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The colorful “Penguin One” will also be erased.

Video: Blackfish movie trailer:

Orange Air operates charter flights for the U.S. government

Orange Air DC-9-82 N918AV (white)(Grd) SFB (Orange Air)(LRW)

Orange Air, LLC (Sanford) is a relatively new FAR 121 Air Carrier located at the Orlando Sanford International Airport in Sanford, FL (north of Orlando).

The charter airline received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) on June 3, 2014. On June 10, 2014 it operated its first charter flight.

Mission Statement:

Orange Air strives to be a leading service provider of passenger air charter for Commercial Customers, US and International Government Agencies and US Defense Contractors providing the safest, most reliable, highest quality service and to be the most competitive 121 non-scheduled airline in the industry.

Copyright Photo: Orange Air. The crews stand in front of the first aircraft, former Belle Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N918AV (msn 49104, ex ZA-ARD).

Orange Air logo (small)

 

The new Eastern announces a new major investor

Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (65)(Flt-1)(Eastern)(LRW)

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) has issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines is pleased to announce the closing of its current equity round, with a major investment from Mr. Vincent Viola. Mr. Viola is an investor and entrepreneur whose business career has spanned over three decades. He previously rose to Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and is currently the Chairman of Virtu Financial, as well as the co-founder and a significant shareholder in Independent Bank in Texas and the owner of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

Mr. Viola is also a graduate of the United States Military Academy and New York Law School and has led the funding and creation of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Over the past 30 years he has been a leading advocate for veteran’s issues and philanthropy.

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Viola as our major shareholder and having the benefit of his broad business experience as a board member. He is a patriot as well as a highly accomplished business and civic leader, with a strong commitment to South Florida where Eastern is headquartered”, said Ed Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.

Mr. Viola commented, “I am delighted to be part of the re-launch of this great American company, and look forward to working closely with Eastern’s board and management in guiding the growth of this charter airline.”

The new carrier is hiring pilots. Previously on June 30 the company issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. has announced it is now accepting pilot applications online. Eastern plans to begin operating Boeing 737- 800 aircraft from its Miami base, subject to US government regulatory approval.

“This is an exciting time in our industry and Eastern will be providing good flight crew jobs with great promotion potential as we grow with 737 Next Generation aircraft, and eventually the 737 MAX,” said Eastern’s Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain John Furneaux.

Eastern is hiring Line Pilots and Check Airmen. The airline will initially hire a cadre of ten Captains and then additional hires of 25 to 30 pilots. Favorable consideration will be given to pilots with Boeing 737 and 757/767 type ratings. The airline expects pilots will have an extraordinary opportunity to advance rapidly during Eastern’s growth phase.

In addition, Eastern will offer compensation packages comparable to those of similar airlines.

Minimum qualifications include:

Valid FAA ATP Certificate
Current FAA First Class Medical Certificate
Valid FCC Restricted Radio Telephone Operator Permit
Favorable background check, including PRIA records examination, criminal history records check and National Driver Registry check
Bachelor degree
Current passport and legal eligibility to work in the United States
Current US driver’s license
Captain flight time minimums:
7000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
2000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet, PIC flight time
First Officer flight time minimums:
3000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
1000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet and/or turbo prop, PIC flight time

In addition to pilots, Eastern is seeking to fill a variety of other positions listed on the Career Opportunities page of its website. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online.

Image: Eastern Air Lines.

Eastern Airlines (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines announces new routes to Viracopos International Airport in Campinas, Brazil

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced it is adding new service to Viracopos International Airport (VCP) in Campinas, Brazil, from American’s hubs at Miami International Airport (MIA) and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK). This will mark American’s 10th destination in Brazil.

To operate these new routes, American will transition one daily frequency between Miami and Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) and select weekly frequencies between JFK and GRU. The new flight from JFK to VCP will operate three times per week beginning on December 1, 2014, and the daily flight from Miami to VCP will be launched on December 2, 2014, pending government approval. Both routes will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ER retrofited aircraft featuring fully lie-flat Business Class seats with all-aisle access.

By December, American will operate all of its flights between MIA and GRU with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, to better match demand for premium seating between these two important destinations. With this change, all flights between GRU and DFW, JFK and MIA will be operated with American’s 777-300 ER. The aircraft features a three-class cabin configuration with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, international Wi-Fi, and more customer and cargo capacity than any other aircraft currently in American’s fleet.

US Airways service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to GRU will be discontinued beginning October 1, 2014. Charlotte customers will still have access to GRU through American’s Latin America gateway in MIA. American will also continue to serve GRU from its hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, JFK and Los Angeles.

Beginning this winter, the airline will make the following seasonal schedule adjustments to Europe:

American Seasonal Adjustments

In addition, flights to Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan, Italy, will now be split between JFK and MIA, with four weekly frequencies from JFK and three from MIA between Jan. 6, 2015, and March 28, 2015.

Campinas Airport is the home of Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras which has also announced new long-range routes from Campinas with its new Airbus A330s.

The Campinas area is a city of around five million people and about a one hour drive from Sao Paulo.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N382AN (msn 25451) arrives in New York (JFK).

American (current livery): AG Slide Show

Iberia to add Airbus A330-200s and A350-900s to replace the A340s

Iberia A350-900 (13)(Flt)(IAG)(LRW)

Iberia (Iberia) will be getting new additional long-range aircraft to replace its older Airbus A340s. Parent IAG has made this announcement:

International Airlines Group (IAG) is converting eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft options into firm orders and securing eight A330-200 aircraft for Iberia.

These aircraft will replace 16 Airbus A340 family aircraft in Iberia’s long-haul fleet and will be delivered between 2015 and 2020.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Iberia has taken significant steps to restructure its business and the progress made so far means that we can bring new longhaul aircraft into the airline’s fleet. These orders demonstrate our commitment to make Iberia competitive.

“Both aircraft will provide cost efficiencies and environmental benefits, enabling Iberia to replace its long haul fleet with modern and fuel efficient aircraft. The new technology and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat by 18 per cent, as well as providing both noise and NOx performance advantages.

“Retaining an all Airbus long-haul fleet will also generate cost savings in maintenance and crewing”.

IAG secured commercial terms for the A350 aircraft as part of the Group long-haul order announced in April 2013.

The eight A330 aircraft will be obtained either by converting existing options from the 2011 Airbus order or from the operating lease market, depending on financial and delivery terms.

Image: Airbus/IAG.

Iberia:

Delta to start phasing out its Boeing 747-400s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) currently operates 16 ex-Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400s. According to FrequentBusinessTraveler.com citing a memo to its pilots, Delta will retire three aircraft by the end of September and another by the end of this year leaving 12 in the fleet.

Delta was originally a Boeing 747-100 operator and became a 747 operator again with the Northwest Airlines merger.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Boeing 747-451 N671US (msn 26477) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Greenland Express may need a new investor

Greenland Express (Denim Air) F.28 Mk 0100 PH-MJP (14)(Tko)(Greenland Express)(LRW)

Greenland Express has had to deal with two cancelled flights and other operational issues recently with operator Denim Air (Amsterdam) according to Nordjyske.dk. According to the report, the airline has issued refunds for the cancelled flights.

Greenland Express CEO Gert Brask also stated to the Danish website that a new investor will have to be found in the future. He will determine the time when new capital is needed.

Greenland Express Air is a Greenlandic/Danish virtual airline, established in the beginning of 2013.

Greenland Express Air chose Dutch flight operator Denim Air to operate the flights. Greenland Express Air uses a Denim Air 100-seat Fokker 100 aircraft (above) on flights between Denmark and Greenland.

Read the full article (in Danish): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Greenland Express. Denim Air’s Fokker 100 (F.28 Mk. 0100) PH-MJP (msn 11505) has been operated for Greenland Express in their colors since the start of services on June 17, 2014.

Elite Airways to fly from Melbourne, Florida to Washington Dulles starting on September 8

Elite Airways CRJ200 (Tko)(Elite)(LR)

Elite Airways (Portland, ME and Melbourne, FL) wants to get into the scheduled airline business. The company was founded on October 30, 2012 and received its FAA Part 121 AOC also in 2012. The airline wants to begin scheduled passenger flights to and from Melbourne International Airport in Florida. The airline has announced it wants to fly from Melbourne to Washington (Dulles) starting on September 8. Fares will start at $199 one-way (see below). The carrier intends to also operate from Portland in the near future.

The airline currently operates 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets but is considering larger aircraft.

Read the full story from the Portland Press Herald: CLICK HERE

All images by Elite Airways.

Elite Airways logo

Elite Airways 7.2014 Route Map

Moskovia Airlines to revert to a charter airline on September 1

Moskovia Airlines (Moscow-Zhukovsky) filed for bankruptcy protection and reorganization in February 2014. Following an inspection of the airline’s operations this month by the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia), the airline will longer be able to operate as a scheduled passenger airline according to ch-aviation. The airline will revert to a charter airline on September 1.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. The main aircraft for Moskovia now is the new pictured Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B and a remaining single Boeing 737-700 which is likely to be returned. RA-89021 (msn 95021) arrives in Munich.

Moskovia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

 

Spirit Airlines to add two new routes from Chicago and Detroit to New Orleans

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is adding nonstop service to New Orleans from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Detroit on November 6.

This is in addition to Spirit’s new nonstop service to New Orleans from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport that will begin on August 1, 2014. With the addition of these new routes, Spirit will operate flights nonstop from five cities to New Orleans.

Additionally Spirit is also adding new service from Chicago (O’Hare) to Atlanta that will begin on November 2, 2014. Additionally, Spirit’s expanded service to operate year-round from Chicago (O’Hare) to Baltimore/Washington will also begin on November 6, 2014. With the addition of these new routes, Spirit operates flights nonstop from Chicago to 21 cities.

Read the analysis on Spirit’s growth spurt by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N527NK (msn 2978) departs from Las Vegas painted in the old black and silver version of the 2004 livery.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

ANA announces the first Boeing 787-9 revenue flights on August 7

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) announced that it will launch scheduled services to three domestic Japanese destinations using the latest stretched version of the Boeing Dreamliner, the 787-9, from August 7. The plane, in 395-seat configuration, will be introduced progressively on routes between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Fukuoka, Osaka (Itami) and Matsuyama as ANA becomes the first airline in the world to operate the scheduled flight of 787-9.

In addition to the first 787-9 going into service in August, ANA is scheduled to take delivery of a further two aircraft in the fiscal year ending March 2015. For the launch of international services, ANA has opted for the 215-seat version of the long-range aircraft – 46 seats more than the existing Boeing 787-8 currently used on international long-haul routes.

The 787-9 is engineered for greater fuel economy than 787-8, while also ensuring approximately 20% more seating and cargo capacity and will help ANA achieve expansion into new markets.

ANA will focus on utilizing the 395-seat version of the 787-9 on major domestic routes to maximize passenger numbers, while also lowering operational costs.

On ANA’s international network, the plan is to utilize the 787-9 to increase capacity on some long-haul routes to Europe, North America and other key destinations which are at present served by the smaller 787-8 or to replace larger aircraft currently operating the routes. This will help ANA to maximize commercial returns, stabilize operating costs and enhance its ability to win more passengers and bigger cargo demand.

ANA is determined to take maximum advantage of the competitive edge provided by the outstanding fuel efficiency of the Boeing 787 to accelerate its growth and make the airline stronger.

Boeing 787-9 Schedules:

ANA 787-9 Schedules

Update: As planned, on August 4, ANA operated the world’s first passenger Boeing 787-9 flight when the pictured JA830A flew a sightseeing trip from Tokyo (Haneda) and with 171 Japanese and American elementary school students residing in Japan as part of the TOMODACHI Initiative.

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Update: ANA became the first airline in the world to place the Boeing 787-9 into scheduled revenue service on August 7. Boeing 787-9 JA830A, their first of the stretched Dreamliner, inaugurated operations on the Tokyo (Haneda) – Fukuoka route according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo; Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Boeing 787-9 for ANA (JA830A).

ANA: AG Slide Show

ANA firms up an order for 7 Airbus A320neo and 23 A321neo aircraft

ANA A321neo (82)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

ANA Holdings (All Nippon Airways-ANA) (Tokyo) has firmed up an order for 30 A320neo Family aircraft (seven A320neo and 23 A321neo). The initial agreement was announced in March 2014. The aircraft will be part of ANA Holdings fleet development and modernisation strategy to replace its existing single-aisle fleet in the coming years.

Deliveries will start from 2016.

Japanese Aero Engines Corporation (JAEC) is a 23% collaboration partner in PW1100G-JM program. JAEC is responsible for development, manufacturing and engineering support of the fan, low-pressure compressor, combustor, and low-pressure shafts. JAEC is a consortium, consisting of three Japanese companies: IHI (65%), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (25%), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (10%).

The assembly of Airbus’ first A320neo has been completed following painting of the aircraft and the mounting of PW1100G-JM engines. It will soon start ground tests to prepare for first flight. The flight test campaign for the A320neo will kick-off in Q3 2014, paving the way for Entry Into Service in Q4 2015.

The A320neo – for “new engine option” – incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings and a reduction of 3,600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year. With a total of more than 3,000 orders received from more than 50 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured over 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership.

Image: Airbus.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Boeing to build the new 787-10 in North Charleston, SC

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced that final assembly of the 787-10, the newest and longest member of the 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes, will take place exclusively in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Boeing will continue to assemble both 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston. Design of the 787-10 is underway in Everett, with final assembly of the first 787-10 scheduled to begin in South Carolina in 2017.

“We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We’re happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward.”

The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet (3 meters) of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody is too long to be transported efficiently from North Charleston, where systems integration work is performed, to the Everett facility for final assembly. In addition, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.

The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett (including a temporary surge line) and one in South Carolina. The integrated production system currently operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month. As announced last year, the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.

The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes offers airlines unmatched fuel efficiencies and environmental performance, while providing a new level of comfort for passengers through the thoughtful application of new technologies. To date, the 787 family has won more than 1,000 orders and more than 165 airplanes have been delivered to 21 customers worldwide.

The 787-10 will leverage 787 technology to provide more passenger and cargo capacity along with unparalleled seat-mile economics in the medium twin-aisle market. Since its launch in June 2013, the 787-10 has won 132 orders from six global customers.

Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787-8 production line at North Charleston, SC (CHS).

Boeing 787-10 (Boeing)(LR)

ANA finalizes an order for 20 Boeing 777-9Xs, 14 787-9s and six 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (Tokyo) have finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300 ERs (Extended Range) (pictured above) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet renewal plan. The order, valued at approximately $13 billion at list prices, was originally announced as a commitment in March.

ANA, the launch customer of the 787, becomes the world’s largest customer for the Dreamliner with a total of 80 airplanes ordered. The airline currently operates 29 787s with 51 more to deliver, including 43 787-9s.

Boeing’s 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

On the financial side, ANA reported net income of ¥3.5 billion ($34.5 million) for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2014 reversing a net loss of ¥6.6 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Copyright Photo: ANA’s Boeing 777-381 ER JA782A (msn 33416) exits the runway and taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

ANA: AG Slide Show

Finnair announces 10 new routes for the summer of 2015

Finnair (Helsinki) is announcing ten new scheduled routes for summer 2015 to popular summer destinations.

The new routes are announced in corporation with Suntours and other tour operators. Finnair and Suntours will work closely together to ensure the best combination of package holidays and seats only on every destination. Seat only purchases can be made on the Finnair website, or through travel agency channels.

The ten new scheduled flights are:

Cyprus, Paphos: one weekly, starting March 31, 2015
Spain, Mallorca: one weekly, starting April 11
Turkey, Bodrum, Dalaman Airport: one weekly starting April 12
Greece, Crete, Heraklion airport: 2 weekly, starting April 17
Greece, Crete, Chania airport: 6 weekly, starting April 18
Greece, Rhodes: 5 weekly, starting April 19
Italy, Sicily, Catania: one weekly, starting May 6
Greece, Kos: one weekly, starting May 9
Italy, Amalfi coast, Naples Airport: 2 weekly, starting May 28
Austria, Innsbruck: one weekly, starting June 14

Finnair will also opened a new route to Gazipasa (Alanya in Turkey) in the summer of 2014. Gazipasa has been very popular because of the short driving distance to Alanya, where many Europeans have holiday apartments. Finnair will next year operate more flights to Gazipasa, but less flights to Antalya to match the customer preferences.

With these new routes Finnair will operate to 67 destinations in Finland, Europe and Russia as well as 13 destinations in Asia.

The new routes will be operated with Airbus A319s, A320s and/or A321s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXB (msn 1470) arrives in Zurich.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to operate weekly Montreal-Curacao Airbus A319 flights

Air Canada (Montreal) will start weekly Airbus A319 mainline service between Montreal (Trudeau) and Curacao starting on January 1, 2015 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 C-FYJG (msn 670) completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Republic Airlines to fly Embraer 175s as American Eagle from the Miami hub starting on October 2

Republic Airlines (2nd) (American Eagle) (Indianapolis) on October 2 will start operating Embraer 175s on American Eagle services from the Miami hub to Atlanta, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. The E175s will replace existing Embraer ERJ 145 service per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic’s Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N404YX (msn 17000367) completes its final turn on the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

American Eagle-Republic: AG Slide Show

JetBlue to launch a nonstop New York JFK-Curacao route on December 2

JetBlue Airways (New York) will launch a new route to Curaçao International Airport (CUR) from JFK International Airport (JFK) on December 2, 2014, providing the only nonstop service from New York. The twice weekly service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Curaçao, which is part of the ABC islands that also includes Aruba and Bonaire, is considered a hidden gem amongst all Caribbean island destinations, renowned for its diving, beaches and unique architecture. The historic island is already a popular destination for European travelers and its capital, Willemsted, is a UNESCO World Heritage City.

JetBlue’s flights to Curaçao will be operated on a 150-seat Airbus A320.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N587JB (msn 2177) in the special “Building Blocks” motif arrives at the New York (JFK) hub.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines reports record 2Q net income of $66.5 million, up 45.2%

Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has reported second quarter 2014 financial results.

Adjusted net income for the second quarter 2014 increased 45.2 percent to $66.5 million ($0.91 per diluted share) compared to $45.8 million ($0.63 per diluted share) for the second quarter 20131. GAAP net income for the second quarter 2014 was $64.8 million ($0.88 per diluted share) compared to $42.1 million ($0.58 per diluted share) in the second quarter 2013.

For the second quarter 2014, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 21.3 percent compared to 17.8 percent over the same period in 20131. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the second quarter 2014 was 20.8 percent compared to 16.4 percent in the second quarter 2013.

Spirit ended the second quarter 2014 with $567.2 million in unrestricted cash.

Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014 was 32.0 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.

“The Spirit team delivered another strong quarter. While growing our capacity 17.2 percent year over year, we grew our top line 22.6 percent year over year,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our efforts to drive operational excellence have produced material improvements in controllable components of our cost structure which contributed to the 3.5 percentage point year-over-year increase in our Adjusted Operating Margin. I want to thank all our team members that contributed to these excellent results. A few months ago, we launched a series of initiatives aimed at better aligning our customers’ expectations with the Spirit business model. We are very encouraged at the early results of this effort, and the Bare Fare™ plus Frill Control™ messaging is resonating well with customers as they see the benefit of only paying for what they truly value. As we continue down this path, we expect ever increasing alignment to a business model that provides the lowest total fares and the highest consumer choice all while maintaining our commitment to deliver value to our customers and to our shareholders.”

Revenue Performance

For the second quarter 2014, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $499.3 million, an increase of 22.6 percent compared to the second quarter 2013. The increase was driven by our growth in flight volume, higher load factors, and higher operating yields.

Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the second quarter 2014 was 12.46 cents, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to the second quarter 2013. The calendar shift of Easter occurring in April this year compared to March in 2013 contributed to the strong second quarter 2014 results.

Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the second quarter 2014 grew 14.7 percent year over year, and the Company’s load factor for the second quarter 2014 increased 1.8 points year over year to 87.5 percent. Total revenue per PFS for the second quarter 2014 increased 6.8 percent year over year to $139.90.

Cost Performance

Total operating expenses for the second quarter 2014 increased 15.7 percent year over year to $394.2 million on a capacity increase of 17.2 percent.

Spirit reported second quarter 2014 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) of 5.95 cents, a decrease of 0.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The primary driver of the decrease was lower passenger re-accommodation expense (recorded within Other operating expense) per ASM as a result of improved operational reliability. The Company also benefited from lower aircraft rent per ASM. These benefits were partially offset by higher depreciation and amortization expense and increased salary, wages, and benefits, as well as higher maintenance, material, and repairs expense per ASM.

Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items

As of June 30, 2014, Spirit had $567.2 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $7.4 million, paid $94.0 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $14.3 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.

Fleet

In the second quarter 2014, Spirit took delivery of one new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 57 aircraft in its fleet. The Company has eight more new A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2014.

Second Quarter 2014 and Other Current Highlights

• Added/announced new service between (service start date):

- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston (5/1/14)2
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore/Washington (5/1/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco (5/1/14)
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Baltimore/Washington (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Portland, OR (5/22/14)2
– Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and Atlanta (8/1/14)
– Kansas City and Chicago (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Dallas/Fort Worth (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Detroit (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Las Vegas (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Houston (8/8/14)
– Fort Lauderdale and Houston (9/3/14)
– Houston and San Diego (9/3/14)
– Boston and West Palm Beach (11/21/14)2
– Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Fort Myers (12/18/14)2
– Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Tampa (12/19/14)2

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Spirit Airlines has eight more new Airbus A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2014. Airbus A320-232 N617NK (msn 5387) completes its final approach into Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Current Route Map:

Spirit 7.2014 Route Map

Boeing forecasts rising demand for commercial pilots and technicians

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation pilots and maintenance technicians as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years.

Boeing’s 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook, released today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, projects that between 2014 and 2033, the world’s aviation system will require:

533,000 new commercial airline pilots
584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians

“The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals cannot be solved by one company or in one region of the world,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. “This is a global issue that can only be solved by all of the parties involved—airlines, aircraft and training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions around the world.”

The 2014 outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, which is up approximately 7 percent compared to 2013; and in maintenance training, which increased just over 5 percent. Pilot demand in the Asia Pacific region now comprises 41 percent of the world’s need, and the Middle East region saw significant growth since last year’s outlook due to increased airline capacity and orders for wide-body models which require more crew members.

Overall, the global demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly wide-body airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 27,000 new pilots and 29,000 new technicians annually.

Projected demand for new pilots and technicians by global region:

Asia Pacific – 216,000 pilots and 224,000 technicians
Europe – 94,000 pilots and 102,000 technicians
North America – 88,000 pilots and 109,000 technicians
Latin America – 45,000 pilots and 44,000 technicians
Middle East – 55,000 pilots and 62,000 technicians
Africa – 17,000 pilots and 19,000 technicians
Russia and CIS – 18,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians

Ryanair posts a fiscal first quarter net profit of $264.1 million, an increase of 152%

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal first quarter (Q1) net profit of €197 million ($264.1 million), an increase of 152% over last year.

The ultra low-fare airline cautioned that this result was distorted by the timing of a very strong Easter in Q1 with no holiday period in the prior year comparable. Traffic grew to 24.3 million as load factors rose by 4% points to 86%. Average fare rose by 9%, boosted by a strong Easter period, while total revenues were up 11% to €1.496 billion. Unit costs fell by 2%, excluding fuel they rose by 1%.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4% increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields. Ancillary Revenues rose 4% in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.“

New Routes and Bases.

Our four new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome are performing strongly, as customers switch to Ryanair’s lower fares and our industry leading customer service. Our strategy to raise forward bookings continues to drive higher load factors and we expect to release our summer 2015 schedule in mid-September, some 3 months earlier than last year.

This winter we will open four new bases in Cologne, Gdansk, Warsaw and Glasgow (Intl.) as well as substantially increasing new routes and frequencies at Stansted and Dublin as we invest heavily in our network to build schedules on key city pairs to make them more attractive for business customers.

We are overrun with growth offers from primary European airports whose incumbent flag and regional carriers continue to cut capacity and traffic. These new airports along with our existing 69 bases offer Ryanair significant growth opportunities as the first of our 180 new Boeing order delivers this September. These new aircraft, with the benefit of the much weaker US$, will drive significant cost efficiencies over the next 5 years.

Customer Experience Improvement.

Our “Always Getting Better” program has delivered significant improvement to the customer experience. In addition to the initiatives launched last September which included allocated seating, free second carry-on bags, and an easier to use website with a “fare finder” facility, we launched our family product in June. In July we released our industry leading mobile app (including mobile boarding passes) which has been very positively reviewed by independent commentators and our customers and has reached 1m downloads in the 10 days since its release. In September we will launch Ryanair’s business service which will include same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, and fast-track through security at many Ryanair airports. This new service along with our new routes, improved schedules and wider GDS distribution, will make Ryanair’s low fares much more accessible to, and attractive for business customers. We will continue this winter to rapidly develop both our website and mobile platform to deliver more innovative features and services in addition to the lowest fares to our customers.

Fuel

We are 90% hedged for FY15 at approx. $96 p.bl, which will deliver savings of €50m this year at current market rates. This is lower than the €70m previously guided due to increased volumes in H2. We have also hedged 55% of our H1 FY16 fuel needs at approx. $95 p.bl and weaker US$ which will deliver a 2% fall in our unit fuel cost at current market rates.

Bond Issue

The BBB+ rating awarded by S&P and Fitch makes Ryanair the highest rated airline in the world. This rating reflects the strength of our Balance Sheet and our highly cash generative business model and enabled us in June to issue our first €850m unsecured Eurobond at a coupon of 1.875% fixed for 7 years. This attractively priced financing (which was 7 times oversubscribed) will further reduce our aircraft ownership costs over the next 5 years.

Shareholder returns

In FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks as part of our commitment to return €1 billion to shareholders over a 2 year period. We now plan to return another €520m via a special dividend of 37.50 cents per ordinary share (subject to AGM approval) to be paid in Q4 FY15. This brings the total returns to shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn which is more than 4 times the €585m originally raised from shareholders since our 1997 IPO.

Outlook

Based on these Q1 results and our strong forward bookings it is clear that we are on track to deliver a strong H1, during which traffic will grow by 3%, and fares will rise by 6% subject to late booking fares in Aug. and Sept. However we would strongly caution both analysts and investors against any irrational exuberance in what continues to be a difficult economic environment, with some company-specific challenges in H2.

We expect H2 to be characterized by a much softer pricing environment as many competitors are lowering fares, partly in response to Ryanair’s strong forward bookings. Added to this Ryanair will aggressively raise capacity this winter by 8% (7% in Q3 and 10% in Q4) to take advantage of growth discounts and build out business friendly frequencies from Dublin and Stansted in particular. These initiatives will inevitably put downward pressure on fares and (mindful of last winter’s weak pricing environment) we continue to expect H2 yields to fall by between 6% to 8% which will result in full year yields rising by only 2%. Unit costs (ex-fuel) for FY15 will rise by approx. 4%, which is slightly better than the 5% increase we originally guided, due to higher H2 traffic volumes which will be positive for unit costs.

In summary, we now expect full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86m. This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m. However this guidance, which is about a 21% rise over last year’s net profit, is heavily, reliant upon the final outturn for H2 yields over which we currently have zero visibility”.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSW (msn 29935) in the old small-titled 1994 livery arrives at Stansted Airport near London.

Ryanair:

 

Malaysia Airlines MH 17 investigators are unable to go to the crash site due to fighting in eastern Ukraine

Malaysia logo-1

CNN is reporting the following concerning the on-going investigation of the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in eastern Ukraine:

“International investigators and observers were again prevented from reaching the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Tuesday (July 29) by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.

The Dutch Justice Ministry said the team was unable to leave the city of Donetsk because “there is too much fighting at the moment on and near the route to the disaster site.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

WestJet reports a record 2Q net profit of $51.8 million, will operate Boeing 767-300 ERs, Encore orders 5 more Q400s

WestJet (Calgary) today announced its second quarter results for 2014, with net earnings of $51.8 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.40 per fully diluted share, as compared with the net earnings of $44.7 million, or $0.34 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2013. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.7 per cent, consistent with the 13.7 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

“We had a great second quarter, reporting record earnings, exceeding our ROIC target for the eighth consecutive quarter, and achieving an on-time performance rate of 84.5 per cent, a year over year improvement of 3.5 percentage points,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “We continue to execute on our growth plans, including new service to Dublin, Ireland, success with our fare bundles initiative, and the expansion of WestJet Encore. Encore celebrated its first birthday in June, recently welcomed its one-millionth guest, and exercised five additional purchase options for Q400 aircraft. I want to thank all of our 10,000 WestJetters for their commitment to providing our award winning brand of friendly caring service, which is the foundation of our success.”

On July 7, WestJet announced that it was in the advanced stages of sourcing aircraft for its entry into wide-body service. A natural, next-step evolution for the airline, WestJet has recently selected four Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft (below) which will initially operate on routes between Alberta and Hawaii during the winter season beginning in late 2015. The airline’s current winter service between Alberta and Hawaii, via two Boeing 757-200s operated by Thomas Cook, is ending in the spring of 2015. WestJet expects to expand its operation into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016. Further announcements regarding WestJet’s wide-body schedule will be released at a later date.

WestJet 767-300 WL (95)(Flt)(WestJet)(LRW)

Image: WestJet.

On July 28, 2014, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.12 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2014, to be paid on September 30, 2014, to shareholders of record on September 17, 2014. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.

In other news, WestJet Encore Ltd. has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliners. This transaction is a conversion of a batch of five options booked by the carrier’s parent company WestJet and follows the first conversion of five option aircraft announced on March 27, 2014, bringing the number of option aircraft exercised to 10. The initial total of 25 option aircraft was part of the original contract announced on August 1, 2012 that included WestJet’s firm order for 20 Q400 NextGen airliners.

WestJet Encore launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily from hubs in Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario to 19 destinations with 13 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and approximately 500 employees. The airline has announced plans to introduce service to Québec City, Québec; Fredericton, New Brunswick and Penticton, British Columbia in 2015.

Copyright Photo: Matt Dueck/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet will become a new Boeing 767-300 operator. The airline will trade in its wet leased Boeing 757-200s (currently operated by Thomas Cook Airlines) for larger wide-body Boeing 767-300 ERs in 2015. The pictured Boeing 757-28A N750NA (msn 26277) was previously operated by North American Airlines in the WestJet brand.

WestJet:

FAA proposes a $12 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines, Southwest has 30 days to respond

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) has issued this statement concerning Boeing 737 maintenance issues by Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and a contractor:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $12 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations in three separate enforcement cases related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners operated by the Dallas-based airline.

The FAA alleges that beginning in 2006, Southwest conducted so-called “extreme makeover” alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners. The FAA conducted an investigation that included both the airline and its contractor, Aviation Technical Services, Inc., (ATS) of Everett, Wash. Investigators determined that ATS failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage skins on these aircraft. FAA investigators also determined that ATS failed to follow required procedures for placing the airplanes on jacks and stabilizing them. All of the work was done under the supervision of Southwest Airlines, which was responsible for ensuring that procedures were properly followed.

Southwest returned the jetliners to service and operated them when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations, the FAA alleges. The regulatory violations charged involve numerous flights that occurred in 2009 after the FAA put the airline on notice that these aircraft were not in compliance with either FAA Airworthiness Directives or alternate, FAA-approved methods of complying with the directives. The FAA later approved the repairs after the airline provided proper documentation that the repairs met safety standards

“Safety is our top priority, and that means holding airlines responsible for the repairs their contractors undertake,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to ensure the safety of our transportation system.”

During its investigation, the FAA found that ATS workers applied sealant beneath the new skin panels but did not install fasteners in all of the rivet holes during the timeframe for the sealant to be effective. This could have resulted in gaps between the skin and the surface to which it was being mounted. Such gaps could allow moisture to penetrate the skin and lead to corrosion. As a result of the improper repairs, these airplanes did not comply with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA also alleges that ATS personnel failed to follow requirements to properly place these airplanes on jacks and shore them up while the work was being performed. If a plane is shored improperly during skin replacement, the airframe could shift and lead to subsequent problems with the new skin.

In the third case, the FAA alleges that Southwest Airlines failed to properly install a ground wire on water drain masts on two of its Boeing 737s in response to an FAA Airworthiness Directive addressing lightning strikes on these components. As a result, the aircraft were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The airplanes were each operated on more than 20 passenger flights after Southwest Airlines became aware of the discrepancies but before the airline corrected the problem.

“The FAA views maintenance very seriously, and it will not hesitate to take action against companies that fail to follow regulations,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

Southwest Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s Civil Penalty letter to respond to the allegations.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H4 N363SW (msn 26574) prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Southwest Airlines:

Here is a new safety video by United Airlines

United Airlines (Chicago) has issued a new safety video with this message:

We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles.

United Airlines:

Video:

Airbus terminates the order for six Airbus A380s for Skymark Airlines

 

A380 MSN162 SKYMARK TRANSFER TO  STATION 30

Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this short statement:

Following discussions with Skymark Airlines (Tokyo) and in light of the airline’s expressed intentions in respect of the A380, Airbus has in accordance with its contractual rights, notified Skymark Airlines that the purchase order for the six A380s signed in 2011 has been terminated. Airbus is reserving all its rights and remedies.

Read more background information from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Can Skymark survive this cancellation? Bloomberg Businessweek explores this question: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Msn 162 was due to become JA380A with Skymark. It will now go to another operator.

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Boeing delivers the first 787-9 to ANA

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (Tokyo) yesterday (July 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.

ANA will become the world’s first airline to operate both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants of the Dreamliner family when the airline launches 787-9 services on domestic Japanese routes in August.

With this delivery, ANA will have 29 787s in its fleet, more than any other operator in the world.

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

ANA has 29 more 787-9s on order with commitments for 14 more. Sixty customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 787s, with more than 160 currently in operation.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N1792B (msn 34522) became JA830A on the handover.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Are the days numbered for Martinair?

Martinair‘s (Amsterdam) days could be number. The cargo subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group could be sold to a third party and even shut down i.e. “internal restructuring”. The cargo divisions of the Air France-KLM Group continue to bring down the group financially. As part of its first half financial report, the Group issued this statement concerning the cargo divisions, including Martinair:

Second Quarter 2014 cargo revenues amounted to 669 million euros, down 5.1% and by 1.9% on a constant currency basis. Faced with a slower than expected recovery, the group continued to reduce full-freighter capacity (down 8.6%). In consequence, total capacity decreased by 2.0%. Traffic decreased by 1.6%, leading to a 0.3 point increase in load factor to 63.2%. Unit revenue per Available Ton Kilometer (RATK) increased by 1.1% on a constant currency basis (-2.1% on a reported basis).

The operating result improved slightly to -45 million euro, up 5 million euros.

The recovery in demand being slower than expected, the group has initiated a strategic review of its full-freighter business, with different scenarios under consideration. Having already decided in October 2013 to reduce its full-freighter fleet to 2 aircraft in Paris and 8 aircraft in Amsterdam by 2015, the group is now looking to further reduce its Amsterdam-based full-freighter exposure either through a partnership with a third party or through internal restructuring. In consequence, the group has recorded an impairment of 106 million euros in its Second Quarter 2014 accounts.

First Half 2014 cargo revenues amounted to 1,344 million euros, down 4.3% and by 1.6% on a constant currency basis. Traffic was stable for a -1.5% decline in capacity, leading to a 1.0 point increase in load factor to 64.0%. Unit revenue per Available Ton Kilometer (RATK) was stable on a constant currency basis (down 2.7% on a reported basis).

On a constant currency basis, cargo unit cost was down 1.7% in the First Half (down 3.9% on a reported basis). The operating result improved by 21 million euros to -79 million euros.

Will Martinair be sold or disbanded? It is unlikely to remain as it is today.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (F) PH-MCY (msn 48445) taxies at the Amsterdam base.

Martinair: AG Slide Show

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