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Southwest Airlines rebrands with a flashy new look and theme

Heart One. Stephen M. Keller

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

Southwest The Heart sets us apart (LRW)

The company issued this statement this morning:

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

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

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

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

Southwest 2014 logo

NEW LOOK, SAME GREAT EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

Southwest new heart logo

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

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

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

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

Heart One. Stephen M. Keller

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

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

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

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

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

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

All images by Southwest Airlines.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

What do you think?

Video: The unveiling of the new brand:

Video: The evolution of the heart logo:

Video: Repainting the first aircraft:

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Boeing launches the 200-seat 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair

Ryanair 737-MAX 8 Artwork

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Boeing.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Cape Air: AG Slide Show

 

Jetairfly to establish a new base at Antwerp

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

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

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

Jetairfly:AG Slide Show

Bombardier resumes CSeries flight testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flight No Origin Destination Departure / Arrival Days of Operation

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

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

*(+1 day)

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

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

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

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

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

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 9.2014 Search Area

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

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

Here is the full statement:

Signs MOU with Australia for ongoing collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

JACC Media
sent on behalf of:

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

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

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Map: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

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

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

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

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

Azerbaijan Airlines: AG Slide Show

A new color scheme is also coming for Southwest Airlines

Southwest with a heartSouthwest Plane Palooza

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

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

Southwest logo

Like Frontier, Southwest issued this short teaser comment:

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

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

This will be third basic livery for Southwest:

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

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

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

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

Great idea Southwest. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Southwest seats made into soccer balls (Southwest)

Frontier Airlines to introduce a new livery on September 9

Frontier A320 ? Livery

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

Frontier Tails (Frontier)

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

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

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

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

Frontier New Livery

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

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

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

Read the full interesting article: CLICK HERE

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

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

America West Airlines: AG Slide Show

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

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

Air Florida Kiss Us Hello

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

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

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

Air Florida (3rd) logo (small)

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

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

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

Air Florida 8.2014 Proposed Route Map

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

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

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

The original Air Florida aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s flight operations return to normal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

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

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

The airline issued this statement:

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

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

1. Expansion of International Network

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

Launched Routes

Flight No.

Route

Dep. Time

Arr. Time

Aircraft

Date Effective

Days of Operation

JL737

Nagoya (Chubu) – Bangkok

10:30

14:50

767-300ER 787-8(*1)

Dec. 20, 2014 ~

Daily

JL738

Bangkok – Nagoya (Chubu)

22:55

06:20+1

JL060

Osaka (Kansai) – Los Angeles

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

09:20 (12:00)

787-8

Mar. 20, 2015 ~

Daily

JL069

Los Angeles – Osaka (Kansai)

11:20 (14:30)

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

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

Chubu-Bangkok route

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

Kansai=Los Angeles route

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

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

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

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

 

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

December 1, 2014 ~

JL407/JL408

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

January 1, 2015 ~

JL004/JL003

787-8 to 787-8 (SS8)

December 1, 2014 ~

JL002/JL001

787-8 to 777-300ER (SS7)

JL771/JL772

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

October 26, 2014 ~

JL759/JL750

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

December 1, 2014 ~

JL033/JL032

767-300ER to 777-200ER

JL707/JL708

767-300ER to 787-8

JL727/JL728

JL749/JL740

777-200ER to 787-8

JL741/JL742

767-300ER to 787-8

JL097/JL098

767-300ER to 777-200ER

October 26, 2014 ~

JL809/JL802

737-800 to 767-300ER

JL877/JL874

767-300ER to 737-800

JL883/JL884

JL869/JL860

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

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

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

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

Read the full report from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

JAL Sky Suite 787

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

JAL 787 Sky Suite Seating Chart

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

JAL 787 Business Sky Suite

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

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

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

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

ANA: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Cargo: AG Slide Show

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

 

British Airways to refresh 18 Boeing 747-400 cabins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medium-term financial targets to 2017

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

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

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

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

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Martinair: AG Slide Show

Transavia Airlines (Netherlands): AG Slide Show

Transavia Airlines (France): AG Slide Show

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

 

Southern Airways Express to add Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

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

Read the full story from timesfreepress.com: CLICK HERE

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

Expanding Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 8.2014 Route Map

 

Hainan Airlines arrives in Paris

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hainan Airlines: AG Slide Show

LOT Polish Airlines returns to the black

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOT Polish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing another strike by its pilots today

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots today at the Frankfurt hub, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The union is striking for five hours today starting at 2 pm (1400) local time.

The Lufthansa Group issued this statement today:

Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union of a strike in Frankfurt today (September 5), Lufthansa was able to inform most of the affected passengers yesterday about the effects. Yesterday evening at 9.00 p.m., the special flight plan for this afternoon was published online at http://www.LH.com and 14,000 booked passengers were informed at the same time by text message. These passengers had previously registered their contact details so that Lufthansa could notify them of flight cancellations, rebookings and alternative travel options.

Today the staff at the station in Frankfurt are focusing on providing the best possible assistance for passengers. As a precaution, 2,200 hotel rooms have been reserved in the Rhine-Main area, and Lufthansa and Fraport have set up some 500 field beds for passengers in transit who are not allowed to enter Germany for visa reasons. From 2.00 p.m. onwards, the staff at the Frankfurt station will be providing passengers affected by the strike with refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to use telecommunications. Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at the ticket counters.

Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and responsible for operations and the Frankfurt hub, said: “We apologize for the inconveniences caused for our passengers by the strike of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. Because the strike was only announced after 5.00 p.m. yesterday, there was very little lead time. We have been working flat out since yesterday evening to give our customers all the available information and, whenever possible, to rebook them on other airlines or other means of transport. We have also increased capacities at our call centres as quickly as possible. At Frankfurt Airport we are mobilising all our capacities today in order to minimise the effects of the strike on our passengers. This is very difficult on a Friday afternoon at the end of the school holidays in three German states, as this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we will nonetheless do all we can to achieve this target for our passengers.”

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already presented an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April regarding future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit members with the option of retiring early from flight operations, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before January 1, 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZH (msn 4363) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group to transfer all 47 Bombardier CRJ700s from Envoy Air to PSA Airlines

American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) has decided to transfer all 47 Bombardier CRJ700s (and the associated flying) from subsidiary Envoy Air (formerly American Eagle Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) to subsidiary PSA Airlines (2nd) (Dayton). This will leave Envoy Air as an Embraer ERJ operator. AAG is likely to continue phasing out its smaller regional jets. The pilots of Envoy Air and the AAG failed to agreed on a new contract. Will Envoy Air follow the same path as Delta’s Comair?

Bill Sprague, representing the Envoy Air pilots, issued this statement to its member pilots:

The MEC is outraged by this announcement by AAG that all 47 of our CRJ700 aircraft will be transferred to PSA. This action obviously and significantly punishes Envoy pilots for refusing to accept the additional concessions demanded by the company in exchange for larger aircraft. We are not aware of any plans to bring additional aircraft to Envoy. Therefore the company’s recent commitment to keep 200 aircraft on the property for the foreseeable future is no more credible than their promise to re-fleet Envoy as part of the bankruptcy contract.

We are evaluating the details related to the transfer of these aircraft to PSA. This action will eliminate the highest levels of compensation available under our contract.

Once again, we find ourselves wondering what the future holds for our carrier. The company has already announced their intention to park the remaining Embraer 140s. Barring any additional aircraft, we will only be operating a fleet of 118 Embraer 145s. This would require roughly 48% fewer pilots than are active on our seniority list today. We will provide you the company’s draw down schedule when they provide it to us.

The company has indicated that moving these aircraft to PSA is necessary to more efficiently focus operations on a single aircraft type. In reality, management’s decision clearly exploits the lower costs afforded by the 10 year agreement ratified last fall by our colleagues at PSA.

We understand this is a very stressful time for all of us. Many of you have inquired about the status of our previously advertised career progression resources. The MEC will receive a briefing next Tuesday, the 9th, from ALPA National regarding the rollout of these resources, and details will be communicated as we get them.

Bill Sprague
MEC Chairman

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N543EA (msn 10323) departs from the runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

American Eagle-Envoy Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines starts Seattle/Tacoma-Detroit service

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (September 4) launched nonstop service from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Detroit. Detroit becomes Alaska Airlines’ 77th nonstop destination out of Seattle/Tacoma.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska is proud to be all Boeing, a close partnership for the crosstown companies. Boeing 737-890 N512AS (msn 39043) in the special Boeing Dreamliner scheme arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

United Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

United Airlines (Chicago) has become the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9, a stretched version of the Dreamliner that will allow the airline to accommodate more customers and further capitalize on its worldwide route network. The aircraft is the first of 26 of the newest member of the Dreamliner family United has on order.

The airline’s technicians will now perform United-specific software installations and hardware upgrades. United pilots will then fly the aircraft to the airline’s Houston hub for additional flights before it is expected to enter domestic service in late September.

The 787-9’s extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8’s 8,200 – will enable United to launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline’s first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It will be the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date. In advance of the Melbourne route launch, United will primarily fly the aircraft between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Los Angeles.

United’s 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

Wi-Fi on the 787-9

United’s 787-9 fleet comes with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. Starting with this aircraft delivery, all of the airline’s subsequent Dreamliners, including the -8 and -10 variants, will be delivered with Wi-Fi. United currently has Wi-Fi on more than 300 aircraft, including all of its Airbus and Boeing 747 aircraft, and plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N38950 (msn 36401) passes the camera at Seattle’s Boeing Field (King County Airport) (BFI).

United Airlines Aircraft Slide Show (Current): CLICK HERE

Southwest’s pilots applaud the DOT decision concerning the application of Norwegian Air International

Southwest Airlines‘ (Dallas) pilots, represented by SWAPA, have issued this statement:

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) commends the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for denying Norwegian Air International (NAI) a temporary foreign air carrier operating authorization. NAI is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air which is located in Norway. NAI has sought to operate service to the U.S. as an Irish airline where it has no operating flights or history of operations.

“The denial of a temporary operating authorization is applauded by the pilots of Southwest Airlines,” said SWAPA Governmental Affairs Chair Captain Paul Jackson. “We agree with Secretary Foxx’s assertion that the application of Norwegian Air International is not in the public interest.”

This denial is only for the temporary application and is not a denial of the full application approval for a foreign carrier exemption with the DOT by NAI. The pilots of Southwest Airlines have opposed the application of NAI from early in the process due to the company’s “flag of convenience” strategy that locates the airline away from their home country of Norway. The NAI application for a foreign carrier operating authorization has been on file with the DOT since early this year. It is opposed by airline employees and management across the U.S. and the EU.

“We encourage Norwegian to join the marketplace under the labor laws and rules of their home country and not seek a scheme to avoid them,” Captain Jackson continued. “We strongly believe that our product and the work of our industry can stand up to any competitor if they play by the rules in place and do not seek to lower costs at any price.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N953WN (msn 36668) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

QANTAS Link to help open the new Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, the country’s newest airport, and QANTAS Link have announced they have signed a deal to start passenger flights to the airport when it opens later this year.

The landmark deal will secure 11 return flights a week to and from Sydney from November 17 and provide a Toowoomba centric schedule of double daily services Monday to Friday and daily services on the weekend.

BWWA is Australia’s first privately-funded public airport and the first public airport to be built in 50 years. The 300 ha airport, featuring a 2.87 km runway capable of landing a Boeing 747 aircraft, is the anchor tenant of the 800 ha Wellcamp Business Park.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Sunstate Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-QOH (msn 4132) in the special NBCF livery approaches the runway at Sydney.

QANTAS Link-Sunstate Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Japan Airlines to introduce the Boeing 787 from Tokyo Haneda to Beijing on October 26

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) will introduce the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Tokyo (Haneda)-Beijing route on October 26 replacing a Boeing 767-300.

In addition, the company will introduce the 787-8 on the Tokyo (Narita)-Delhi route on December 1 replacing a Boeing 777.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA821J (msn 34831) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) hub.

JAL-Japan Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air China and Kunming Airlines sign a codeshare agreement

Air China (Beijing) and Kunming Airlines (Kunming) signed a codeshare cooperation agreement in the city of Kunming on September 3, 2014, and the two carriers will start code share in the form of free marketing on each other’s selected domestic flights from September 15, 2014.

According to the agreement, the two carriers will connect the city of Kunming to their respective route networks. With the cooperation, Air China will put its code CA on the nearly 500 weekly flights of 26 routes operated by Kunming Airlines, which will extend its route network to the cities of Yunnan province and other neighboring cities. At the same time, Kunming Airlines will put its code KY on about 210 weekly flights of 9 routes operated by Air China, which will extend its network to most of China’s big and medium-sized cities.

In financial news, Air China reported a first half net profit of CNY 510 million ($82.8 million), down 55% for the same period a year ago.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-89L B-5425 (msn 36743) of Air China arrives at the Beijing (Capital) hub.

Air China Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Kunming Airlines’ Boeing 737-87L B-1926 (msn 41111) passed through Honolulu on delivery.

Royal Jordanian inaugurates Boeing 787 service, outlines planned routes

Royal Jordanian Airlines’ (Amman) first Boeing 787 had its inaugural flight on September 1 from its base at Queen Alia International Airport to London Heathrow, thus starting its regular operations.

Chairman of the Board/President & CEO Nasser Lozi wished the passengers an enjoyable journey on board the Dreamliner’s first flight from Jordan, and expressed RJ’s delight to have in its fleet the 787, an aircraft that has state-of-the-art features and high specifications.

He said the new addition to the fleet is the first of five that will join the RJ fleet during this year as part of the company’s strategic plan to modernize its long-range fleet of aircraft, replacing the currently operating Airbus A340s and A330s.

With this aircraft that was received on August 27, 2014, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787.

The passengers flying to London expressed their excitement to fly onboard the Dreamliner, being one of the most advanced airliners. They also valued Royal Jordanian’s keenness to offer passengers superb in-flight services.

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

The 787 will provide Royal Jordanian with unrivaled fuel efficiency, using 20 per cent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. RJ chose to configure its Dreamliner to carry 24 passengers in business class and 246 in economy.

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

Besides, London Heathrow, Royal Jordanian is introducing the new type to Chicago (O’Hare) (staring November 30), Detroit (starting December 1), Dubai (staring October 29), Montreal (starting December 1) and New York (JFK) (starting December 2).

Effective October 26 the company will also fly the new type to Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA (msn 37983) is pictured being prepared at Paine Field before the hand over.

Royal Jordanian Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas takes delivery of its first aircraft, hopes to fly from Madrid to South America

Plus Ultra A340-300 (14)(Flt)(Plus Ultra)(LR)

Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas (Madrid-Barajas) is a new airline founded by Julio Martinez, a former director Air Madrid (Madrid). The new company intends to operate long-range scheduled services from MAD to Bogota, Buenos Aires and Santiago.

The company, which does not yet have its AOC, took delivery of its first aircraft. Former Gulf Air Airbus A340-313 A9C-LG (msn 212) was delivered on September 1 when it landed at Barajas.

 

Plus Ultra is the national motto of Spain.

Plus Ultra logo

 

Virgin Atlantic to drop Cape Town, Mumbai, Tokyo Narita and Vancouver

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is closely aligning its network with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), discontinuing four destinations which will free up aircraft for more promising routes or adding to profitable existing routes. The carrier will drop all service to Cape Town (April 27, 2015), Mumbai (February 1, 2015), Tokyo Narita (February 1, 2015) and Vancouver (October 11, 2014). The company issued this statement outlining this major revamp of its system:

Virgin Atlantic has identified opportunities for investment into its trans-Atlantic schedule as it looks to maximize the benefits of its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines.

We are outlining a program of network changes that will significantly increase our presence in the key UK – US travel market, whilst we continue to fly to major strategic destinations in the rest of the world and retain a relevant global presence.

The proposed changes include:

A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis*

A fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York, JFK

An additional daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles

An additional daily service during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta

An additional summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco flying five times a week

An additional daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami

A transfer of operations with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines that will see Virgin Atlantic fly a daily service between Manchester and Atlanta and Delta fly one of Virgin Atlantic’s existing London Heathrow to Newark services**.

Across the joint venture, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines will now offer ten daily services from London to the New York area.

In addition, Delta Air Lines will launch a new daily service between Manchester and New York JFK in Summer 2015.

In order to maximize these opportunities, further proposed changes will include:

A withdrawal of operations to Tokyo Narita with the final flight from London to Narita on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Tokyo Narita to London on February 1, 2015.

A withdrawal of operations to Mumbai with the final flight from London to Mumbai on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Mumbai to London on February 1, 2015.

The summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Vancouver will not return after this season’s flying program is completed on October 11, 2014.

The winter seasonal service to Cape Town will operate as planned in winter 2014/15 but will not be renewed the following winter. The final flight from London to Cape Town will be on April 26, 2015 and the final flight from Cape Town to London on April 27, 2015.

Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive at Virgin Atlantic said:

“Our ambition is to be profitable for the long term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly.”

“Trans-Atlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region. This announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers.”

“We are confident that with this strengthened network, our new aircraft and our welcoming people delivering unrivalled service, we have all the right ingredients to achieve long-term success.”

Customer investment

Among the plans the airline has set out is a commitment to investing in customer experience. A major program of work is already underway that will see £300m invested by the end of 2018, on the ground and in the air.

The imminent arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s first Boeing 787-9 will continue a fleet modernization program of over £2bn that will give it one of the youngest fleets in the world.

Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and staff in Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver for their loyalty and commitment to our services.

In the future if Heathrow gains its long overdue expansion, Virgin Atlantic would love to re-enter Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of this master plan, the Boeing 747-400 fleet will slowly being reduced. Boeing 747-443 G-VROY (msn 32340) lands in Las Vegas.

Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

PEOPLExpress to start Charleston, WV-Orlando flights

PEOPLExpress 737-400 (Nose)(PEOPLExpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress Airlines (2nd) (Newport News/Williamsburg) today announced new, nonstop service between Charleston’s Yeager Airport and Orlando International Airport effective on October 16.

Service between Charleston and Orlando will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Vision Airlines.

Charleston is the first destination to be added outside the PEOPLExpress base at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

PEOPLExpress launched service June 30 to Newark, N.J., Boston and Pittsburgh from Newport News and has since added West Palm Beach, Florida, Atlanta, New Orleans and St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida.

Copyright Photo: PEOPLExpress Airlines.

PEOPLExpress Life is Short

 

Wear Russell Wilson’s Number 3 jersey, get early boarding on Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) are battling for the hearts and minds of potential customers in the Seattle area. Delta has been adding billboards and ads around town and even ads on the deck floors of the Puget Sound ferries telling everyone it is now Seattle’s hometown “international” airline.

Alaska is fighting back with Russell Wilson, the third year champion quarterback for the hometown Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is football crazy town. The Seahawks defend their Superbowl championship starting tomorrow night as the National Football League kicks off the 2014 season in (where else?) Seattle.

Russell Wilson Seahawks jersey (NFL Shop)

Copyright Photo: NFL Shop. The authentic Number 3 Seattle Seahawks jersey will set you back $149.95.

Starting today any passenger wearing Russell’s Number 3 Seattle Seahawks jersey (above) will get early boarding.  Don’t try this with Delta in Seattle, as Russell has signed a promotional deal with Alaska Airlines as Alaska’s “Chief Football Officer”.

Fans back the team by also wearing the “12” jersey as the “12th man”. No word from Alaska on whether wearing the 12 jersey will get you early boarding.

Alaska Airlines has issued this statement:

Customers wearing star NFL quarterback Russell Wilson’s Number 3 jersey will be able to board early on Seattle-departing Alaska Airlines flights starting on September 3. The promotion, which began during the team’s playoff run last year, is good through the duration of the Seahawks’ 2014 NFL football season.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the 2014 football season by bringing back priority boarding for fans wearing the jersey of our ‘Chief Football Officer’ Russell Wilson,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of communications and external relations. “This year Alaska Airlines is hoping to bring even more blue and green to the skies. In addition to early boarding, we’re making travel to away games a little more affordable for 12s who wish to join us in supporting our hometown team wherever they play.”

Starting today football fans can follow Wilson and the Seahawks on the road this season and receive 10 percent off airfare to select away games.

Select away games include:

Sept. 14 game in San Diego
Oct. 6 game in Washington, D.C.
Oct. 19 game in Saint Louis
Nov. 16 game in Kansas City
Dec. 7 game in Philadelphia

Alaska Russell Wilson (Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines. Russell Wilson addressing the employees of Alaska Airlines.

These promotions are part of an exclusive multi-year partnership between Alaska Airlines and the Seahawk’s star quarterback. Since being named Alaska’s “Chief Football Officer” last December, Wilson has appeared at several exclusive events in Seattle, has been featured in four television commercials and had a plane dedicated in his honor . In addition, Alaska has supported a number of youth and education programs including the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, which provides inner-city and underprivileged youths an opportunity to attend football camp with the star quarterback.

Alaska WL 3 Wilson (Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Wilson and Alaska Airlines enjoy a relationship that began in 2013 after his rookie year in the National Football League. Wilson and Alaska have since teamed up to inspire youths to finish school and accomplish their goals. An event last summer— dubbed “Pledge It. Prove It. Take Flight “— attracted more than 600 students from 21 high schools in Western Washington, who heard from Wilson and employees of Alaska Airlines and its regional carrier, Horizon Air, about careers in aviation.

Copyright Photos: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Video: Alaska Airlines: We’ve enlisted the support of our Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson to design a training camp that only he could imagine. Wilson, the starting quarterback for the champion Seattle Seahawks, led Alaska employees through a high-stepping obstacle course, a lost teddy bear running drill, snack delivery accuracy training – #snackuracy – and more.

Philippines to return to New York on March 15, 2015

Philippines-Philippine Airlines (Manila) is coming back to New York. The carrier will operate an Airbus A340-300 four days a week from Manila to New York via Vancouver starting on March 15, 2015 per Airline Route.

The carrier previously operated the same route (except via Newark) with McDonnell Douglas MD-11s until it was stopped in August of 1997.

Delta operates a one stop flight between the two cities with a stop at Tokyo (Narita).

Read more from Philippine Flight Network: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313 RP-C3434 (msn 196) prepares to touch down at Los Angele International Airport.

Philippines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Qatar Airways to fly nonstop to Cape Town and Phuket

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced that commencing on November 3, the airline will operate a new nonstop five-times-weekly service between Doha and Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape Town, which is currently served three-times-a-week via Johannesburg, is one of the airline’s most popular African destinations. Now, thanks to continuous growth of the airline’s fleet and increasing passenger demand to the South African city, the airline is offering nonstop services to Cape Town for the first time.

The route will be operated by Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which features 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, with the latest interactive inflight entertainment system featuring over 1000 options available in all cabin classes.

In other news, Qatar Airways introduced its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Vienna route on September 1, 2014.

Qatar Airways is the first airline to commence scheduled 787 Dreamliner service to Vienna.

Finally, Qatar Airways on October 26 is introducing Doha-Phuket nonstop flights, replacing a one stop service via Kuala Lumpur. Airbus A330-200 aircraft will operate daily on this new route.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 A7-BCK (msn 38329) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).

Qatar Airways Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Ethiopian Airlines adds two domestic destinations

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced it started new services to Bale Robe on September 1, located in the South-Central part of Ethiopia and Kombolcha in North-Central Ethiopia on September 10.

The new flights will be on a daily bases to Kombolcha, and four times a week to Bale Robe on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using the Bombardier Q400 aircraft. The addition of these new services will bring the number of Ethiopian domestic destinations to 20.

Bale Robe is famous for the Omar Cave, which is the longest cave in Ethiopia at 15.1 kilometers and the longest system of caves in Africa.

Kombolcha is an industrial hub housing steel product and textile factories.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 ET-ARM (msn 4472) lands at Farnborough (FAB).

Ethiopian Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air Moldova is coming to Turin, Italy starting on December 16

Air Moldova (Chisinau) expands its route network with the launch of new nonstop flights on the Chisinau-Turin-Chisinau route, starting on December 16, 2014.

The new Chisinau-Turin-Chisinau flights will be operated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the Embraer 190 aircraft according to the following schedule (all times are local):

Departure from Chisinau – 1350
Arrival to Turin – 1510
Departure from Turin – 1600
Arrival to Chisinau – 1930

With the launch of the flight to Turin, the number of nonstop routes will reach 25 destinations: Antalya, Athens, Barcelona, Bodrum, Bologna, Bucharest, Dublin, Frankfurt, Heraklion, Istanbul, Kiev, Larnaca, Lisbon, London, Milan, Moscow, Nijnevartovsk, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Surgut, Turin, Venice and Verona.

For August 2014, Air Moldova set a new record. For the first time in its history, the company has managed to carry over 100,000 passengers or more exactly, 109,000 passengers during a month. This represents an increase of 58% over the same period in 2013.

Air Moldova has also managed to reach a market share at Chisinau International Airport of 53% in August or 10 percentage points more than last year.

Overall, for the first 8 months of the year, Air Moldova transported 524,000 passengers, an increase of 170,000 passengers (+ 48%) compared with the same period in 2013. ‎ At the same time, Air Moldova transported over 22,000 transfer passengers at Chisinau International Airport, an increase of 70 percent.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR ER-ECB (msn 19000325) prepares to land in Antalya.

Air Moldova Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Niki to introduce new routes from Vienna

Niki (flyniki.com) (Vienna) will add two new routes from Vienna next year. A weekly Vienna-Paphos will be added from February 24, 2015.

Additionally twice weekly Vienna-Catania, Sicily service will be operated from March 30, 2015 per Airline Route with Airbus A320s.

Finally in the winter 2014-2015 Niki will expand its reach in Egypt with flights to Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor and Hurghada, effective November 3, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Niki’s Airbus A320-214 OR-LEU (msn 2902) taxies at Palma de Mallorica in the basic Airberlin livery reflecting its part in the Airberlin Group.

Niki Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa to bring the Airbus A380 to India

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce its Airbus A380s on October 26 when it adds the Super Jumbo on its Frankfurt-Delhi and Frankfurt-Mumbai routes according to Airline Route. One daily to each destination will be operated.

Update: Mumbai now cancelled per Airline Route. Delhi remains.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMF 9msn 066) arrives back at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Condor to operate to Providence and Portland, Oregon next summer

Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) will add new twice-weekly summer seasonal flights to Providence, Rhode Island (June 18-September 3, 2015) and Portland, Oregon (June 19-September 4, 2015) from Frankfurt with Boeing 767-300 ERs.

Condor will also offer seasonal service to Windhoek (WDH) in 2015, with flights operating from Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Additionally the company is offering weekly Airbus A320 (above) flights from Munich to Larnaca from September 3 through November 26, 2014 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AICN (msn 1968) approaches the runway at Brussels in the old 2004 livery with the new “Sunny Heart” tail logo.

Condor Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

The DOT tells Norwegian it needs more time to reach a decision on Norwegian Air International

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Oslo) issued this statement (translated from Norwegian) concerning the delay by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in approving the controversial application of Norwegian Air International (NAI) based in Ireland:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to continue processing the application for the Norwegian EU-based subsidiary does not affect long-haul flights between Europe and the USA. Norwegian Air Shuttle has all rights to fly. The subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) is still waiting for a permanent permit to fly.

The decision by the DOT means that it needs more time to process the application for a permanent permit to fly for NAI. The license will be the same as Norwegian already has in the parent company Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo). DOT has also not granted the application by NAI for a temporary permit to fly. Norwegian expects the American authorities, based on the Open Skies agreement between Europe and the USA , will approve the applications that have been considered too long. NAI is in every respect an EU company that got its Irish flight license in February 2014.

Norwegian flies today with Norwegian pilot’s license and has all air rights and is therefore not dependent on a temporary permit for the NAI subsidiary. NAI must have a permanent permit issued by American authorities to fly to the European-based flight certificate (AOC).

“It is unfortunate that American authorities are further delaying our application that have been considered for over six months. We look forward to answering any new questions that the ministry has so that we can get a permanent permit to fly without further delay”, says Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of NAI.

Both the European Commission and the Irish authorities support NAI’s rights to fly under the Open Skies Agreement. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also approved the application and confirmed that the NAI meets all the required safety requirements.

“Norwegian DOT expects to see through all the false accusations and the massive campaigns that have been waged to stop us, both among competitors and unions. Norwegian does exactly what the Obama administration wants; create new jobs and contribute to increased tourism and growth in the tourism industry” continues Nyseth.

Great support from the United States

Norwegian has received considerable political support in the United States, including the three previous transport ministers from both the Democratic and Republican side, as well as local authorities and airports. In addition, tourist organizations, the US Travel Association and the Travel Technology Association have shown great support.

Norwegian started the long haul division in 2013 with new, fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The company now has three long-haul bases; in New York, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bangkok. The fourth base is now established at London Gatwick. 300 American cabin crews are based in the United States.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 EI-LNF (msn 35313) lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).

Norwegian Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

JetBlue introduces the “pivot basket” and the “halo tray”

JetBlue snack backet 1

JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced new snack and drink carriers on its BlueTails blog:

Even before we started flying 14 years ago we knew we had an opportunity to create the “un-airline” that questioned all those traditions the other guys had established. One early decision we made was to do away with dragging carts down the aisle. We didn’t like how they created a barrier between our customers and crewmembers, how they bruised elbows and toes, and frankly, their looks left something to be desired too!

Instead, we made the service a bit more personal with our wicker baskets that presented a cornucopia of name brand snack choices for our customers. But just as we’ve refreshed our planes, our products, and even our crewmembers uniforms, we decided to take a look at that basket and see if we could do something better with a refresh of its own!

JetBlue snack backet 2

basket2Onboard snack and beverage service will be a breeze with our new snack and drink carriers onboard. In order to enhance your JetBlue experience, we are pleased to bring you our stylish inflight service tools. Our crewmembers teamed up with industry designers and ergonomic specialists, to create a product that will match our new look.

Our new service tool referred to as the pivot basket, allows flexibility to better serve our customers. Although it may look small, the pivot basket actually holds more snacks. In addition to this, the flexibility feature makes it easy to use for our crewmembers onboard.

We are also proud to introduce the Halo Tray for our onboard drink products. The Halo Tray provides more capacity to serve more rows in a quicker fashion, and can also be used to serve our Eat up boxes on the reverse side.

Want to learn even more? Check out this video we shared with our Inflight Crewmembers introducing the new inflight service tools:

Our new inflight service tools are expected to make their grand appearance this fall. So stay tuned, and if you see one of our new trays or baskets (along with our beloved Inflight Crewmembers) be sure to let us know what you think!

Copyright Photos: JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Latest TV advertisement:

Emirates arrives today in Oslo, Norway

Emirates (Dubai) expanded its Scandinavian reach today (September 2) with the start of its daily nonstop service to Oslo.

Emirates’ daily flight to Oslo, operated with a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The inaugural flight today was welcomed by Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen, along with partners from the travel trade and local media. A contingent of Norwegian business leaders based in Dubai also accompanied senior Emirates representatives on the inaugural flight. It is estimated that over 1,200 Norwegians currently reside in the United Arab Emirates.

On today’s flight departing Oslo, fresh salmon are being transported in the belly hold of the Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER to Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Live king crabs will also be shipped to Incheon and pharmaceuticals and electronics will also be uplifted and transported to other destinations on Emirates’ global network.

Emirates has had a solid presence in the Norwegian market even before the introduction of daily passenger flights. Its cargo arm has been active in salmon traffic from Norway to other Emirates destinations such as such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam.
Air cargo has a vital role in many industries’ global supply chains and Emirates SkyCargo anticipates that with the new service and 23 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, more time-sensitive salmon and other cargo such as ship spares can be easily transported. Daily services are particularly important to businesses running streamlined operations that depend on rapid delivery of goods.

Emirates’ new daily flight to Oslo departs Dubai as flight EK 159 at 0700 and arrives at Oslo Airport, (Gardermoen) at 1210. The return flight, EK 160 departs at 1355 and arrives at Dubai International Airport at 2250.

This week, Emirates will further expand in Europe with the launch of Brussels on September 5. This will be closely followed by Budapest on October 27.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ENE (msn 35603) arrives in New York (JFK).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Video: Emirates partnership with VOSS on Norway:

Sunwing Airlines to operate weekly New Orleans-Punta Cana charters

Sunwing Airlines (flysunwing.com) (Toronto) starting on May 14, 2015 will operate weekly charter flights from New Orleans to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on behalf of Vacation Express per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86J C-GOWG (msn 37757) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Sunwing Airlines:

United to drop three Canadian routes for the winter months

United Airlines (Chicago) is ending summer service to three Canadian routes this fall: Chicago (O’Hare)-Saskatoon (September 30), Chicago (O’Hare)-Regina (October 25) and Newark-Edmonton (October 26) per Airline Route. Saskatoon and Regina will continue to see United service from the Denver hub.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United utilizes the Airbus A319 on the Newark-Edmonton route. Airbus A319-131 N805UA (msn 783) departs from Los Angeles.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Southwest to drop three Caribbean routes from Atlanta

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) effective March 1, 2015 will drop two weekly international routes from Atlanta; Aruba and Montego Bay. The company will also drop the Atlanta-San Juan route on March 7, 2015 per Airline Route.

Effective on March 7, 2015 Southwest will add weekly San Antonio-New Orleans service.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N436WN (msn 32456) departs from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Interjet to bring the Sukhoi Superjet 100 to Miami, will start Houston service on October 23

Interjet (Mexico City) will introduce the new Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B on the Merida-Miami route starting in mid October pending aircraft deliveries.

In other news, the company will start Monterrey-Houston service on October 23, with two daily flights Monday through Friday, and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays.

The company describes its business model:

Through its hybrid business model (Low Cost Carrier – LLC) based on a strategy of combining higher quality service with efficient business practices, Interjet offers a superior product- making it the first airline in Mexico to achieve high quality service at an affordable price. This effective business strategy allows Interjet to satisfy the needs and requirements of diverse population sectors, and expands coverage to business and leisure market. For customer convenience, Interjet ́s aircraft include a variety of useful amenities. Many of its airplanes are equipped to broadcast live take-off and landing video. With a capacity of 150 passengers each, Interjet’s Airbus 320 offers a superior coach class service with more legroom than any other Mexican airline.

As of January 2011, Interjet inaugurated its Training and Development Center for Pilots (Centro de Capacitación y Adiestramiento para pilotos – CAA), featuring an Airbus A320 Full Flight Simulator (FSS) at Zero Flight Time (ZFT), level D, making it the most advanced training center in Mexico. The CAA meets the certification requirements of Mexico ́s DGCA, U.S. FAA and the European EASA.

Interjet is the first airline in Mexico and Latin America to implement the use of biofuels on its commercial flights. Biofuels have the potential to reduce up to 80% of CO2 emissions. Made from oils extracted from the seed of the Jatropha Curcas (a native Mexican plant), it is transformed into Synthetic Paraffinic Biokerosene (Bio-KPS). The biofuel is made of a combination 27% Bio-KPS and 73% traditional jet-fuel.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B RA-97010 (msn 95045) was on display at the Farnborough Airshow (FAB).

Interjet: AG Slide Show

Interjet logo (large)

 

Route Map (routes from Mexico City):

Interjet MEX 9.2014 Route Map

 

Tigerair Taiwan to start operations on September 26

Tigerair (Taiwan) A320-200 WL B-50001 (13)(Grd)(Tigerair)(LRW)

Tigerair Taiwan (Taipei-Taoyuan) will launch scheduled passengers operations from Taipei (Taoyuan) to Singapore on September 26 with Airbus A320s according to Sydney Morning Herald. The new low-fare airline is a joint venture between China Airlines (Taipei) (90%) and Tigerair (Singapore) (10%). The new airline hopes to grow the fleet to 12 aircraft in the next three years.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Tigerair (Taiwan) logo (large)

Copyright Photos: Tigerair Taiwan. The first Airbus A320 is the pictured A320-232 B-50001 (msn 6187) delivered on August 28.

Tigerair (Taiwan) A320-200 WL B-50001 (13)(Tail)(Tigerair)(LRW)

Tigerair (Taiwan) A320 crew (Tigerair)(LRW)

Alaska launches Seattle/Tacoma-Baltimore/Washington flights today

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) launched daily round-trip service today (September 2) between Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

With the new BWI flight, coupled with the airline’s Detroit service starting on September 4 and Albuquerque service starting on September 18, Alaska Airlines will offer 273 peak-day departures to 78 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma (SeaTac), more than three times that of any other airline.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N586AS (msn 35189) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Philippines retires its last Boeing 747

Philippines-Philippine Airlines (Manila) today (September 1) operated its last Boeing 747 revenue flight. The last flight with a Boeing 747-400 touched down from San Francisco early this morning at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, ending an era that has spanned 35 years according to Philippine Flight Network.

The Boeing 747 entered service with Philippine Airlines in December 1979, when the carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 747-200B. PAL added its first Boeing 747-400 in November 1993.

Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C7473 (msn 27828) operated the last flight. RP-C7473 departed San Francisco on August 31 for the last time with 285 passengers on board according to PFN.

Read the full story with photos from Philippine Flight Network: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) was a familiar sight at Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines-Philippine Airlines:AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.

 

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