Hawaiian Airlines to suspend flights to Taipei in April, will start service to Beijing

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced plans to suspend its thrice-weekly service to Taipei, Taiwan in April and reassign that route’s 294-seat Airbus 330-200 aircraft to its nonstop service to Seoul, South Korea, which will operate five times per week.

Up-gauging to the newer A330-200 aircraft will provide South Korean passengers with enhanced amenities including in-seat in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft and the airline’s new Extra Comfort preferred seating product. The new aircraft will be available on all flights to Incheon International Airport from April 23, 2014.

 Hawaiian logo

Hawaiian Airlines flight HA 807 will operate its final flight from Honolulu to Taipei on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Return Flight HA808 will operate for the final time on Monday, April 7, 2014 from Taipei to Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines’ reservations department will be contacting passengers booked to fly after that date to accommodate them on other airlines.

Also in April, Hawaiian Airlines will launch thrice-weekly service to Beijing, China, subject to government approval, its 10th international gateway launched since November 2010. The airline has also scheduled new nonstop summer service from Los Angeles and Oakland, California to Kona, Hawai‘i Island and Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Airbus A330-243 N382HA (msn 1171) climbs away from the Honolulu hub.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Route Map:

Hawaiian 3.2014 Route Map

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Jet Airways starts Hyderabad-Abu Dhabi service on March 1

Jet Airways  (Mumbai) launched a new daily nonstop service from Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi staring on March 1, 2014.

Jet Airways flight 9W 550 departed Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 2025 and arrived in Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2310 (LT). On the return leg, the flight 9W 549 will depart Abu Dhabi at 1045 (LT) and arrive in Hyderabad at 1610.

Jet Airways currently operates a daily flight each from Delhi, Kochi and Chennai and 11 flights a week from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi.

The airline will deploy Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the new route.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JBF (msn 35082) arrives in Bangkok.

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Newcomer Fly Romania to launch operations in April

Fly Romania logo

Fly Romania (Bucharest) is a new airline that is planning to launch operations in April with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80s (MD-80s). The new carrier is planning to launch operations on April 15. The first routes will be from Bucharest to Timisoara and Verona followed by Genoathe next day. Bergamo and Tulcea join on April 18. The route map will be expanded in June with new service to Antalya, Barcelona and Hahn (near Frankfurt).

The airline issued this first schedule:

Fly Romania 3.2015 Schedule

Video:

 

Qatar Airways showcases its first Airbus A380

Qatar A380-800 Cabin (Qatar)(LR)

Qatar Airways (Doha) will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in June and will inaugurate A380 luxury flights with a daily flight to London (Heathrow). The airline has 13 on order. The first Airbus A380-861 will be registered A7-APA (msn 137) and is already painted pending delivery.

Qatar Airways is also the launch customer for the new Airbus A350, with 80 A350s on order. The first will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year and will reportedly be assigned to the New York (JFK) route (not yet conformed by the airline).

Qatar says it has a total of 300 Airbus and Boeing jets on order, including options.

The fast-growing airline issued this statement and photos today:

At a press conference this morning (March 5), on the first day of ITB Berlin, Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker together with the airline’s new Country Manager for Germany and Austria, Günter Saurwein, made a series of announcements regarding the airline’s highly anticipated first Airbus A380-800, with the first display of the new luxury First Class seats (above) that will form part of the aircraft’s tri-class configuration.

With a customized interior meeting the high demand specifications of Qatar Airways, the airline´s new A380s will undoubtedly be the talk of aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike when the first aircraft enters service this year, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.

Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in First, Business and Economy, over two decks, the A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world and will provide a superior traveller experience to the airline’s customers.

The new First Class A380 seat, revealed by Mr. Al Baker at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Berlin, Mr Klaus Wowereit as Guest of Honour, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 19-inch television screens.

Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new First Class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the United Kingdom, who will also benefit from our Premium Terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

The arrival this year of the airline´s first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed with specifications required for the super jumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which will be the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.

Qatar Airways is also celebrating a year of intensive fleet growth and recently becoming a member of the oneworld global alliance network, as well as exclusive codeshare partnerships with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines, offering customers seamless journeys.

In addition to the 13 A380 aircraft the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’s launch customer. This forms part of Qatar Airways plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft, worth more than US $50 billion, on order, including the Boeing 787 and 777X.

Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker continued: “The last 12 months have been witness to huge strides taken forward by Qatar Airways in our desire to be the world’s leading airline, flying the youngest and most modern fleet. Most notably, we became the only airline in the Gulf to join the prestigious oneworld global alliance and I am thrilled for what this means not just for us as an airline, but for our passengers as well.”

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 136 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

As part of its aggressive expansion program, Qatar Airways will launch routes to a further six new destinations during 2014: Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.

Video: The first flight of the first Qatar A380 (now fully painted):
All photos by Qatar Airways.Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

El Al selects ViaSat’s Exede for inflight Internet service

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has agreed to be the launch customer in Europe for Exede® In The Air in-flight Internet service from ViaSat Inc. To begin, ViaSat plans to deliver the service to El Al Boeing 737s flying routes from Tel Aviv into several European cities. The two companies plan to immediately begin working toward certification and installation of the Exede terminals on EL AL aircraft with a target date to launch service within one year.

For El Al, ViaSat is responsible for providing and managing a complete in-flight Internet service to the aircraft, including airborne terminals, antennas, radomes, and air time from the Eutelsat KA-SAT high-capacity Ka-band satellite. Additional details of what services will be offered to EL AL passengers will be announced closer to the launch of service.

Exede in-flight Internet service is designed to eclipse the service quality and speeds of other in-cabin airline broadband services. The major differentiator is an innovative, high-capacity Ka-band satellite system developed by ViaSat. The more favorable economics of the ViaSat system enable airlines to provide a consistent, high-speed service level to each passenger, rather than simply an aggregate amount of bandwidth to the plane that leaves passengers competing for service. The system is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q 4X-EKO (msn 30287) climbs away from Geneva.

El Al: AG Slide Show

ViaSat lgo

Canadian North to launch Iqaluit-Halifax-St. John’s seasonal service

Canadian North (Yellowknife) will launch a new weekly and seasonal Iqaluit-Halifax-St. John’s route from June 20 through September 5. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36Q C-GCNW (msn 28760) departs from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

Canadian North: AG Slide Show

Current route map with the new seasonal route to the Maritimes:

Canadian North 3.2014 Route Map

Virgin America wants to start operations from Dallas’ Love Field

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced plans to significantly expand its Dallas presence by operating new daily nonstop flights from Dallas’ Love Field (DAL) to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).   In addition to adding new service from Love Field to major business destinations such as New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, the airline plans to increase flights to current destinations (San Francisco and Los Angeles) from Dallas. Virgin America is seeking to secure two Love Field gates in order to expand flight options for Dallas travelers, as the airport’s centralized location makes it a more convenient choice for Dallas-based and Dallas-destined business travelers.  If successful, the airline would move its current operations from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Love Field in October 2014.  Virgin America would be the only carrier at Love Field to offer guests three classes of service, WiFi, in-seat power outlets and touch-screen seatback entertainment (including live TV) on every flight.  In addition, the airline operates a new fleet of Airbus A320-Family aircraft, which are significantly quieter than the commercial aircraft currently in use at Love Field.

Virgin America’s ability to offer these new flights to Dallas travelers is contingent on obtaining two Love Field gates that are being divested by American Airlines as part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreement resolving American Airline’s merger with US Airways.  As part of the merger settlement, DOJ required the divestiture of gates at several domestic airports to facilitate entry and expansion by low-cost airlines, where consumer competition could be negatively impacted by the unprecedented consolidation this latest merger represents.  Virgin America’s new flights from Dallas would provide vigorous competition in a market where at present one carrier controls 80 percent of the gates at Love Field (16 of 20 gates).  Earlier this year, Virgin America invested in divestiture assets being sold as part of the merger settlement, including 12 airport slots at LGA (six slot pairs) and eight slots at DCA (four slot pairs), both airports where legacy carriers have historically dominated operations and where consumers have suffered from lack of service competition and higher fares as a consequence.   With the planned divestiture of Love Field gates, Virgin America would be able to offer Dallascustomers a competing network of flights to large business markets from Love Field.

The Love Field plans would significantly expand Virgin America’s presence in Texas, which now consists of three daily nonstop flights from both LAX and SFO to DFW as well as its popular SFO-Austin flights.  In addition, the new routes would expand the airline’s presence in both Washington D.C. and the New York area.  The carrier will be only the second low-cost airline to serve all three major New York-area airports. Virgin America has built a loyal following of bi-coastal flyers with its nonstop flights from LAX and SFO to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and EWR.

Virgin America’s service to and from DAL would begin from October 2014, after the expiration of the Wright Amendment, which has restricted flights at Love Field since 1979.  The airline would plan to operate daily nonstop flights from October 2014 and would announce full schedules for the following routes should the Love Field gates be approved:

  • DAL to LGA (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to DCA (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to LAX (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
  • DAL to SFO (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).

In addition, the airline would add two roundtrip flights a day from DAL to Chicago O’Hare in early 2015.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N524VA (msn 3204) “Dark Horse” approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The move by Virgin America to offer their highly-rated services at Love Field brings back memories of short-lived Legend Airlines (please click on the photo for additional information).

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