Aer Lingus (Dublin) will start twice-weekly Shannon-Malaga flights on March 30, 2014 according to the Limerick Leader.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEB (msn 2191) is pictured on the runway at the Dublin hub.
TAME (Linea Aerea del Ecuador) (Quito) took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 (HC-COH) on July 9, 2013. The new type was used to operate the inaugural flight to New York (JFK) on November 22.
United Airlines (Chicago) is giving up on the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo (Narita) route on January 16, 2014 according to The News Tribune. This was one of United’s first trans-Pacific routes, operated since April 1983. Delta is back-filling United’s departure with increased flights from SEA to Asia. United’s Star Alliance partner, ANA, will also continue to serve the route.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile United will launch a new route connecting the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub and Munich starting on April 24, 2013 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. United’s Boeing 777-222 ER N222UA (msn 30553) taxies to the gate after landing at SeaTac on a flight from Tokyo (Narita).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on March 2, 2014 will launch a new nonstop route from Orlando to Las Vegas with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The route will be operated three days a week per Airline Route.
Delta is also starting Raleigh/Durham-Las Vegas service on March 2, 2014. Both are traditional Southwest Airlines routes.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N393DA (msn 30377) prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
Nam Air (Jakarta) is a new subsidiary airline created by Sriwijaya Air. The new airline is planning to operate four former Continental Airlines 120-seat Boeing 737-500s. The first, PK-CMD (msn 27535), was delivered on September 9, 2013. A second (PK-NAM) has been painted.
The airline is planning to operate from Jakarta, Denpasar and Surabaya. Nam Air will fly the following routes according to local media reports: Jakarta-Sorong, Jakarta-Kupang, Jakarta-Pangkalpinang, Jakarta-Pontianak, Surabaya-Luwuk, Surabaya-Pangkalan Bun, Surabaya-Biak, Surabaya-Denpasar, Denpasar-Waingapu, and Denpasar-Maumere dan Denpasar-Kupang.
According to the Jakarta Post, the new airline is planning to launch operations this month. The first route will be the Jakarta-Pangkal Pinang route.
Read the full report from the Jakarta Post: CLICK HERE
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) last night (November 23) ended the world’s longest nonstop air route (9,506 miles, 19 hours) when it ended nonstop Singapore-Newark service. Previously the airline ended Los Angeles-Singapore nonstop service on October 22.
Singapore was the first to operate the world’s longest nonstop commercial flight between Singapore and Los Angeles in February 2004 on the Airbus A340-500, and then surpassing the record (in terms of distance) later that year with the nonstop service to Newark in June 2004.
Singapore Airlines is retiring its long range Airbus A340-500s. Five were operated on the two long-range routes to both Los Angeles and Newark.
Read the full report from the Star-Ledger via nj.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-541 9V-SGE (msn 563) exits the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Qatar Airways (Doha) announced it will begin flights to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh effective May 28, 2014, operating five flights weekly.
The new route will be served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two-cabin configuration, offering passengers 22 Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats. The schedule for the new destination is as follows:
Doha to/from Edinburgh:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
QR 027 departs Doha (DOH) at 08:00; arrives Edinburgh (EDI) at 13:15
QR 028 departs Edinburgh (EDI) at 14:45; arrives Doha (DOH) at 23:40
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 128 aircraft to 133 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
In 2013, Qatar Airways has launched eleven destinations to date – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq), Chengdu (China), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Ta’if (Saudi Arabia) and most recently Clark Manila International Airport (Philippines).
Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Hangzhou, China (December 20, 2013), Sharjah and Dubai World Central, both in the UAE (March 1, 2014), Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014) and Miami, USA (June 10, 2014).
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 A7-BCE (msn 38323) lands in Stockholm Arlanda.
Flybe (Exeter) will close six bases and eliminate 500 positions despite a recent profit announcement. The bases to be closed are Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle.
Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-KKEV (msn 4201) completes its final approach into Gatwick Airport near London.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will add new seasonal, nonstop jet service between Portsmouth and Punta Gorda Airport beginning on February 12, 2014. The new flights will operate twice weekly between Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (PSM) and Punta Gorda Airport (PGD).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N422NV (msn 49381) lands in Las Vegas.
Grand Cru Airlines (Vilnius) started ACMI and charter operations on June 21, 2013 with a single Boeing 737-300. A second 737-300 was added and a third will be added next year. Now the new company is planning to add its first Airbus A320.
The airline issued this statement:
On June 21, 2013 one of the newest companies in the market, Grand Cru Airlines began offering charter flights and providing “Wet Lease” (ACMI), “Dry Lease” and “Hybrid Lease” services, started flights from Vilnius along with its recently acquired Boeing 737-300.
Grand Cru Airlines acquired another Boeing 737-300 aircraft which will also be used for leasing and charter flights. The company announces that during the winter season aircraft will be actively used for flying passengers to Antalya, Bodrum, Heraklion, and Sharm El Sheikh. Currently it is also capable of cargo transportation but for the time being Grand Cru Airlines priority is passengers.
Though the competition in this field is high, the company is not afraid of hardships since it is leasing its aircraft on flexible and affordable conditions. Grand Cru Airlines is planning to acquire the third Boeing 737-300 in 2014. The company will also have an opportunity to acquire one Airbus A320 type aircraft so that it could adapt to the changing market in the future.
The airline also explains its unique name:
The term “grand cru” describes a vineyard in France where high quality wine is produced and refers to a class that is an official grade of French wine. Generally, “grand cru” indicates something that possesses a favorable and positive reputation. Therefore, this term is widely applied to describe different products.
Literally, “grand cru” refers to “belief without any doubt” and defines reliable, valuable, and top quality things.
Basically, Grand Cru Airlines has the same characteristics: potential for great growth by reason of its essential values.
Image: Grand Cru Airlines.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) announced today, according to Retuters, it will pull its Boeing 787-8s from two international routes after Boeing notified the carrier of icing concerns in the General Electric GEnx engines.
The carrier was advised to not fly the aircraft with these engines near thunderstorms following a recent incident in which a 747 experienced a loss of power after flying through a thunderstorm.
JAL will remove the 787-8 on its Tokyo-Delhi and Tokyo-Singapore routes while also dropping plans to use 787-8s on its Tokyo-Sydney route starting next month.
Read the full Reuters report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA828J (msn 38438) lands after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett.
- 12 new routes to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek,Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea
- 126 Stansted routes in total
- More flights and improved schedules on 17 existing routes (from 430 to 600 weekly flights)
- Over 1,300,000 new Ryanair passengers per year at Stansted (14.5 million in total)
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DLC (msn 33586) climbs away from the runway Perpignan, France.
Video: London’s Stansted Airport from a B-17 and P-51 World War II USAAF base to Ryanair’s largest hub airport.
Current Ryanair routes from London Stansted:
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) is stretching its route map further south in Latin America suggesting the rumored Airbus A330s could be ordered in the future. Yesterday the fast-growing company began daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Lima, Peru. The new route is part of the airline’s continuous expansion at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport, where JetBlue now offers nonstop flights to 25 destinations, three of which are in South America. Lima is JetBlue’s 81st destination.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Lima, Peru (LIM), effective November 21, 2013:
|FLL to LIM:||LIM to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|5:40 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.||12:30 a.m. – 6:19 a.m.|
Flights operate daily effective November 21, 2013 (southbound) and November 22, 2013 (northbound) -
All times local.
JetBlue’s flights between Fort Lauderdale and Lima, Peru, will be operated with its Airbus A320 fleet.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL N827JB (msn 5677) with Sharklets in the Blueberries tail design lands at Las Vegas.
United Airlines (Chicago) officially opened its new wide body aircraft maintenance hangar yesterday at Washington Dulles International Airport, a major United hub and the airline’s principal gateway to the Middle East.
“The close relationship between Dulles and United goes back decades, and this facility represents yet another important investment in this key market,” said Greg Hart, United’s senior vice president for technical operations. “Our new maintenance hangar, coupled with additional improvements in our terminals, gate areas, lounges and employee facilities, will deliver greater reliability for our customers and enhance their overall travel experience.”
More than 600 area construction workers helped build the 125,000-square-foot hangar, which includes 85,000 square feet of enclosed aircraft space.
United has maintenance hangars at its hubs in Chicago O’Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is nearing completion on another wide body hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N664UA (msn 29236) now with Blended Winglets completes its final approach into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Washington Dulles International Airport Hub Fact Sheet:
Oops! Hint: When you are courting Boeing to stay in Washington State, it is always a good idea to use a photo of a Boeing aircraft (not Airbus)!
The Washington Aerospace Partnership through the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce took out a full-page advertisement in the Wednesday Seattle Times. “The Future of Washington” ad made a pitch to keep the new 777X in Washington State (the machinist union recently voted down the proposed Boeing contract extension). Boeing is now actively looking at other lower-cost locations. There was only one problem with the ad created by an unspecified advertising agency: the ad featured an Airbus aircraft!
Read the full story (with a photo of the ad) from the Boeing Blog of The Seattle Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Note to the advertising agency: This is a Boeing 777, more specifically a 777-346 ER of Japan Airlines. Our worldwide team of photographers know quite well their aircraft and we always strive to get the best shots. We are always standing ready to help any advertising agency with the exact aircraft and the best, most dramatic shots. Contact us.
Meanwhile the issue continues. The machinists are fighting to preserve their pensions. Boeing under the 777X contract extension proposal wanted to freeze the pension benefits. Here is an opinion page article in the New York Times that presents the viewpoint of the Machinist rank and file members: CLICK HERE
Boeing knows in the new world order there is always someone ready to work for less, with less paid benefits and other cities and states (or countries) willing to welcome their lucrative and giant manufacturing program to their location with tax incentives. The cost of labor affects the final selling price. Every politician who wants to stay in office, fights for new jobs. Chicago-based Boeing is probably now factoring in the cost of moving, building new facilities and training new employees (like Airbus is doing in Mobile, Alabama) versus what it will take money-wise to get a new contract extension from the IAM. Although they are separate types of aircraft (wide body versus narrow body), the Seattle area machinists are really now competing against the Mobile area future aircraft assemblers for wages and benefits. They are also competing against future workers in Charleston in the right-to-work South Carolina should Boeing decide to expand that facility for the 777X. In reality, on a global scale, every worker today, doing the same type of work, is competing against a lower paid employee somewhere in the world. It is a global village.
There are tough decisions ahead for both sides.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today took delivery of the first Airbus A321 trans-continental aircraft, complete with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. The new aircraft is scheduled to enter service next year, making American the only U.S. carrier to offer customers more choices with a three-class configuration when flying between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles, and New York (JFK) and San Francisco.
The “A321T” (as American calls it) will offer a comfortable flying experience from coast to coast with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, with direct aisle access for all First Class customers for ease of moving about the cabin. The aircraft is equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating, giving Main Cabin customers the option of up to six inches of extra legroom, and every seat onboard features in-seat entertainment with up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 20 games. Individual AC power outlets and USB jacks are available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Customers will have an enhanced experience connecting with Gogo’s upgraded ATG-4 Wi-Fi service.
American will begin operating the A321T between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in January. The aircraft will initially operate two of American’s daily flights between JFK and LAX and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to 13 daily flights. The A321T will also begin flying between JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in March 2014 and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to five daily flights.
The new A321T incorporates the latest improvements to reduce fuel burn, marking another important advancement toward American’s efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet. On the road to building a younger and more modern fleet, American plans to take delivery of nearly 60 new aircraft total by the end of the year, including new Boeing 777-300 ERs, Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A319s and Airbus A321s. The airline will continue its fleet renewal program in 2014 with more new aircraft deliveries, including the Boeing 787, which is scheduled to join American’s fleet late next year.
In addition, American’s current and future deliveries from the Airbus A320 Family, including the A321T, feature Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This onboard cockpit technology increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and, if necessary, provides active protection.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Officially the aircraft is an Airbus A321-231. The pictured D-AVZK (msn 5834) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became N101NN on the handover.
Atlas Air (New York-JFK) operates the fleet of four Boeing 747 Dreamlifters under contract for Boeing, ferrying parts for Boeing between its various supply points.
Last night (November 20) a Drealifter operated by Atlas Air was inbound for McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas. However the modified Jumbo landed instead at the nearby Colonel James Jabara Airport run by the city of Wichita according to this report by Reuters.
The pilots had taken off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport but mistook the GA airport for the air force base.
The Colonel James Jabara Airport (ICAO: KAAO, FAA LID: AAO) has only one runway that is 6,101 feet long with an ATC control tower and is about 9 miles (14 km) from McConnell.
Atlas Air has reassured airport officials the runway is of sufficient length to permit a safe departure today.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The specially-modified Boeing 747-409LCF DreamLifter N780BA (msn 24130) is pictured on the ramp at New York (JFK).
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) rebranded the company in October with this new aircraft livery and logo (see above). With the new political situation in Libya, a new livery was inevitable. The new “three slash” tail logo replaces the previous 9.9.99 tail logo. According to the airline, the three medium blue marks represent the neck markings of the Turtle Dove, a migratory bird of North Africa.
State-owned Afriqiyah Airways was reportedly being considered for a planned merger with rival Libyan Airlines (Tripoli).
Since the end of civil war, the company has been rebuilding under the new State of Libya. The traditional Tripoli-Paris (CDG) route was restored on October 31 with leased aircraft. The restored route is currently being operated three days a week.
The old “9.9.99” tail motif previously celebrated the establishment of of the African Union on September 9, 1999 in Sirte which Libya supported under Gaddafi. The name “Afriqiyah” is Arabic for African. The old logo was associated with deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured newly-built Airbus A330-202 F-WWYK will become 5A-ONP (msn 1472) on delivery.
Poll: Do you like the new Afriqiyah Airways livery?
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has added another partner airline as its airline empire grows. The fast-growing airline has entered into a new strategic partnership with Jet Airways (Mumbai) following the final approval for their alliance and 24 percent equity purchase. The airlines have issued this statement:
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates and Jet Airways have announced that both airlines closed the transaction for the subscription of a 24 percent equity stake by Etihad Airways in Jet Airways. All requisite Indian regulatory approvals had been obtained by November 12, 2013. Jet Airways has, on November 20, 2013, issued and allotted 27,263,372 equity shares of a face value of Rs. 10 each at a price of Rs. 754.7361607 per equity share on a preferential basis to Etihad Airways.
Consequent to the above allotment, the paid up share capital of Jet Airways stands increased to 11,35,97,383 equity shares of Rs. 10 each. Following this issue and allotment of the said equity shares on a preferential basis to Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways holds 24 percent of the post issue paid up share capital of Jet Airways (on a fully diluted basis). Additionally, Mr. James Hogan and Mr. James Rigney, being nominee Directors of Etihad Airways, have been appointed as additional directors on the board of directors of Jet Airways as from November 20, 2013.
Mr. Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways said: “The infusion of foreign direct investment in the aviation sector will result in economies of scale, grow traffic at our airports, and create job opportunities. I am confident that this investment will greatly benefit all our stakeholders whilst significantly benefitting our customers who will now have access to a more expanded global network.”
Mr. Goyal also stressed that together with Etihad Airways, Jet Airways would enhance connectivity for tourists, business travellers, Indian families and the wider travelling public.
Mr. James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways said: “India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world and a key part of the Etihad Airways growth strategy. Through this association, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways will both be strengthened, as will the economies of India and the UAE. By linking our two networks and adding new flights, new routes and more code-share options, travel to, from and within India will become much easier.”
Mr. Goyal and Mr. Hogan confirmed that the collaboration between the airlines would commence immediately with a view to delivering network and service benefits to customers as soon as possible. Specific details will be released progressively.”
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Jet Airways’ Airbus A330-302 VT-JWR (msn 1351) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced its 19th base to be opened in Craiova, Romania in July 2014 with one based aircraft. A new Airbus A320 aircraft will be delivered in Craiova on July 23, 2014.
The new aircraft will support operations of a total of six Craiova routes and increase seat capacity in the first 12 months of based operations to over 260,000 seats. The airline believes this will also stimulate the local job market in aviation and tourism sectors as consumers will have access to more low cost routes. Wizz Air announced more weekly flights on the existing services to Milan Bergamo and London Luton, and announced four new routes to Barcelona, Bologna, Dortmund and Rome Ciampino, that will start operating from July 23, 2014.
WIZZ AIR’S NEW ROUTES FROM CRAIOVA:
Tue, Thu, Sat
WIZZ AIR’S INCREASED FREQUENCIES FROM CRAIOVA:
Days per week
from 2 to 4
from 2 to 3
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL HA-LWV (msn 5660) with Sharklets lands at EuroAirport serving Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Routes from the new base:
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is likely to eliminate between 2,500 and 2,600 positions, including 1,300 are fixed-term contracts and possibly 220 pilots, 400 cabin staff and 600-700 ground workers according to this report by Reuters citing union sources familiar with the latest cost-cutting plan.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-243 ER EI-DBM (msn 32782) approaches New York (JFK) for landing.
Aigle Azur (Paris-Orly) will launch a new long-range route from its Orly Airport home to Beijing, China starting on June 28, 2014. The new route will be operated three days a week with new Airbus A330-200s per Airline Route. The company has two on order.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) today announced the first seven new routes for the 2014 timetable. From the end of March 2014, SAS will be opening Stockholm (Arlanda)-Visby, Stavanger-Edinburgh, Oslo-Edinburgh, Oslo-Aalborg, Oslo-Aberdeen and Oslo-Chania, as well as Copenhagen-Leeds/Bradford. These launches reflect increased customer demand for new nonstop services.
Earlier this fall, SAS opened two new year-round routes, Copenhagen-Bremen and Copenhagen-Humberside, and announced two routes for the winter season 2013: Oslo-Sochi and Copenhagen-Salzburg. In 2013, SAS launched more than 50 new domestic and European routes, as well as the popular Copenhagen-San Francisco route.
The new routes will go on sale gradually from November 21, 2013. SAS will launch the peak summer timetable on Monday, November 25.
New routes from Sweden
Stockholm to: Visby (starts March 30)
New routes from Norway
Oslo to: Edinburgh (April 10-October 11), Aalborg (starts March 30), Aberdeen (starts March 31), Chania (April 12-October 11)
Stavanger to: Edinburgh (April 10-October 11)
New routes from Denmark
Copenhagen to: Leeds/Bradford (starts March 31)
Aalborg to: Oslo (starts March 30)
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7BX SE-RES (msn 30737) lands at the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) announced new seasonal services from New York (JFK) to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos as of January 16 and January 18, 2014 respectfully.
These new flights will have the following schedules:
|New York – Los Cabos*||
New York – Puerto Vallarta*
|12:10 hrs.||Sat||AM1902||07:30 hrs.||
|Thu and Sun|
Los Cabos – New York*
Puerto Vallarta – New York*
|AM1905||14:55 hrs.||22:00 hrs.||Sat||AM1903||16:10 hrs.||22:00 hrs.||Thu and Sun|
* Schedules are published in local time and subject to changes without notice.
Also, AeroMexico will add three weekly flights to the daily service it currently offers between New York (JFK) and Cancun as of December 20. The schedules on this route will be as follows:
|New York – Cancun*|
|AM0417||07:10 hrs.||10:25 hrs.||Daily|
|AM0425||10:00 hrs.||13:43 hrs.||Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays**|
|Cancun – New York*|
|AM0416||17:42 hrs.||22:37 hrs.||Daily|
|22:00 hrs.||Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays**|
*Schedules are published in local time and subject to changes without notice.
These new routes and frequencies will be served with 160-seat Boeing 737-800s, to develop a new and strong link between leading Mexican tourist destinations and the United States.
AeroMexico will offer 42 weekly flights from New York, strengthening its extensive global network and increase its seat offerings to provide additional connectivity options and expand tourist travel to Mexico.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Z9 WL N342AM (msn 34262) lands in Las Vegas.
JetBlue Airways (New York) flight B6 1266 from Fort Myers to Boston diverted to Orlando yesterday (November 20) after the evacuation slide opened inside the cabin. There were no injuries to 77 passengers and crew members on board according to Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Air Canada (Montreal) and Cargojet Airways (Hamilton) today announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore strategic opportunities in both cargo and airline operations within Canada and in international markets.
The carriers intend to pursue strategic opportunities and increase cooperation in various areas such as global sales and marketing, expanded interline opportunities and enhanced connectivity that would increase revenues and reduce operating costs. Both airlines would work towards providing optimized services to the shipping community on their respective networks.
“We are looking forward to working with Air Canada towards improving the depth and reach of both companies’ air cargo services, both domestically and internationally, among other strategic opportunities,” said Ajay K. Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cargojet.
“We are very pleased to be in discussions with Cargojet to explore opportunities for revenue growth and synergies that will be mutually beneficial for both our companies and customers,” said Lise-Marie Turpin, Air Canada Cargo Vice President. “Developing further our relationship with Cargojet is an exciting opportunity.”
The implementation of new strategic initiatives would be subject to Air Canada and Cargojet making any necessary filings, obtaining regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation.
Air Canada Cargo provides direct cargo service world wide offering the shipping community business solutions that meet their needs efficiently and cost effectively. Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the world’s 10 largest commercial airlines and in 2012 served close to 35 million passengers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.
Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services that constitutes over 50 per cent of domestic overnight air cargo capacity. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of thirteen all-cargo aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Cargojet is still an operator of the Boeing 727 but it has also added a Boeing 757-200 and two 767-200 freighters for its longer-range cargo routes. Former Eastern Airlines Boeing 727-225 C-GCJB (msn 21855) waits at Vancouver for the next assignment.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) and travel organization Apollo are expanding their relationship for the next summer season. SAS issued this statement:
SAS and Apollo continue their long working relationship, signing an agreement for the summer season once again. The agreement is for 2014 and involves SAS flying Apollo’s customers from 17 different locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It is worth SEK 910 million.
It has been confirmed that SAS and Apollo will continue their partnership, which goes back many years. Apollo has chosen SAS as their main external airline partner, alongside their own airline company Novair. Important factors for Apollo during the procurement process included the fact that SAS provides a flexible fleet and has safe and reliable production with good punctuality.
This partnership allows Apollo to offer summer departures from 17 different locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark to more than 20 destinations in the world. The cities where flights will depart from in Sweden are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 OY-KAW (msn 2817) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Air Turks and Caicos (formerly Interisland Airways) (Providenciales), the national airline of Turks and Caicos Islands, has announced the changing of its name to InterCaribbean Airways. The “interCaribbean” name was chosen to reflect the greater Pan-Caribbean expansion (especially in the Dominican Republic) of air service in the Western Caribbean in the coming months. With this a new slogan adopted to reflect the mission…. Connecting you and the Caribbean.
For the first time, travelling between the islands of Western Caribbean may take an hour or two instead of a day or two. For years the ability for business and leisure explorers to travel between the islands has been nearly impossible. With the forthcoming expansion of air services, the citizens, residents and visitors will be able to travel faster and easier to create new business and leisure opportunities.
Mr. Lyndon Gardiner, the chairman of Air Turks and Caicos said “it is important for us to capture the life and the color of the Islands. We believe our new brand and colors represent all of the Caribbean.” Air Turks and Caicos selected design firm, Lila Design Associates, to create the development of the new brand. “An important part of this process was to translate the airline’s vision in producing a Pan-Caribbean brand that reflects the route expansion and growth of network plans.” says Norbert Lambriex, the founding partner and creative director of Lila Design. The lively and joyful Caribbean colors are renowned worldwide and should be recognized while our brand matures into a timeless and powerful image. The logo represents elements of the sea, air, palm trees and flamingos.
Air Turks and Caicos is the national carrier of Turks & Caicos Islands, operating a fleet of Embraer EMB 120 and Beech 99 aircrafts, servicing flights domestically to Grand Turk and South Caicos, and International flights to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Santiago in the Dominican Republic, Cap Haitien and Port Au Prince in Haiti, Kingston in Jamaica and Nassau in the Bahamas.
East Horizon Airlines (Kabul) and SkyLink Aviation Inc. are pleased to announce that they have come together in a joint venture to provide critical capabilities in support of the Afghan First Program. The youngest Afghanistan airline has partnered with one of the world’s leading providers of aviation and logistics services to supply badly needed aviation solutions within Afghanistan.
SkyLink’s President and CEO Mr. David Dacquino, says: “Our partnership will combine SkyLink’s 10 years of experience operating in Afghanistan, primarily with rotary wing aircraft, with East Horizon’s fixed wing scheduled services within Afghanistan.”
SkyLink has been in the aviation business since 1989 and has operated in more than 75 countries and has served a diverse customer base to include governments, NGOs and commercial clients. For the past 5 years to present, SkyLink has been NATO’s first choice for rotary aviation support within Afghanistan.
East Horizon describes itself on its website:
Easat Horizon Airlines is a private, one hundred percent Afghan-owned airlines, managed by seasoned expert and staffed by skilled young professionals. We are an integrated company with a diversified portfolio that includes various travel verticals. East Horizon Airlines is the first Afghan carrier that is established under the new rules and regulations of Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation.
East Horizon Airlines operates scheduled/non-scheduled Passengers / Cargo flights using aircrafts that meet International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) safety requirements.
Our business is based on the current and projected market demands to those destinations where adequate air servicers are thus far unavailable.
East Horizon Airlines recognizes that connecting Kabul to remote and under-serviced destinations is vital to improving governance and expanding development projects. We envision a gradual and solid growth, starting with a compact company that provides safe and reliable passenger/cargo air services. In the first phase, we are connecting Kabul to under-serviced and remote destinations within Afghanistan. More travel points will be added as East Horizon Airlines moves on with its expansion plan. An integral part of our vision is to introduce a young and talented generation of Afghans to the contemporary international standards of civil aviation practices and to produce professional cadres equipped with the latest aviation technical knowledge and ethical standards.
East Horizon Airlines provides passenger, cargo and charter services operated as per international safety standards and professional civil aviation practices.
Our diversified portfolio includes provision of full tourism services. East Horizon’s Travel and Tourism section offers various all-inclusive tour packages to Afghanistan’s historical and cultural destinations. East Horizon Airlines is committed to offering high quality services with competitive prices to establish a solid and long-lasting air services business.
The relatively new airline commenced scheduled passenger operations on November 26, 2012 from Kabul with a single Antonov An-24 registered as YA-EHD. Previously in February 2012 cargo operations were started with a leased Hawker Siddeley HS.748. Recently East Horizon was wet leasing a Boeing 737-300 (A6-ESS) from Eastern Skyjets and a DC-9-83 (UR-CLY) from Barvo Air per ch-aviation.
Copyright Photo: East Horizon Airlines.
Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (November 19) flew the third 787-9 Dreamliner, the first to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines. The third of three 787-9s dedicated to the test effort, ZB021 joined the fleet some two months from the inaugural flight of the first 787-9.
ZB021 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 12:15 p.m. local time and landed 2 hours and 44 minutes later at Seattle’sBoeing Field. Boeing will use ZB021 to test engine performance as well as airplane handling characteristics such as low-speed performance and braking.
The 787-9 test program continues to make great progress. The fleet flies regularly, with the second airplane now in Florida for climatic testing, and has accumulated more than 180 flight hours and more than 60 flights. In addition to the three dedicated airplanes, Boeing also will conduct some testing on two production airplanes, the first of which is in final assembly in Everett. 787-10 development also is on plan.
Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. 26 customers have ordered 396 787-9s, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
United Airlines (Chicago) is revealing plans today at its Investor Day conference in New York City to reduce costs, increase revenue and enhance profitability while delivering competitive reliability and excellent customer service.
United’s 2013 Investor Day will begin today at 8:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the presentations and question and answer session will be available at ir.united.com. The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for a limited time.
Improve financial performance
The company has launched initiatives to reduce costs by $2 billion annually. The plan includes reducing fuel consumption, increasing productivity, reducing sourcing costs, improving maintenance processes and inventory procedures, and optimizing distribution methods. United aims to increase pre-tax earnings by two to four times the current level over the next four years and to generate sufficient cash to begin allocating capital to shareholders by 2015. This is in addition to the company’s existing goal of achieving a 10 percent return on invested capital.
United plans to increase ancillary revenue by approximately $700 million, with a goal of generating more than $3.5 billion in ancillary revenue by 2017. The company expects to achieve this growth by giving customers new options, optimizing pricing on existing products and expanding availability of ancillary products through additional distribution channels.
“Today we are announcing plans to significantly improve our efficiency, profitability and capital structure, making United a stronger, more investable business,” said John Rainey, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Further optimize the network
United is building on its strengths by leveraging its trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic joint ventures to further develop its unmatched route network. The company expects to improve results on its trans-Pacific network by redeploying certain widebody aircraft, including beginning a second daily Houston (Bush Intercontinental)-Tokyo service, subject to government approval, and eliminating Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo flying. United also will eliminate Tokyo-Bangkok Boeing 747 service and down-gauge Tokyo-Seoul flights, reallocating those long-haul aircraft to more profitable routes. ANA, United’s trans-Pacific joint venture partner, will provide the appropriate amount of the beyond-Tokyo connectivity for United’s trans-Pacific flights.
The company will use its highly efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to provide service to new markets, including previously announced service from San Francisco, the premier Pacific gateway, to Chengdu, China, subject to government approval. This is in addition to new Boeing 777-200 ER service effective March 29 from San Francisco to Taipei. The company will capitalize on its ability to serve growing secondary markets in Asia directly from the United States, similar to its successful strategy serving secondary European markets non-stop from its East Coast hubs.
Using aircraft previously operated on intra-Asia routes, United is also building its trans-Atlantic flying with new service from Houston to Munich and new seasonal routes from Washington Dulles to Madrid and Chicago O’Hare to Edinburgh. The new Munich and Madrid service is subject to government approval. Additionally, United will introduce all-widebody service to the Newark-London Heathrow route during the summer peak season, nearly doubling the number of flat-bed seats on each upgraded flight.
Introduce next phase e-commerce strategy
The company is launching the next phase of its successful e-commerce strategy, which provides an aligned set of tools that better address the needs of today’s mobile traveler. In addition to the new mobile app launched last week, United today previewed the new united.com. These enhancements will build on the company’s strong e-commerce platforms by providing clear, customized shopping and booking experiences, expanding opportunities for ancillary product and service sales and increasing ticket penetration through direct digital channels.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. United banking heavily on the Boeing 787 for the future. The company is also downsizing its presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which Delta Air Lines is back filling. Boeing 787-8 N27901 (msn 34821) is locked into position at Los Angeles International Airport ready for its run down the runway.
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Nok Air (Bangkok) has placed a firm order for two Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop airliners and has also taken options for two additional aircraft, as well as purchase rights on four others. Bombardier also confirmed that Nok Air will be the launch customer for a new extra capacity seating option, which will allow the Q400 NextGen aircraft to accommodate up to 86 passengers.
Current Route Map:
Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire five Bombardier CS300 jetliners. The LOI includes options on 11 CS300 aircraft.
Iraqi Airways currently operates six Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets.
Current Route Map:
Airberlin explains how it determines the registration marks of its aircraft, unveils its 2013 “Flying home for Christmas” logo jet
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) in an online article on their website, explains the art of aircraft registrations:
Dr. Justin Gordon Abdy spends the time waiting. Standing at the window façade where the gate is located, he allows his gaze to wander across the airport’s airfield. Dawn is breaking. In his head, he runs through his documents one more time in preparation for the talk he has scheduled for today. Out of the corner of his eye, he notices a red and white aircraft behind the glass panel. It taxies slowly to the runway. D-ABDY – five letters on the tail of the aircraft suddenly grab his attention. Abdy is his surname! It can be traced back to the English knights and barons of the 17th and 18th centuries. He wonders how the name ended up on the tail of the aircraft and takes out his smartphone. He does some investigation into the matter.
The aircraft with this registration code is an Airberlin Airbus A320. Every aircraft in the world is uniquely designated so that it can be precisely identified wherever it is. In Germany, the aircraft registration code is assigned via the higher federal authority for civil aviation, the LBA (German Federal Aviation Office) in Braunschweig. An international classification system is used for determining the registration code. The first letter represents the country of the operator – in this case “D” for “Deutschland” (Germany). The hyphen is followed by a letter that designates the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of the aircraft. All those with the letter “A” after the country designation have a weight of over 20 tons. This Airbus is even authorised for a MTOW of 77 tons.
Later, Dr Abdy sends a snapshot of the A320 to Airberlin. Germany’s second largest airline tells him more about the aircraft registration code. The sequence of the other letters in the registration code is determined by the airline operating the aircraft itself. It then needs to be approved with official authorizations in accordance with specific regulations. Moreover, the letter combinations selected by the airline must not be present on any other aircraft anywhere in the world.
At Airberlin, everything regarding aircraft registration is handled by the CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization) team, where Nicole Pietsch and her colleagues are based. This team is dedicated to maintaining the airworthiness of the Airberlin fleet and, among other things, deals with the complex authorizations required for the aircraft at the LBA. The process as a whole begins long before the aircraft is allowed to taxi for the first time on the airport apron. The Airberlin aircraft have an average age of just five years. The authorization process starts approximately half a year before an aircraft joins the Airberlin fleet. When this happens, Nicole first of all, files an application for the reservation of a registration code, which is used by the office responsible for handling the matter to open a file for this aircraft.
For the registration code, Nicole determines the letters towards the end in accordance with a scheme. Because Airberlin is also otherwise abbreviated as “AB” on flight tickets, the third letter is often “B”. The other letters are then chosen to enable the Airberlin technicians to recognise the equipment of an aircraft, or its type, immediately from the combination of letters. For instance, all Airbus A320 aircraft which have the same equipment have “D”, “F” or “N” as the fourth letter. If it were a case of proceeding in a purely chronological and alphabetical order, the letter “E” would also be used, but this letter is already occupied by aircraft of other airlines. The last letter then follows in accordance with the order of the alphabet again. Since Nicole has been following this procedure for a while now, the classification system continues to be used for all newly authorised airberlin aircraft.
In order to register an aircraft, however, yet more steps have to be taken – simply establishing a registration code is not enough. The initial application to the LBA is followed by many more at specific points in time – for initial registration, prior to delivery, following the technical checks and after certain approvals and inspections have taken place. Everything is put down in writing. For instance, even with four to six weeks to go before delivery takes place, the airberlin legal team makes an application for the purpose of registering the aircraft. When all the necessary steps have been taken, Nicole personally brings the documents to Braunschweig. The day on which the aircraft is to be authorised is an exciting one. Carrying a vast number of original documents under her arm, she goes to the LBA and only leaves the office once she has the newly issued authorisation documents such as the certificate of airworthiness, the registration certificate and the noise certificate. Then, at the end of the day, she also receives the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) via fax, which permits the aircraft to be flown as part of the airberlin fleet.
Though he has learned that the Airbus is not directly named after his surname but simply happens to share the same sequence of letters, Dr Abdy is still delighted that an aircraft bears his surname.
Copyright Photo: Airberlin. Boeing 737-86J D-ABMS (msn 37782) was unveiled yesterday in Dusseldorf. The airline issued this statement:
Airberlin is once again operating its aircraft decorated in Christmas livery under the motto “Flying home for Christmas”. The Boeing 737-800 will continue to be out and about on the airline’s European route network right into January. Anyone who flies home for the holiday season with Airberlin on a regular basis has a good chance of travelling in the festively-decorated aircraft. The inaugural flight for Airberlin’s Christmas aircraft will go from Dusseldorf to Copenhagen. “I am delighted to have the opportunity of operating the first flight this year in Airberlin’s Christmas colors. It’s always a special occasion, bringing flight guests home to their families and friends in airberlin’s Christmas aircraft,” First Officer Andreas Graute explained.
This year the design of the Christmas plane resembles a string of fairy lights. There is a candle-like light for each day of Advent. “The windows of the aircraft constitute the flames of the candles. For the first time we have a Christmas design that achieves a completely different effect at night to that created during the daytime. The aircraft has an especially atmospheric ambience on evening flights,” said André Rahn, Senior Vice President Marketing. The design was created by RAPP Germany. The interior of the plane is also decorated in festive mood with specially-designed headrest covers.
The Boeing with the registration D-ABMS, which is affectionately known as “Merry Santa”, arrived at Hangar 7 at Dusseldorf Airport on November 13. First of all, the fuselage of the aircraft was thoroughly cleaned. On November 14 the seven-man Airberlin technik team started work. The first step was to once again clean all the surfaces to be decorated with special detergent. Next the sheeting, which is certified for aviation and specially UV-resistant, was mounted on the fuselage of the aircraft. Finally, an edge sealer was applied to the leading edges in order to prevent the sheeting from peeling away and to guarantee optimal airflow. The sheeting with the fairy light design is just 80 micrometres thick, measures 15.32 m in length and is 1.87 m high.
In 2010, the Airberlin Christmas aircraft appeared for the first time in digital form on airberlin.com. In response to requests from numerous guests, the first actual airberlin aircraft in Christmas livery took to the skies in November 2011. airberlin is the first German airline to have a Christmas aircraft.
Video: 30 Years of flying from the Air Berlin USA days:
Air Algérie (Algiers) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for three A330-200 passenger aircraft as part of the carrier’s continued growth plans. This order has been placed at Dubai Airshow 2013.
The new aircraft will be deployed on medium and long haul routes from the Air Algérie hub in Algeria. Air Algérie has already ordered a total of five Airbus A330-200s, which have all been delivered to date.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Algerie’s Airbus A330-202 7T-VJX (msn 650) arrives in Montreal (Trudeau).
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will cut one of four London Heathrow-Manchester “Little Red” Airbus A320 flights next year according to TheBusinessDesk.com. The airline explained the reduction was not due to decreased demand but rather having to give back one LHR slot to another unnamed carrier.
However The Independent reported last month the “Little Red” feeder flights were experiencing low sales.
Read the full report from The Independent: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Little Red” domestic flights are operated by Aer Lingus in full Virgin Atlantic colors. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Video: Virgin Atlantic ad:
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) reported a 51 percent increase in full-year profits and a 17.4 percent return on capital. The airline issued the following financial statement for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2013:
51% rise in full year profits; 17.4% return on capital employed
|Total revenue (£ million)||4,258||3,854||+10.5%|
|Profit before tax (£ million)||478||317||+50.9%|
|Pre-tax margin (%)||11.2%||8.2%||+3.0ppt|
|Basic earnings per share (pence)||101.3||62.5||+62.1%|
|Proposed dividend – ordinary (pence per share)||33.5||21.5||+55.8%|
|Proposed dividend – special (pence per share)||44.1||-||-|
|Return on Capital Employed (%) (1)||17.4%||11.3%||+6.1ppt|
EasyJet has continued to deliver sustainable returns and growth for shareholders delivering record profit in the year. easyJet has built a platform for future success including securing its future fleet requirements with Airbus through to 2022 and beyond.
Drive demand, conversion and yields across Europe
- Total revenue per seat grew by 7.0% to £62.58 driven by a benign capacity environment and positive management action including allocated seating, improvements to easyJet.com and the ‘europe by easyJet’ campaign.
- Seats flown grew by 3.3% to 68.0 million as a result of easyJet’s disciplined approach to capacity, load factors increased by 0.6 percentage points to 89.3% and passenger numbers rose by 4.0% to 60.8 million.
Maintain cost advantage
- Cost per seat excluding fuel increased 3.9% at constant currency for the full year (5.3% on a reported basis). 2.0 percentage points of the cost increase was driven by increased charges at regulated airports in Spain and Italy and a further 0.8 percentage point relates to increased disruption and de-icing costs. Inflationary pressures were largely offset by the continued success of the easyJet lean programme.
Build strong number 1 and 2 network positions
- EasyJet has consolidated its presence in key airports with over a 40% share of short haul in key airports such as Gatwick, Milan Malpensa and Basel (2) and has built up its share of French regional flying and grown strongly in Italy.
- EasyJet announced new base openings in Hamburg and in Naples. This was enabled in part by easyJet’s returns focused decision to close the Madrid base.
Disciplined use of capital
- EasyJet ended the financial year with £1,237 million of cash, an increase of £354 million against the position at 30 September 2012. easyJet had adjusted net debt of £156 million.
- The Board is recommending a return to shareholders of £175 million which will be in the form of a special dividend of 44.1 pence a share and is subject to shareholder approval at the Company’s AGM on 13 February 2014. This is in addition to the regular ordinary dividend of £133 million or 33.5 pence a share based on its existing policy of paying out one third of annual profit after tax.
- Following the acquisition of Flybe’s slots at Gatwick, easyJet exercised the six remaining aircraft options under the current generation Airbus agreement on October 31, 2013 for delivery in spring 2015.
Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall easyJet Chief Executive said:
“EasyJet has delivered a strong full year performance and made significant progress against executing its strategic priorities. The results reflect EasyJet’s continued structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both the legacy and low cost competition.
Our disciplined approach to capacity allocation has resulted in a meaningful growth in earnings, profit margin and return on capital employed and we have ended the year with a strong balance sheet and a low level of gearing. As evidence of our continued confidence in the future prospects of the business the Board has recommended to return £308 million to shareholders through the combination of an ordinary and special dividend.
We will continue to deliver our strategy of offering our customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service so that we can continue to win in a more competitive market. This means we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable returns and growth for our shareholders.”
In other news, EasyJet today announced it will launch two new routes to Brussels and Strasbourg from London Gatwick starting on March 30, 2014.
The new flights will operate twice daily to and from Brussels and four times a week to and from Strasbourg departing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The two new destinations, along with new routes to Jersey, Paris and Newcastle, are strengthening easyJet’s unrivalled business network from its largest base.
EasyJet will fly around 1.3 million more passengers per year from March 2014 to and from London Gatwick using the recently acquired slots from Flybe with around 300,000 of these passengers expected to be business travellers.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZBM (msn 3059) taxies past the camera at Zurich.
Boeing (Chicago) and TUI Travel PLC (London) have completed an order for two 787-8 Dreamliners. The deal, worth $424 million at current list prices, extends TUI Travel’s 787 commitment to 15 airplanes. TUI took delivery of its first 787-8 Dreamliner in May and now has four airplanes in service with Thomson Airways (London-Luton and Manchester).
TUI Travel originally ordered the 787 in February 2005. Currently, the Group’s subsidiary Thomson Airways is using the airplane on such routes as Thailand, Caribbean and the Maldives.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 G-TUIC (msn 34424) taxies at the Turkish resort of Antalya.
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Growing Pains: Will the Merger Result in
Higher Fares and Reduced Service?
By Aaron Newman
As I wrote in my previous article, The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit in August to stop the proposed merger of American and U.S. Airways on antitrust grounds. The DOJ said the merger, which will create the world’s largest airline, would lead to higher fares for customers and less competition – reducing service to small and medium sized cities. In their suit against the merging airlines, The DOJ claimed the following; “the merger between US Airways and American would likely substantially lessen competition, and tend to create a monopoly, in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act.” Will this merger actually create a monopoly or oligopoly resulting in higher fares? Will the travelling public be left to cope with a reduction in service?
With last week’s merger announcement (see this report by Reuters) the US Airways and American Airlines merger has resulted in four airlines; the new American Airlines, United, Delta and Southwest to control nearly 90 percent of the domestic airline market according to this report by NBC News. Some argue that because of supply and demand, together with rising fuel prices the average cost of fares will potentially rise once the merger is fully implemented. The DOJ initially claimed that rising fares will not be alleviated by new carriers or low-cost carriers. “Low-cost carriers are not likely to replace the flights that would be cut after a merger between American and US Airway, and the ones that are left will cost more.”
US Airways effectively competes for travelers today by offering discounts of up to 40 percent for connecting flights on other airlines’ nonstop routes with Advantage Fares. Some industry analysts claim once this merger is completed, the combined airline’s pricing structure will look more like the existing American, Delta and United. As a result, the popular Advantage Fares program will likely be eliminated, resulting in higher prices and less services for consumers.
Most analysts, myself included, praise this marriage as the potential end of major financial turbulence for the largest U.S. airlines. The American-US Airways merger is the latest wave of consolidation that will help return the industry to continued profitability. This report by Reuters explains that with a new, merged airline the public may lose some service, but in the long run we’ll benefit by a stronger, more profitable airline. It shouldn’t surprise if fares went up slightly based on a variety of pricing influences including demand, capacity, and competition. However, the public will benefit more from a stronger merged airline, than the slight fare difference from two stand-alone airlines. Unions at AMR (American’s parent company) and US Airways share this view. The unions have expressed confidence that this deal could reverse years of decline at once-great American, and lift US Airways workers from their below average compensation. “We have the opportunity to transform American into an industry powerhouse.”
Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department Antitrust Division, said in a statement prior to the agreement of this merger that with the end of competition between US Airways and American, the industry will be deprived of a healthy competitive environment. “Both airlines have stated they can succeed on a standalone basis, and consumers deserve the benefit of that continuing competitive dynamic,” Baer said.
“The new American will fly all the routes to all the markets we currently serve,” US Airways Chief Executive Doug Parker told Congress in June. “Where appropriate, we expect to increase such service.” Doug Parker may be a little optimistic with this statement; I project that some cities will lose some routes as the new American will experience growing pains combining nine domestic hubs. Major restructuring will not occur until 2016-2017as part of the DOJ agreement was to maintain all hubs for three years. I do not foresee a situation like Pittsburgh or Memphis, but there will be restructuring in order to grow appropriately. The two hubs that will see the majority of change will be New York JFK and Los Angeles. With the proximity to Philadelphia, slot restrictions, and tough international competition, New York JFK’s potential is limited. I foresee Philadelphia and Charlotte as the primary east coast domestic hubs. Same scenario applies to LAX; tough competition and limited growth opportunities make Phoenix the smartest choice for a west coast domestic hub. These two cities will obviously not be hurt by a reduction in service from American Airlines.
This merger will benefit the new airline, customers, and the industry as a whole. The airline industry is currently on a path to sustained profits, and a stronger merged American Airlines will produce similar results. Profitable airlines benefit customers, employees, shareholders and the cities the airlines serve. Delta Airlines is producing record profits, and United Airlines is near completion of the largest merger to date, American Airlines needed this merger to be a viable competitor to its two larger competitors.
Consumers have benefited from intense price competition in the past; such pricing is not sustainable as past bankruptcies have shown. Going forward, the airlines will likely shift the focus of their competition to service and product offering instead of intense price wars (i.e. industry’s onboard improvements). The combination of American Airlines and US Airways creates a better network than either airline could build on its own. American’s extensive operations throughout the central U.S. from its Chicago and Dallas hubs provide critical coverage where US Airways is undersized. US Airways’ operation in the Northeast does the same for American. New entrants will find their way into any markets that become underserved by this merger. Spirit Airlines has recently found ways to succeed in fortress hubs (i.e. Dallas and Detroit), and JetBlue has an expansive network that will compete in the northeastern US. These ultra-low cost carriers will find opportunities to fill any void that a merger leaves behind. If legacy airlines let fares climb, then smaller competitors (Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier, and JetBlue) will come in and thrive.
Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.
US Airways (Phoenix) will offer new nonstop daily service from the airline’s international gateway at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh. For the first time, the airline will operate flights to and from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) on 176-seat dual-class Boeing 757-200 aircraft between May 23, 2014 and October 1, 2014.
The flight schedule is as follows:
|Flight #||Origin||Destination||Dep. Time||
|Start Date||End Date|
|May 23, 2014||Sept. 30, 2014|
|May 24, 2014||Oct. 1, 2014|
*Flight arrives the following day.
With the new service, US Airways will operate 472 weekday departures and serve 118 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean from Philadelphia International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2B7 N200UU (msn 27809) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte hub.
Darwin Airline (Lugano and Geneva) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have jointly announced the later has acquired a 33.3 percent interest in the Swiss carrier. Darwin as a result will be rebranded as Etihad Regional and will feed Etihad Airways flights from secondary markets in Europe. Etihad is building an extensive worldwide feeder relationship network with its acquisitions. The two airlines issued this joint statement:
ETIHAD AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES ‘STEP-CHANGE IN BUSINESS STRATEGY’ WITH THE LAUNCH OF ETIHAD REGIONAL
- Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has announced a ‘step- change in global aviation’, with the launch of its first branded regional operation, after taking a 33.3 per cent stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline.
Following completion of the minority investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, Darwin Airline will rebrand its operations as Etihad Regional and align its network to connect passengers from secondary European markets onto the main networks of Etihad Airways and its equity alliance partners.
Etihad Airways will also launch daily services on June 1st, 2014 from Abu Dhabi to Zurich, which will become one of Darwin Airline’s main operating hubs.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a step- change for Etihad Airways. With our new partner Darwin Airline, we are creating a unique approach to network development for global airlines.
“European travellers will now be able to connect from a far, wider range of European towns and cities on Etihad-branded aircraft, through Abu Dhabi to our destinations worldwide.”
“We are also linking the new Etihad Regional network into the key hubs of our equity alliance partners, bringing benefits to the customers of airberlin and Air Serbia.”
“This new model is one that can bring the Etihad badge of quality to air travellers around the world,” he said. “In just a decade, we have established the Etihad brand as one of the most recognised and most highly regarded in aviation. This model offers a new direction for that brand in future.”
Darwin Airline is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with its major hub in Geneva. It currently offers scheduled flights to 21 destinations in Europe using a fleet of ten 50-seat SAAB 2000 turboprop aircrafts.
Subject to regulatory approvals, Etihad Airways will invest in Darwin Airline through the acquisition of 33.3 per cent of an enlarged share capital. Darwin Airline, which will continue to focus on secondary markets, will become the seventh member of the Etihad Airways equity airline alliance, the fourth partner in Europe, and the first to operate using a new sub-brand called ‘Etihad Regional’.
The investment will give Etihad Airways access to regional markets in Europe, and enable a major expansion of Darwin Airline’s operations.
The new ‘Etihad Regional’ logo will be displayed prominently on each side of the fuselage of the Darwin Airline aircrafts, while the rear of the planes will carry the words “Operated by Darwin Airline”, and the Darwin Airline’s present logo, as well as continuing to proudly display the Swiss flag. All flights will continue to be operated under the Darwin Airline designator code.
By mid-2014, Darwin Airline will add 21 new routes and 18 new destinations. Its network will then include six European gateways served by Etihad Airways – Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris, Dusseldorf, Belgrade and, commencing in June, Zurich.
Darwin Airline will be able to connect to the network of airberlin, Etihad Airways’ equity partner, through new and existing routes to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Zurich. Berlin and Dusseldorf provide excellent connections to the US with airberlin.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. The company now operates a fleet of 10 SAAB 2000 turboprops. SAAB 2000 HB-IZJ (msn 015) prepares to touch down in Zurich.
Current routes from Geneva:
Brussels Airlines (Brussels) was struck today (November 18) by its pilots. The company issued this statement and a list of cancelled flights:
Due to a wildcat strike action of a number of our pilots, we are forced to cancel some of our flights on Monday November 18. Our priority is to assist our passengers as much as possible. All customers affected by the strike action will be offered travel alternatives, depending on their travel needs.
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-322 OO-SFV (msn 095) climbs away from the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.
Bombardier Aerospace (Montreal) announced that Air Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan), has signed a conditional purchase agreement for two DHC-8-402 Q400 NextGen aircraft with options for an additional two additional aircraft. Air Côte d’Ivoire is the national airline of Ivory Coast.
As of September 30, 2013 Bombardier had booked 476 firm orders for Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops.
Regional Route Map:
Video: Cockpit view of an Air Côte d’Ivoire Airbus A319 arriving in Abidjan.
Libyan Wings, the newly launched Tripoli based airline, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for three A350-900s and four A320neo’s. The carrier is building up its fleet with aircraft orders announced at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. Libyan Wings will start operations for passenger charter and freight from the beginning of 2014.
Tatarstan Aircompany (Tatarstan Airlines) (Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia) flight U9 363 with Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN (msn 24785) crashed on landing at Kazan today (November 17) in Russia. The aircraft with 44 passengers and six crew members burst into flames, tragically killing all on board. The flight had arrived on a flight from Moscow (Domodedovo). The crash occurred on landing at 19:25 ( GMT).
Read the full story from ABC News: CLICK HERE
Update: A dramatic new security camera video shows the Boeing 737-500 diving straight into the ground which would explain the lack of survivors in this “landing” accident.
Watch the new video:
Follow-up article from Reuters: The pilot pushed the steering column into a nose dive, crash investigators reported, citing flight data analysis. The Interstate Aviation Committee offered no explanation why the pilot, at an altitude of 2,100 feet, after aborting his first attempt to land, would make this extreme maneuver. Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN arrives at Dublin before the tragic crash.
Nasair (subsidiary of National Air Services) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) has repainted this Airbus A320-200 with Sharklets in a new livery in Singapore. The new look rebrands the carrier as “Flynas” which trades on its website flynas.com URL address. The change was announced on November 13.
Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-CXJ (msn 5716) appears in Singapore after emerging from the paint shop.
Video (in Arabic):
Qatar Airways (Doha) has placed a firm order for five new Airbus A330-200 Freighter aircraft in an agreement signed at the Dubai Airshow 2013. These new aircraft will complement the airline’s rapidly growing network, which includes more than 40 routes that have dedicated freighter services. Included in the order are eight additional A330-200F options – which would make today’s deal potentially worth over $2.8bn at list prices for a total of 13 aircraft. These aircraft on order will complement three A330-200Fs Qatar Airways already operates since earlier this year.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways Cargo Airbus A330-243F A7-AFY (msn 1386) arrives in Dubai.
Flydubai (Dubai) and Boeing (Chicago) today announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 airplanes and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow.
The commitment from the airline of the emirate of Dubai, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices (including orders and purchase rights), is the largest ever Boeing single-aisle airplane purchase in the Middle East. The investment continues Flydubai’s legacy operating an all-Boeing 737 fleet.
The 737 MAX will build on the Next-Generation 737’s popularity and reliability while delivering customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 is expected to be 8 percent per-seat more fuel efficient than the future competition.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,600 orders to date.
Flydubai placed its first order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s in 2008. The airline took delivery of its first airplane in 2009 and was the first airline in the world to debut the Boeing Sky Interior, an enhanced onboard experience. To date, flydubai has taken delivery of 33 Next-Generation 737-800s.
In the past two years, Flydubai has more than doubled the number of destinations it flies to and has around 1,200 weekly flights. flydubai carried 5.1 million passengers in 2012 and has become the second largest carrier, by passenger numbers, operating out of Dubai International.
In only four and a half years flydubai has, in this short time, built up a network of more than 65 destinations, served by a fleet of 33 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The remaining aircraft from its 2008 order will be fulfilled by 2015. It achieved profitability in its third year of operation. It continues to focus on the needs of its passengers most recently launching Business Class services. It made this service available, for the first time, on several of the 46 previously underserved destinations it flies to.
The first aircraft, Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s from this order, will be delivered between 2016 and 2017. Deliveries of the first Boeing 737 MAX will commence in the second half of 2017 and continue until the end of 2023. As one of the most reliable and efficient single-aisle aircraft models of its type currently available today it will support Flydubai’s continued growth.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN WL A6-FDP (msn 40243) arrives at the Dubai hub.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) today announced an order for 56 Boeing widebody airplanes with options and purchase rights for 26 additional airplanes at the start of the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
In addition, the airline has ordered 30 787-10s, the newest and largest member of the 787 Dreamliner family. When today’s order is combined with the carrier’s previous order for 41 787-9s, Etihad Airways becomes the world’s largest airline customer for the Dreamliner family with a total of 71 787s on order. The order includes options and purchase rights for an additional 12 787-10s.
Today’s announcement also marks the 1,000th order for the 787 Dreamliner family since its launch in 2004. The 787 has reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in aviation history.
Etihad’s order also includes one additional 777 Freighter for its cargo fleet, with options for two additional 777 Freighters.
According to Boeing, advanced technology including a new composite wing, all-new engines and superior aerodynamics will result in the incredible fuel efficiency promised by the 777X family.
The 777-9X, with around 400 seats, will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs over the competition. It will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane and no competitor in its market segment.
The 777-8X will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world with breakthrough economics and greater range capability than today’s 777.
The 787-10 is the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and its passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics. The 787-10 will be 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.
Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.
In addition, Etihad Airways also ordered from Airbus. Etihad Airways also announced a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neo aircraft and one A330-200F as part of its fleet modernization strategy. The contract was signed today at the 2013 Dubai Airshow by James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
The order comprises 40 A350-900s, ten A350-1000s, one A330-200F, 26 A321neo’s and 10 A320neo’s. Etihad currently operates a fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft, 25 A330s and 11 A340s. The new aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s existing long-haul fleet delivering operational efficiencies and cost savings.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized to accommodate Airbus’ 18-inch economy seat-width for long range passenger comfort, will also bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB to date has already won 764 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of October 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,487 from 44 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
The A330-200F is the all-freight version of the best-selling A330 Family. It is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter and can carry 70 tons of payload with a range capability of up to 4,000 nm. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the A330, with over 1,010 aircraft currently flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
Images: Boeing (above) and Airbus (below).