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Alaska Airlines to thank its employees with a special “Employee powered” logojet

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today is expected to formally unveil this new “Employee powered” Boeing 737-800 logojet as a way of thanking its employees. Here is a sneak preview.

The dashes between the two stripes are signatures of employees that attended the FlightPath meetings of Alaska Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly painted in the “Follow Apolo to Hawaii” special scheme, the pictured Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) at Paine Field in Everett, WA now wears this special color scheme dedicated to its employees. It is not a new livery for Alaska but the company has been rumored to be testing new designs to replace its current 1990 livery.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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JetBlue discusses where else it will fly its new Airbus A321

JetBlue Airways (New York) has already announced its intention to operate the new Airbus A321 on trans-con routes starting in 2014. However where else will the airline operate this new larger aircraft? The airline discusses this decision making process in its BlueTales blog:

One of the most popular topics for customers and crew members alike is JetBlue’s network strategy. As an airline that continues to grow, even as other carriers are shrinking, it’s fun to try to guess which city we’ll fly to next – and even more fun to see a new “dot” appear our route map. Will it be a new international destination?  Will it be my hometown?  Will it really surprise me?

The Airbus A321 has been no exception and we’ve been flooded with inquiries about where our newest fleet type fly. We have already shared that the A321s configured with the Mint Experience will fly between JFK/LAX and JFK/SFO, so the only mystery remains with our all-core configuration. Dave Clark, our Director of Schedule Planning, has all the answers – but before we reveal them, he wanted to make sure we have a full understand of what the A321 means for him and his team from a network perspective.

Again, looking at the all-core A321, our new aircraft is host to 190 total seats. This compares with 150 seats on our Airbus A320s and 100 seats on our Embraer 190s. This means the A321 will afford Dave the opportunity to very easily add more seats to any existing departure simply by using our new, larger airplane. But he breaks it down even further for us:

Some markets demand a lot of frequency, meaning the number of departures per day. An example is Boston/Newark which often carriers a large number of business travelers who need a lot flexibility in their schedule. If their business meetings end a couple hours earlier than planned, for example, they want to have other flight options to jump onto. The same is true if their business meetings run late. In these markets, Customers want to always have a flight within reach.

On the other hand, there are some markets that a lot of people want to fly between but the frequency of flights is less important. New York/Orlando is a great example of this kind of market. Most customers traveling between New York and Orlando are doing so for leisure, so they are less concerned about when their flight leaves. Further, they are less likely to change their reservations.

Pop quiz: which one of these markets would be a good candidate for the new, all-core A321?  The answer is New York/Orlando. Dave is able to add more seats to this market with the A321 without adding any new departures.

And the benefits go even further. Because JetBlue flies to the cities our customers want to fly to, we are often constrained by the number of flights we can operate each day. Airports only offer a limited number of “slots” to ensure air traffic flies at manageable levels. For Dave, slots constrain his ability to add new flights and “dots” on the route map when he wants to. But the A321 will help solve this.

Looking again at New York/Orlando, we fly an average of ten flights per day. But we don’t fly ten flights per day because our customers need ten flights per day – we do it because the demand calls for 1,500 seats. With the A321, Dave can substitute two A320 flights, for example, with A321s – flying the same number of seats but on eight fights a day instead of ten. This opens up two “slots” for Dave to use for new cities.

The following chart breaks all this down easily:

So where will it fly?

Dave and his team are still finalizing the plan and adding new markets to the A321 roadmap, but here’s what we know so far:

  • New York (JFK)/Barbados (BGI)
  • New York (JFK)/San Juan (SJU)
  • New York (JFK)/Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL)
  • New York (JFK)/Aruba (AUA)
  • New York (JFK)/Santo Domingo (SDQ)
  • New York (JFK)/Santiago (STI)
  • New York (JFK)/Orlando (MCO)
  • New York (JFK)/Nassau (NAS)
  • New York (JFK)/Las Vegas (LAS)
  • New York (JFK)/Punta Cana (PUJ)
  • New York (JFK)/San Diego (SAN)
  • New York (JFK)/Seattle (SEA)

Note that with everything in network planning, this is scheduled to change!  Stay tuned for additional markets and cities.

More from JetBlue on the new A321:

Stretching 146 feet from nose to tail, the A321 is 23 feet longer than the A320 we have today. Despite its larger size, the A321 isn’t built to fly farther than the A320 (sorry, no Hawaii flights for now!). The real advantage of the A321 is its ability to help us operate more efficiently – with its added seat capacity, the per-seat costs (cost per available seat mile, or “CASM” in airline speak) are lower than our current A320.

For example, on a 1,000 mile trip (roughly the distance from New York to Orlando), with more seats to spread the cost of operating a flight, the A321 CASM is 12% lower than the A320. That can make a big difference in our narrow-margin business.

The A321 also gives us an advantage because we fly in a number of slot-controlled airports, like New York’s JFK. By swapping our 150-seat A320 for a larger A321 at a place like JFK, we can add seats without adding the number of departures.

What do those extra seats mean for the customer experience? Don’t worry, we’re not sacrificing comfort! While other airlines fit 220 or more seats on their A321s, we won’t. Keeping true to our commitment to offer the best seats in the skies, our all-core JetBlue experience A321s will be equipped with 190 seats. That’s right – we’re sacrificing 30+ seats to ensure we maintain the most legroom in coach and overall experience for our customers.

The second configuration, which joins the fleet in the first quarter of 2014, will offer our new, enhanced transcon experience. There will be a total of 143 core experience seats and 16 lie-flat seats, four of which are private suites with a closing door.

We currently have 30 A321s on order. The plan is to take 19 aircraft in the 190-seat all-core JetBlue Experience and 11 in the 159-seat enhanced trans-con configuration. Of course, we will adjust this over time if needed to meet the evolving needs of our business and network strategy.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The first A321, this A321-231 with Sharlets and the new Prism tail design is registered as D-AVZA (msn 5783) for its testing phase at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The airliner became N903JB on delivery.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

The Goodyear “Spirit of Goodyear” blimp retires to Florida

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Akron, Ohio) has issued this statement about its Akron-based blimp:

Like many Ohioans, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s Akron-based blimp, the Spirit of Goodyear, has become a “Snow Bird” and is leaving northeast Ohio’s snow and cold for a retirement in the sunshine and warmth of Florida.

The blimp, which has been based at the company’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar since its christening 13 years ago, will join The Spirit of Innovation and operate from the company’s Pompano Beach, Florida airship base this winter before being decommissioned in the spring of 2014.

Beginning next year, the company will begin replacing the current fleet of blimps with new state-of-the-art Goodyear NT (New Technology) airships, the first of which is under construction at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.

“The Spirit of Goodyear gave up its hangar space for the construction of the new Goodyear NT airship and has been moored outside the past months,” said Nancy Ray, director of Goodyear’s global airship program. “With winter on the way and the blimp’s retirement coming up, it’s time for the Spirit of Goodyear to move south.”

The airship will make farewell flights over the Akron area on Wednesday and Thursday (October 9 and 10), weather permitting, giving area residents a chance to say “goodbye” before it heads into retirement.

“Akron loves the blimp and we love Akron,” Ray said. “Our pilots and passengers routinely see countless people step outside of their homes and offices or pull over in their cars to watch the blimp. We wanted to make a last flight to say goodbye and give its fans a chance to wave goodbye to theSpirit of Goodyear.”

The Spirit of Goodyear will depart Akron on October 11, traveling to State College, Pennsylvania, to cover the Penn State-Michigan football game for ESPN. Afterwards, the airship will work its way south to the company’s Florida blimp base.

Christened on March 15, 2000 by America’s first woman in space, NASA astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, theSpirit of Goodyear was named to honor the company’s worldwide associates. It is the oldest of the tiremaker’s three U.S.-based blimps and the first to be replaced by the new Goodyear NT.

During its years of service, the Spirit of Goodyear has flown over countless marquee sporting events including Kentucky Derby horse races, top college football matchups and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs. In 2004, the airship delivered the first-ever, high-definition images from a camera mounted in a blimp during a Monday Night Football contest.

Ray said the company is on schedule with the construction of the new NT airship and it should be ready for test flights in the spring of 2014.

Everything about the new Goodyear NT airship design is larger and more advanced than the current fleet. The current blimp design is 192 ft (58.5 m) long with an envelope volume of 202,700 cu ft (5,735 cu m), while the NT is 246.5 ft (75 m) long with an envelope volume of 297,527 cu ft (8,425 cu m).

During its long operational history, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since 1917, including two large rigid airships – the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron. The Goodyear NT is the first semi-rigid airship to be built in the 95-year history of the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.

Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tire companies, owns and operates three airships in the United States. They are based in Akron, Pompano Beach, and Carson, California.

 

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio, USA.

 

Jetstar Airways takes delivery of its first Boeing 787

Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) and Boeing (Chicago) celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 787 today, which is also the first 787 for Australia.

Jetstar’s 787 Dreamliner departed Monday morning from Boeing’s Everett, Washington delivery center en route to Melbourne, Australia where the plane will be greeted by airline employees and special guests.

Jetstar, the QANTAS Group’s low-cost brand, plans to introduce the 787 first on domestic routes and then its international network. The airline has a total of 14 787 on order and expects to fly an all-787 long-haul fleet by 2015.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured 787-8 VH-VKA (msn 36227) at Paine Field near Everett is the first 787 for Jetstar.

Jetstar Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue announces its 50th destination from Boston: Savannah, Georgia

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announces that Savannah, Georgia will be the 50th nonstop destination for customers in Boston. JetBlue, the largest airline in Boston with up to 121 daily flights, will begin daily nonstop service on Flight 50 between Savannah/Hilton Head and Boston on Thursday, February 13, 2014.

JetBlue’s schedule, operated by 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft:

Flight 49
Boston (BOS) to Savannah (SAV):
Flight 50
SAV to BOS:
     Departs 11:10 a.m.      Departs 2:25 p.m.
     Arrives 1:46 p.m.      Arrives 4:43 p.m.
All times are local.  Service begins Feb. 13, 2014

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N304JB (msn 19000257) in the Windowpane tail design taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Frontier to operate seasonal service from Pittsburgh, will increase service from Trenton

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will be offering seasonal winter service from Pittsburgh to Cancun, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

In addition, Frontier is increasing frequency of service from Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, NJ (TTN) to the following cities:

  • Atlanta, Ga. (ATL)
  • Chicago-Midway, Ill. (MDW)
  • Detroit, Mich. (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (FLL)
  • Fort Myers, Fla. (RSW)
  • Orlando, Fla. (MCO)
  • Tampa, Fla. (TPA)

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N211FR (msn 4688) arrives at Washington (Reagan National).

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

United to start San Francisco-Atlanta and Los Angeles-Minneapolis/St. Paul flights on April 1

United Airlines (Chicago) will begin new nonstop service from its two West Coast hubs on April 1, 2014, with twice-daily flights between San Francisco and Atlanta and between Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The daily schedules are as follows:

San Francisco – Atlanta Atlanta – San Francisco
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
8:30 a.m. 4:07 p.m. 7:00 a.m. 9:16 a.m.
4:00 p.m. 11:37 p.m. 4:55 p.m. 7:11 p.m.
Los Angeles – Minneapolis Minneapolis – Los Angeles
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
8:40 a.m.   2:18 p.m. 6:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m.
6:00 p.m. 11:38 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

United will operate the Atlanta flights using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and SkyWest Airlines will operate the United Express service to Minneapolis/St. Paul using Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet aircraft. The aircraft for both routes will be outfitted with United First, United Economy Plus and United Economy seating.

Additionally, on April 1, 2014, United will add a new flight between San Francisco and Seattle/Tacoma and will convert all of its existing service on the route to mainline aircraft. This will bring the total number of departures each way to 11, and increase the number of United’s seats available on the route by more than 50 percent.

United’s San Francisco Hub

From San Francisco International Airport, United and the United Express carriers operate more than 300 flights each day to more than 90 cities in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe – more than any other carrier. With nonstop service from San Francisco to Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo – and beginning next year to Taipei and Chengdu, subject to government approval – United’s San Francisco hub serves more destinations across the Pacific with more nonstop flights from the United States than any other airline – nearly twice as many as any other airline from the West Coast.

United’s Los Angeles Hub

United and the United Express carriers operate almost 200 daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to nearly 55 airports across the United States and more than 10 international destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Canada, including service to London, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N37281 (msn 31599) climbs away from the Los Angeles hub.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Kalahari Airways wants to fly to London Gatwick

Kalahari Airways logo

Kalahari Airways (Garborone, Botswana) is a new paper airline that wants to fly from Cape Town to London (Gatwick) via a short stop at its Garborone base. The prospective airline is attempting to obtain funding in order to secure three former QANTAS Airways Boeing 747-400s.

British Airways had previously dropped the route due to insufficient traffic.

Kalahari would also like to fly to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong!

The new airline prospective is named after the Kalahari Desert which is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in southern Africa which extends 350,000 square miles (900,000 square kilometers), covering much of present day Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa.

The new airline has put out this statement:

Kalahari Airways will offer direct flights to and from London, Cape Town, and Gaborone, thus avoiding long transit delays through Johannesburg. Our passengers will be able to save time and avoid the additional stress of going through additional security checks and changing flights at Johannesburg.

The emphasis will be on attracting business and tourist passengers to Botswana. Marketing and discounting of fares will ensure every flight is fully booked. Our passengers will experience a far shorter travel time to London, Gaborone, and Cape Town.

All of our flights will originate in Cape Town, South Africa or London Gatwick and will stop for 30 minutes en-route at Gaborone in Botswana.

Boeing 747-400 super luxury with full business class layout is at your service.

World-class operations and management teams with extensive experience have brought some of the best talent available to this quality and service oriented airline.

SriLankan Airlines to lease three Airbus A350-900s from ILFC

SriLankan A350-900 (99)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), announced today it has signed a 12-year lease agreement with SriLankan Airlines (Colombo, SriLankan), the national carrier of Sri Lanka, for three A350-900 aircraft. The aircraft will support the airline’s long-haul fleet renewal.

SriLankan has also placed direct orders for four additional A350-900 aircraft with Airbus.

The A350-900s are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 and are part of an operating lease agreement, which has an anticipated delivery timeline between July and September 2016. ILFC currently has two A330-200s and one A340-300 on lease with SriLankan.

Image: Airbus.

SriLankan Airlines: AG Slide Show

JAL becomes a new Airbus customer, orders 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s

JAL-Japan Airlines A350-900 and A350-1000 (11)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo), a long time Boeing customer, has turned to Airbus for its next batch of wide body airliners to replace its older generation of aircraft.

JAL-Japan Airlines has signed a purchase agreement for 31 Airbus A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft.* It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB.

In a typical three-class layout the A350-900 comfortably seats more than 300 passengers on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles (nm). The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on even longer missions up to 8,400 nm. All A350 XWB models are equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. In addition to innovative materials, the A350 XWB brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies and provides significant improvement in fuel efficiency compared with competing models.

To date, the A350 XWB msn 1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of the campaign’s total 2,500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350’s over the next 12 months. Entry into commercial service of the A350-900 is scheduled for the second half of 2014. With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide.

* Before the merger by Japan Airlines and Japan Air Systems (JAS), JAS ordered Airbus aircraft.

Image: Airbus. Is this payback to Boeing for the 787 delays and groundings?

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

El Al takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER

El Al 737-900ER 4X-EHA (99)(Grd) BFI (JGW)(46)

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has now taken delivery of its first new Boeing 737-900 ER (Extended Range) aircraft. The pictured 737-958 ER 4X-EHA (msn 41552) at rainy Seattle is pictured undergoing testing and is the first of six. 4X-EHA was handed over on October 9. The new aircraft will replace older aircraft in service.

The airline issued this short promo on its website:

As part of the general renewal of its fleet, El Al has purchased 6 new aircraft of this model, the most advanced and sophisticated narrow-body plane in the world. The first plane will be landing in Israel this month, and the second will be joining the El Al fleet in December.

The remaining planes will arrive by the beginning of 2016.

In these new aircraft, El Al is launching a new design for its aircraft interiors, with a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere, and innovative mood lighting that changes throughout the flight.

737-900 מחלקת עסקים

El Al business class passengers will be able to enjoy full comfort business seats, with 44” of space. All seats are equipped with sockets for laptops and USB connections.

737-900 מחלקת תיירים

Economy class passengers will be able to enjoy advanced technological designed seats, with ergonomic cushions for maximum comfort. The seats offer comfortable space, also thanks to the location of the literature pocket at the upper part of the back of the seat. All passengers will enjoy the option of power sockets for their laptops and USB connections so that they can remain connected at all times. As well spacious upper storage compartments for carry – on luggage.

737-900 מחלקת תיירים

Update: On October 9, Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing has delivered El Al Israel Airlines’ first Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range) airplane. The delivery is the first of six 737-900 ERs the Israeli flag-carrier has on order and is the latest addition to El Al’s all-Boeing fleet.

El Al’s 737-900 ER will be its first airplane to feature the new Boeing Sky Interior. This interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers. It introduces new LED lighting and curved architecture that welcomes passengers onboard and creates a greater sense of spaciousness and comfort in the cabin. The interior also features modern, sculpted sidewalls and overhead bins that disappear into the ceiling, yet carry more bags.

El Al’s latest addition to its fleet will seat 172 passengers, with all passengers able to enjoy the option of power sockets for their laptops and USB connections. The Israeli-flag carrier operates an all-Boeing fleet of nearly 40 airplanes including Next-Generation 737s, 747-400s, 767s and 777s and serves 30 destinations worldwide.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by El Al): Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com.

El Al Israel Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video:

Luxair orders another Bombardier Q400

Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines (Luxembourg), the national airline of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, has placed a firm order for another Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as a Q400) turboprop airliner and has also taken an option for an additional aircraft. The airline currently operates a fleet of six DHC-8-402s.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) LX-LGA (msn 4159) departs from Berlin (Tegel).

Luxair: AG Slide Show

Transaero Airlines starts its interline agreement with WestJet

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) has announced that its interline agreement with WestJet (Calgary) has taken effect offering Transaero passengers new opportunities for travel from Moscow. Via connections in Toronto (Pearson) and Los Angeles, Transaero passengers can now access the extensive WestJet network throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.

Now Transaero passengers are able to purchase tickets on connecting flights from Moscow via Toronto to destinations within WestJet’s route network in Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and many others.

In the near future, in addition to WestJet’s domestic routes, Transaero will offer its passengers connecting flights via Toronto to many WestJet’s destinations outside of Canada such as Phoenix, Honolulu, Kailua-Kona, Kahului, Lihue, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, Anaheim, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and Jamaica.

The agreement also provides the opportunities for connecting flights via Los Angeles with WestJet flights to Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

In other news, Transaero will start a new daily route with Boeing 737-800s between Moscow (Vnukovo) and Istanbul (Ataturk) on October 27.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Transaero Airlines’ Boeing 747-446 EI-XLJ (msn 27646) arrives at the resort destination of Antalya, Turkey.

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet: AG Slide Show

British Airways to serve Malta from London’s Gatwick Airport

British Airways (London) will soon start a new direct flight from London Gatwick to Luqa International Airport in Malta.

The daily service starts from March 30, 2014 in advance of the peak summer holiday season. Hand-baggage only tickets in Euro Traveller (economy) will start from just £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges. Seats in Euro Traveller for customers who chose to take a bag including all taxes and charges start at £67 one-way and in Club Europe (business) one-way fares start at £274.

British Airways’ holiday flights will be further boosted by more services from London Gatwick to Salzburg, Naples, Dubrovnik, Marrakech and Catania during summer 2014.

The new Malta route will be served by a combination of Boeing 737 and Airbus A319/A320 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-436 G-DOCX (msn 25857) with the red nose arrives back at London’s Gatwick Airport.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines’ flight attendants call for the State of Florida to drop out of the DOJ lawsuit

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) flight attendants, represented by the APFA, are putting political pressure on those states which are joining with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to oppose the American-US Airways (Phoenix) merger. APFA is particularly focusing on Attorney General Pam Bondi from the State of Florida. American has a large international hub at Miami International Airport. The union issued this statement:

In the wake of Tuesday’s announcement by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that he would withdraw from the lawsuit to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, the flight attendants at American are calling on Pam Bondi and attorneys general from five other states to do the same.

“Florida, particularly South Florida, is home to about 2,500 American flight attendants that are in need of good wages and long term job security, but General Bondi is standing in the way of that,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “Pam Bondi’s participation in the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit demonstrates a lack of understanding of what the merger means for her constituents. Everyone – business travelers, tourists, and airline employees – stand to benefit from the new American. We were able to explain that to General Abbott in Texas and we’d like to do the same in Florida.”

Unable to compete with United and Delta, which had recently merged with Continental and Northwest, respectively, American Airlines was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November of 2011. It is clear that in order for American to be competitive, it needs to merge with US Airways. The merger plan has had the strong support of employees at both companies since its inception. Unfortunately, the US Department of Justice and attorneys general from seven states and the District of Columbia filed an eleventh-hour lawsuit to block the merger in August of this year.

The new American Airlines will offer consumers more destinations and a better product. It will also give flyers a third choice – in addition to Delta and United – for their travel needs. Finally, the merger will provide much-needed job security for approximately 100,000 employees nationwide, 11,650 of whom live in Florida.

Last week, members of Florida’s congressional delegation sent a letter to General Bondi urging her to support the merger. The letter was authored by Rep. Alcee Hastings and signed by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankle, Frederica Wilson, Joe Garcia, and Patrick E. Murphy.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N965AN (msn 29544) of American arrives in deadlocked Washington (Reagan National).

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue officially unveils its new “Prism” tailfin design

JetBlue Airways (New York) plans to debut the latest tailfin design to join the company’s line-up, Prism. Prism will be featured exclusively on the airline’s Airbus A321 aircraft.

Prism, inspired by the Cubist art movement of the early 20th Century, will join the eight other official JetBlue tailfin designs. It was developed by JetBlue’s award-winning Brand team, led by Lashonne Duncan, brand design manager.

“The challenge was to come up with something that fit the story of our new A321 aircraft,” said Ms. Duncan.  “Some of our A321s will offer JetBlue’s Mint™ service in the lucrative New York – LA and San Francisco markets, while other A321s will offer 190 JetBlue core experience in high-density markets. With so many different perspectives, facets and points of view, we started with a clean sheet of paper and quickly found inspiration in Cubism.”

The Cubist movement was revolutionary in its time, interpreting reality into two-dimensions on canvas, often dissecting and reassembling the image, challenging the audience to look at regular everyday things in a new way.  “That’s how JetBlue looks at the world, and how we continue to reinvent the travel experience for our customers,” Ms. Duncan said. “That ethos continues into our future, with Mint™, our interpretation of the premium coast-to-coast product.”

On September 30, 2013, JetBlue announced product details for Mint™, it’s take on the premium transcontinental product, designed to compete with other airlines’ business class.  JetBlue will offer Mint™ starting June 15, 2014, and on all flights between New York/JFK and Los Angeles by the end of 2014. Mint™ will be offered on all flights between New York/JFK and San Francisco by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

JetBlue first introduced green to its aircraft line-up with the introduction of JetGreen, a special livery celebrating JetBlue’s sponsorship of the New York Jets football team.  Green was limited to that aircraft until the introduction of Prism, and is now part of JetBlue’s permanent palette.

JetBlue received the Corporate Leadership Award in 2009 from AIGA, the professional association for design, for “reimagining the air-travel experience and building its revered brand from a people-centered, value-driven, design-based approach.”

In other news, tickets for the new JetBlue-Emirates code share agreement will go on sale on October 7. JetBlue will place its “B6″ code on all Emirates flights to and from the United States, including the newly inaugurated non-stop Emirates route between New York/JFK and Milan, Italy.  JetBlue intends to file for approval to codeshare on the recently announced Emirates route between Dubai and JetBlue’s focus city in Boston, Massachusetts.

Other tails:

JetBlue Airways Tailfin Designs

     

Prism

A Cubist inspired design that reflects the many incredible facets of our new A321 fleet. New in 2013

Barcode

You can’t quite scan our jets, but barcode sure makes for one beautiful tailfin. Generated in 2010.

Blueberries

What could be better than a healthy snack in our favorite color? Our blueberries-inspired design popped up in 2009.

     

Mosaic

Created in 2005, this tailfin eventually came to inspire the name for the TrueBlue Mosaic program.

Bubbles

We were bubbling with excitement to reveal this design in 2003.

Windowpane

Introduced in 2002, you can spot this pattern on both our stylish crewmembers and our jets.

     

Dots

We crossed our T’s and dotted our tailfin in 2000.

Harlequin

A hidden gem, we found this diamond-studded pattern in 2000.

Stripes

Stripes are always in style. We’ve been wearing them since the very start (2000).

 Special One-of-a-Kind JetBlue Tailfins
     

Boston Red Sox

This design was a homerun with our Boston crewmembers and customers.

We’re the proud official airline of the Boston Red Sox.

NY Jets – “JetGreen”

Blue never looked so good in green.

We’re the proud official airline of the NY Jets.

Building blocks

Some of our best inspiration comes from our very own crew — like Building Blocks, created in 2011 by crewmember Troy Bokosky in Long Beach, CA.

     

10th anniversary

Cheers to 10 years!

NY’s hometown airline™

We’re proud to be NY’s hometown airline™.

100th plane

Celebrating our 100th Airbus 320!

 

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com.

Airline Tails of the World: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Boeing delivers the first 787-8 to Royal Brunei Airlines

Royal Brunei Airlines (Bandar Seri Begawan) and Boeing (Chicago) celebrated the delivery of the 787 Dreamliner – the first for the flag carrier of the Sultanate of Brunei and for Southeast Asia. The pictured 787-8 V8-DLA (msn 34785) was handed over to the carrier on October 2.

The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett on Wednesday evening (October 2) for a 6,540 nautical miles (12,112 km) nonstop flight home to Bandar Seri Begawan International Airport in Brunei.

The new 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally to Singapore on October 18, with long-haul service to London, via Dubai, set to begin on December 1. Royal Brunei anticipates delivering on its promise of 100 percent Dreamliner long-haul service in the second quarter of 2014 when it will introduce the 787 on flights to Melbourne, Australia.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com

Video: The building of the first 787 for Royal Brunei:

Royal Brunei Airlines: AG Slide Show

SAS finalizes its order for four Airbus A330-300s and eight A350-900s

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) on June 25, 2013, SAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the a tentative order of 12 new long-haul aircraft.

SAS and Airbus on October 3 signed the final long-haul aircraft order agreement comprising four A330-300 Enhanced aircraft and eight A350-900 aircraft plus six options for A350-900. The Airbus A330s will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 swill be delivered from 2018.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X SE-REE (msn 515) approaches for landing at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

United Airlines introduces a new Bombardier CRJ700 seat design

United Airlines (Chicago) on October 3 unveiled a new, signature seat design focused on customer comfort and environmental responsibility, with a sophisticated, modern look. The company will deploy the new seats on hundreds of aircraft that fly within the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

The new design includes:

  • Bold elements, such as multi-tonal leather seat covers, distinctive double-stitch patterns, sculpted contouring and a new United-branded tag
  • More ergonomic and supportive cushioning and additional seat-back storage space in United Economy Plus and United Economy
  • Technology that makes the seats more environmentally friendly by reducing seat weight and volume, contributing to less fuel burn

The airline is introducing the new design with a Bombardier CRJ700 operated by United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George). United expects to deploy the new look on its domestic mainline aircraft and on regional aircraft operated by United Express carriers. Ultimately, United plans the new design to be on more than 60,000 seats on more than 500 aircraft, including, United anticipates, approximately 400 aircraft by 2015.

The airline developed the seats with global travel and transport design consultant Priestmangoode.

Copyright Photos: United Airlines. The new CRJ700 seats.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Express-SkyWest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Associated Aviation Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia crashes today in Nigeria

Associated Aviation logo

Associated Aviation (Lagos) Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia 5N-BJY  (msn 120174) (originally incorrectly reported as a EMB-110 Bandeirante) with 20 passengers and a reported seven crew members crashed today (October 3) on takeoff from Lagos. The airliner was flying to Akure. There are some survivors according to this report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Belavia to add two Embraer 195s

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Belavia Belarusian Airlines (Minsk, Belarus) has signed a firm contract for two Embraer ERJ 195s with Embraer Commercial Aviation. The transaction was announced today at a press briefing in Salzburg at the annual general meeting of the European Regions Airline Association. The firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2013 third quarter backlog.

The aircraft will join two Embraer ERJ 175s already operating at the airline. The acquisition is part of the carrier’s fleet renewal initiative to replace older aircraft. The first E195 will be delivered in the first semester of 2014.

Belavia selected the E195 to replace its older narrow-bodied jets. The aircraft are configured with 107 seats in a two-class layout. The E195s will allow the airline to increase frequencies on some routes and to develop its network from its base at Minsk International Airport.

Image: Embraer.

Belavia: AG Slide Show

Aurigny signs a contract for a single Embraer 195

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Aurigny Air Services (Guernsey) has signed a firm contract with Embraer Commercial Aviation for one ERJ 195 jet. The transaction was announced today at a press briefing in Salzburg at the annual general meeting of the European Regions Airline Association. The firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2013 third quarter backlog. Delivery is scheduled in the first semester of 2014.

The E195 is the first jet aircraft to be added to the Aurigny Air Services fleet. The airline currently flies turboprops on six daily frequencies on its principal route between the London Gatwick Airport and Guernsey. With 122 slim seats in single-class layout, the E195 will enable the carrier to increase the number of daily flights to eight and offer much-needed additional capacity.

“The acquisition of the E195 is a major step forward for our company,” said Mark Darby, CEO of Aurigny Air Services. “The London Gatwick route is very important for us. We’ve been mandated by the State of Guernsey to increase capacity and upgrade the quality of our overall service so we decided to move up to a jet. The E195 was the natural choice.”

Image: Embraer.

Aurigny Air Services: AG Slide Show

Safair to get into the scheduled airline business as FlySafair starting on October 17 (now delayed)

FlySafair logo

Safair (Johannesburg) has been operating for other carriers and as a charter airline since March 18, 1970. Now the company is venturing into the tough scheduled airline business under the FlySafair banner. The low-fare airline will start flying 165-seat Boeing 737-400s on October 17 between Johannesburg and Cape Town (see below for an update).

Safair Fleet (Safair)(LR)

The airline issued this statement about FlySafair:

Although FlySafair is a brand new low-cost passenger airline or, as we prefer to say “a high value airline”, it already boasts a proud heritage.

Founded by Safair, probably South Africa’s best known air logistics and specialized air services company, FlySafair was born from a company that already has 48 years of experience. We like to think of ourselves as South Africa’s oldest newest airline.

During that time, we have reliably and successfully transported medical supplies and food relief into inaccessible territories for the United Nations, the World Food Program (WFP) and a host of other international aid agencies.

It’s all in a days work for us to transport aid to Angola, adventurers to Antarctica, parachutists to Phalaborwa, rhinos to remote bushveld runways and sharks to Singapore (the Hammerhead variety).

We’ve carried freight around the world, flown in teams of people wherever and whenever they were needed and supplied back-up passenger and freight airplanes to commercial airlines on a regular basis.

You could say we’re a company of adventurers. We prefer to think that we exist for the sheer love of flying.

Because we’ve been around for over four and a half decades, we’ve got a certain old-world quality you won’t find on other low cost airlines.

We think the kind of person who will fly with us at FlySafair is someone who appreciates quality, good old fashioned values and attention to detail.

But most of all, we believe the people who come with us are the kind of people who still love flying.

So please, if you’re looking for an efficient, professional, reliable, low cost high value airline offering exceptional rates and good service welcome aboard FlySafair.

We guarantee it will be a breath of fresh air for you.

The airline is also holding a “Your Name on a Plane” contest:

“Normally airlines name their planes after historical events, natural wonders, or famous people. We thought we’d name our planes after someone really important. You.”

Update: On October 8, the North Gauteng High Court issued a court interdict preventing the airline from launching operations between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The interdict was a result of a complaint by Comair (British Airways) which challenged the ability of Safair to operate scheduled service. The court also order Comair to honor the FlySafair tickets.

CEO Dave Andrew of FlySafair stated the new airline will shelve all plans until the issue is settled in court and issue refunds.

Here is the full statement:

Dear Passengers,

Thank you once again for your continued patience during this temporary
setback. Your messages of support have been greatly appreciated and we value
the time you have taken to communicate with us in such a positive manner.

As part of our commitment to communicating with you openly and honestly,
allow me to update you on what is happening at the moment.

As per the court interdict granted on Tuesday, FlySafair will be refunding all
tickets purchased. In fact, we have already completed and credited all credit card
transactions through our payment gateway. We are also in conversation with all
the major banks to ensure that these payments reflect timeously in our
passengers’ accounts.

We are steadily making our way through the EFT refunds for the remaining
passengers. Some of those payments are still outstanding as we’re waiting for
confirmation from a few passengers regarding their banking details. If you are
waiting for an EFT refund, please ensure that you have shared your details with
us either via our Central Reservations on 087 135 1351 or email
info@flysafair.co.za.

As per the court order, the process from here is that Comair must accommodate
FlySafair’s passengers, honouring the ticket prices and dates of travel as agreed
to with FlySafair. Passengers are requested to contact Comair’s call centre on on
010 492 2230 or email reaccommodations@comair.co.za and they will assist.

We trust this letter provides further clarity on the situation FlySafair is currently
faced with. We appreciate your support and look forward to taking to the South
African skies in the near future.

Should you have any questions not relating to rebooking or refund procedures,
you are, as always, welcome to contact me at dave@safair.co.za.

Sincerely,

Dave Andrew
CEO – FlySafair

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

Air Transat to fly to Prague, Czech Republic in 2014

Air Transat (Montreal) is planning to operate to Prague in the Czech Republic for the summer season of 2014. Flights from Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) will be offered on Tuesdays from June 17 to October 15, 2014 . Air Transat intends to operate to 29 European cities for the 2014 summer program.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A310-308 C-GPAT (msn 597) taxies at Nantes, France.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

Swift Air to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid October

Swift Air (USA) (Phoenix) now plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in mid October following the approval of the bankruptcy court. The Part 121 supplemental airline filed for bankruptcy reorganization in June 2012. The airline issued this statement:

On October 2, 2013 the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona granted final approval to Swift Air’s proposed plan of reorganization, thus paving the way for the company’s emergence from bankruptcy protection by mid-October. The company’s reorganization plan was overwhelmingly supported by the company’s creditor constituencies.

Swift’s CEO Jeff Conry said that “this is an important milestone in the company’s continuing steps to complete its financial restructuring and emerge from chapter 11 in the very near future. We are gratified to have the support of our plan sponsor, Nimbos Holdings, as well as the Official Creditors’ Committee.”

Ken Woolley, the principal behind Nimbos Holdings and the plan’s financial backer, said, “We are very excited about the company’s upcoming emergence from chapter 11, and look forward to a very successful future with the company.”

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. The former US Airways Boeing 737-4B7 N802TJ (msn 24874) is pictured parked at San Francisco International Airport in the current livery, available for charter work. The aircraft was formerly painted and operated for the John McCain presidential campaign.

Swift Air: AG Slide Show

Southwest fires the pilot who landed on the nose gear at La Guardia Airport on July 22

Southwest logo

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has fired the captain who crash landed the Boeing 737-700 with the nose gear first at New York’s La Guardia Airport on July 22. According to the NTSB, the captain took control of the aircraft at 400 feet before the mishap. The first officer will receive additional training according to the report by Reuters.

Read the full report by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read about the NTSB report: CLICK HERE

Read the full report about the accident: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

LAN Colombia joins Oneworld, TAM to join on March 31, 2014

LAN Colombia (formerly AIRES Colombia) (Bogota) yesterday (October 1) joined the oneworld® alliance.

 

LAN Colombia, a company related to LATAM Airlines Group SA (LAN Airlines), has entered oneworld as an affiliate member.   LAN Airlines has been a full member of oneworld since 2000.  All its other passenger airline affiliates have subsequently joined the alliance as affiliate members – LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru and, from today, LAN Colombia – and, it was announced today, TAM will enter oneworld on 31 March 2014 with its Paraguayan affiliate to follow on a date yet to be confirmed.
This will bring all of the components of Latin America’s leading airline group into the world’s leading quality airline alliance, building on oneworld’s position as the first choice airline alliance for frequent international travelers within South America and worldwide.
LAN Colombia was welcomed into oneworld at a ceremony this morning at its Bogota base hosted by LAN Colombia’s Chairman Nicolás Cortázar, its Executive Director Hernán Pasman and its Corporate Director Maria Lara, with oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby, flying in from his New York base, LATAM Vice-President Strategic Alliances Soledad Berrios, from LAN Airlines’ Santiago head office, and senior representatives from the other oneworld airlines serving Colombia, led by American Airlines Managing Director Alliances Latin America Eduardo Marcos, from its Dallas-Fort Worth head office, and Iberia Country Manager María Consuelo Sánchez.
LAN Colombia’s Chairman, Nicolás Cortázar, said: “LAN Colombia is very proud to have joined oneworld.  For our company, it represents a significant milestone.  For our country, it significantly improves our access to the rest of the world, helping attract more business visitors and tourists, enabling Colombians to reach more of the world’s most important business centres worldwide and making it easier to travel the world from any of the destinations we serve throughout Colombia.”
Since its launch in December 2011, LAN Colombia has quickly established itself as the second biggest airline in South America’s second largest economy.  In total, it serves 24 airports in four countries with a fleet of 24 aircraft operating 130 departures a day.  It boarded 3.7 million passengers in 2012.
TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo), a company related to LATAM Airlines Group, will join oneworld® with effect from March 31, 2014, adding the leading carrier in Brazil – Latin America’s biggest economy and largest market for air travel demand – to the world’s leading quality global airline alliance.
TAM’s entry into oneworld with effect from the first flights on March 31, 2014 will follow immediately upon its exit from the Star Alliance with effect from the final flights on March 30, 2014.
TAM serves 60 destinations in 16 countries in Latin America, the USA and Europe, with a fleet of 161 aircraft operating 800 departures daily.  It boarded 38 million passengers in 2012.
Three of oneworld’s existing members – American, Iberia and LAN – already serve three destinations in Colombia, in Bogota, Cali and Medellin.   LAN Colombia expands that to a total of 21 Colombian gateways.
Across South America, oneworld’s established member airlines already serve 71 destinations in 11 countries.  LAN Colombia and TAM add another 56 airports in the region to that network – with LAN Colombia bringing 18 airports on board and TAM.
Worldwide, with LAN Colombia, TAM and the other airlines lining up to join, oneworld will:
  • Serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
  • Carry 480 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of more than 3,200 aircraft.
  • Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
The addition of LAN Colombia  and TAM from March 31, 2014 represents a cornerstone of oneworld’s biggest membership expansion yet.  Other elements elsewhere in the world include:
  • The addition of Malaysia Airlines, one of this industry’s most frequent award winners, six months ago, further strengthening oneworld’s position in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
  • The induction on October 30, 2013 of Qatar Airways, the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances and one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines.  This will make oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
  • The introduction early next year of SriLankan Airlines, as the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance, which, with Qatar Airways, will make oneworld the leading alliance in the region.
  • The proposed switch by US Airways from Star to oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, subject to necessary approvals.

 

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. LAN Colombia’ Airbus A320-233 CC-CQN (msn 3319) prepares to land at Miami.

Titan Airways retires its last BAe RJ100

Titan Airways (London-Stansted) has retired its last BAe RJ100 after a long association with the UK-built 146 series of aircraft. The airline issued this statement:

Titan Airways RJ100, G-POWF, left the fleet to begin a new role with Canadian operator, North Cariboo Air.

G-POWF, which had been with us for two and a half years, had most recently been employed on a government contract in the Gulf region.  The RJ100 superseded Titan Airways’ BAe 146 operations in the Gulf which dated back to 2009.

The role previously fulfilled by Titan is now being taken over by the RAF’s own aircraft.

The departure of the RJ100 is a step in Titan’s long term strategy to operate more modern, economical and environmentally friendly aircraft.  In addition to the phasing out of older aircraft types, we have begun actively seeking younger, more efficient aircraft.  An Airbus A320-233 was introduced in April and we are looking for further opportunities to expand our charter fleet with Airbus.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection. Titan Airways has had a long association with the BAe 146 and its various models. The type has also had a number of liveries. BAe 146-200 G-ZAPN (msn E2119)  sports one of those unique color schemes.

Titan Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways becomes the official airline of the Boston Bruins

JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced that is has reached a multi-year agreement to become “The Official Airline of the Boston Bruins” NHL team, in addition to the airline’s role as Official Airline of the Bruins’ home, TD Garden.  The agreement kicks off today (October 2) at historic Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, where JetBlue will host the 2013-2014 Bruins Season Takeoff Rally.

The Season Ticket Rally is free and open to all Bruins fans. Those who attend may enter to win Bruins and JetBlue prizes, including JetBlue travel and TrueBlue points. Bruins fans can register at BostonBruins.com/JetBlue or at the Faneuil Hall rally to “Get Your Boarding Pass” for JetBlue travel and Bruins memorabilia. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

JetBlue, the largest airline at Boston Logan Airport, will also start service at Worcester Regional Airport on November 7. JetBlue offers more than 100 daily flights in Boston to 49 destinations and employs more than 2,000 crew members in Boston.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue’s Airbus A320-232 N605JB (msn 2368) Boston Red Sox special livery taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. JetBlue is also the official airline of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. As a result, the airline introduced a logojet to honor the relationship. A Boston Bruins logojet is therefore very likely.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

The State of Texas now supports the American-US Airways merger

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) received good news in its efforts to merge. The State of Texas has dropped out of the group opposing the merger along with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Texas now supports the merger and issued this statement:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) have announced they have reached an agreement for the Texas Attorney General to support the proposed merger of American and US Airways.

Under the terms of the agreement, the new American Airlines will maintain scheduled daily service to more than twenty airports in Texas. In addition, the agreement provides that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport be maintained as a large hub airport for the combined airline and that the new American will maintain its headquarters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The State of Texas had previously joined the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) as co-plaintiff in its pending suit to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. With today’s agreement, the Texas Attorney General has agreed to withdraw his participation in the DOJ’s lawsuit.

“I’m pleased we were able to find common ground and gain the carefully considered support of the Attorney General in our home state,” said Tom Horton, chairman, president and CEO of AMR. “This is an important step forward for American Airlines, for Texas, and for our customers and people of both American and US Airways. Texas has long played a lead role in our company’s history, and this agreement is assurance of our commitment to maintain and enhance the outstanding levels of service and connectivity that the new American will provide to the citizens of Texas. This merger will enhance job security and career opportunities for our combined Texas based employee base of nearly 25,000. The combined airline will fly more people and more goods to more places while providing more competition to benefit customers in the U.S. and abroad. We thank Attorney General Abbott for his partnership in finding a solution and also thank the people of American and US Airways for their continued support of the merger.”

Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, said the following: “We are grateful to have the support of Attorney General Abbott. In addition, the support for the merger from the employees of American Airlines and US Airways has been overwhelming. This combination makes sense for our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We are dedicated to completing this merger on behalf of all of them.”

Texas airports included in the agreement include:

  • Abilene Regional Airport
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport
  • Corpus Christi International Airport
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • East Texas Regional Airport
  • Easterwood Airport
  • El Paso International Airport
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Jack Brooks Regional Airport
  • Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport
  • Laredo International Airport
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
  • McAllen-Miller International Airport
  • Midland International Airport
  • Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport
  • San Angelo Regional Airport
  • San Antonio International Airport
  • Tyler Pounds Regional Airport
  • Waco Regional Airport
  • Wichita Falls Regional Airport

In other news, the DOJ lost its bid to delay the trial in its lawsuit to stop the merger. Many of the DOJ’s attorneys and staff were put on furlough due the government shutdown.

The “airline trial of the century” will proceed as scheduled in late November.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 737-823 WL N938NN (msn 33490) lands in Las Vegas.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Delta to expand Seattle/Tacoma operations with new flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) despite having a close relationship with Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma), will offer new daily nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from San Francisco International Airport as well as increased service from Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, beginning next year. The new service is designed to provide customers access to the airline’s growing trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific network from its global gateway in Seattle/Tacoma.

Details of Delta’s new and expanded Seattle/Tacoma service include:

  • Six new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco beginning March 29, 2014, increasing to seven daily flights on June 5, 2014.
  • Two additional flights from Las Vegas for a total of three daily nonstop flights beginning Jan. 6, 2014, increasing to five daily nonstop flights on April 1, 2014.
  • Two additional flights from Los Angeles for a total of seven daily nonstop flights beginning June 5, 2014.

The Seattle area is one of Delta’s fastest-growing international gateways. The airline currently operates nonstop service to six international markets including Amsterdam, Beijing, Osaka, Paris, Shanghai-Pudong and Tokyo, and recently announced additional service in 2014 to London-Heathrow, Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. The new and additional flights will allow for convenient connections to all of Seattle’s international Delta flights.

As of January 1, 2014, every international Delta flight from Seattle/Tacoma will feature full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.

Delta’s service from San Francisco and Los Angeles will be operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) using two-class Embraer ERJ 175s, with the exception of one daily mainline flight from Los Angeles. Additionally, Delta’s Las Vegas-Seattle/Tacoma service will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (Delta Connection) (St. George) using two-class Canadair CRJ700s and CRJ900s. Each aircraft is equipped with First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as onboard Wi-Fi.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N613CZ (msn 17000203) prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-Compass Airlines: AG Slide Show

Iberia to introduce a new livery on October 15

Iberia logo

Iberia (Madrid) is planning to introduce a new color scheme on October 15. The company issued this statement:

On October 15 Iberia will present its new corporate logo and brand image at its new Madrid offices where its is concentrating company departments now dispersed throughout the Spanish capital.

The launch of the new image will become effective in mid-November with the delivery of Iberia’s first Airbus A330 bearing the new logo, which is presently nearing completion at the Airbus factory in Toulouse.
The new brand image, which will keep the current symbols and color scheme that identify the airline as the Spanish flag carrier, is part of a wider renovation and modernization program that is intended to make Iberia a modern, profitable, and sustainable company, attractive both to customers and staff.
New aircraft, totally redesigned cabins in all long-haul aircraft that will put both tourist and business class sections at the top of the market, plus a new website with expanded travel planning options ,are other aspects of the program, along with a major boost in punctuality –Iberia now ranks 7th amongst major airlines– and numerous improvements to passengers’ airport experience at Iberia’s T4 hub at Madrid- Barajas airport.
Before its labor unrest, Iberia was considering several designs for a new brand but tabled the idea during the period of strikes. One design under consideration featured a white fuselage with red titles and a red, white and gold tipped diagonal tail. The traditional IB logo was removed from this design. It is unclear at this time what design was selected.
Iberia: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways introduces Mint, its new trans-con service

JetBlue Airways (New York) has jumped into the trans-continental premium market by introducing Mint. According to the airline, “Mint will offer an unparalleled in-flight experience: the longest lie-flat beds in domestic business class (a) and four private suites among the 16 Mint seats. Mint will start on June 15, 2014.

Mint will feature a pre-departure drink, followed by a cocktail and amuse-bouche once airborne. JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline™, has partnered with the popular New York City-based restaurant Saxon + Parole to curate the onboard menu. Mint travelers will customize their meal by choosing among five “comfort food with a twist” offerings, served tapas-style, followed by dessert. Fresh cappuccino and espresso made from the first purposely built cappuccino machine for a U.S. airline will be available throughout the flight.

JetBlue will also be the only U.S. airline to offer customized men’s and women’s amenity kits from partner Birchbox, a global discovery retail company that offers consumers a personalized way to discover, learn about and purchase the best beauty and grooming products from prestigious brands. With an amenity kit designed specifically for JetBlue, loyal customers will receive new favorite products often as these unique kits will be changed several times throughout the year.

JetBlue chose to fully customize the Mint seat, featuring:

  • Fully lie-flat beds up to 6′ 8″ (203cm), averaging the longest in the U.S. domestic business class market (a)
  • The only private suites with closing doors in the American market, four on each flight
  • Seats up to 22.3″ wide, making them the widest seats on average in the U.S. domestic market (a)
  • Air cushions with adjustable firmness
  • Massage function
  • 15-inch flat screen with up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio
  • Shoe storage
  • Dual 110 volt power outlets with two USB ports
  • “Wake me for service” indicator, allowing customers to customize their service needs

A refreshed core experience

JetBlue’s brand new Airbus A321 aircraft will also feature an enhanced core product, including a new world-class seat designed to maximize comfort, larger 10.1″ personal screens offering up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio (d), in-seat power outlets accessible to all customers and a drink holder. As a result of the new next-generation slimmer seat design, customers will enjoy even more living space and the most legroom in coach (e), as well as more comfort.

To add even more to the core experience on New York-Los Angeles/San Francisco flights, JetBlue created the marketplace for all new Airbus A321s, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience throughout the flight.

The airline’s A321 fleet will also offer free (f) superfast Fly-Fi for all customers, JetBlue’s revolutionary in-air Wi-Fi.

Schedule

JetBlue’s flight 223, departing New York’s JFK Airport to Los Angeles International (LAX) at 9:30 am on June 15, 2014, will be JetBlue’s first flight featuring the Mint experience. By fourth quarter 2014, all seven daily flights between JFK and LAX will offer Mint, as well as the enhanced core experience.

The Mint experience will be introduced on flights between JFK and San Francisco in the fourth quarter of 2014, with all five JFK-SFO flights offering Mint by the end of first quarter 2015.

There will be a dedicated sub-fleet of 11 brand new Airbus A321s initially used for the two core transcontinental routes, each featuring 16 lie-flat seats, four of which are private suites, and 143 JetBlue core experience seats. Additional markets are possible, based on customer response and demand for more service.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The added green in the new tail design is now explained with the introduction of Mint on the new Airbus A321 (all others by JetBlue Airways).

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Airline Tails of the World: AG Slide Show

Republic Airways Holdings to sell Frontier Airlines to an affiliate of Indigo Partners

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) today (October 1) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) to an affiliate of Indigo Partners LLC (Phoenix) in an all-cash transaction.

Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have a history of investing in airline transportation and related industries and creating successful, differentiated companies. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, which has been approved by Republic’s Board of Directors, the buyer, an affiliate of Indigo Partners, will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $145 million, of which $36 million (subject to certain adjustments under the purchase agreement) is to be paid in cash for the equity of Frontier Holdings and the balance is indebtedness that will be retained by Frontier. In addition, Indigo plans to invest additional funds directly in Frontier after the closing.

As part of the transaction, under a separate agreement, Republic will assign to Frontier all of Republic’s rights under agreements relating to the Republic’s Airbus A320neo order in exchange for reimbursement of pre-delivery deposits, which total $32 million.

“We endorse and will support continued efforts to build Frontier into a leading nationwide ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC),” said Franke. “As airline fares continue to move up, passengers need affordable travel alternatives. Our goal will be to meet that need in more markets as we invest in the airline to grow its footprint, while maintaining a commitment to quality service, customer choice and satisfaction and continued employment opportunities for the Frontier team.”

Completion of the transaction is conditioned on agreements being reached with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and FAPA Invest LLC by no later than October 31, 2013, as well as agreement and documentation of other third-party commercial agreements. The transaction is also subject to receipt of required approvals by the Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of Frontier’s radio licenses, the receipt of certain third-party consents and releases and other customary closing conditions.

Assuming satisfaction of the conditions of the agreement, Republic expects the transaction to close in December 2013.

Barclays is serving as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is serving as legal advisor to Republic in connection with the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as Indigo Partners LLC’s legal advisor.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Frontier’s Airbus A320-214 N208FR (msn 4562) with the Cougar on the tail prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines breaks ground on a new international terminal at Houston’s Hobby Airport

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (September 30) broke ground on a new international terminal at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), marking the official start of construction on the $156 million project.

Once completed, the five-gate facility will accommodate regional international flights for Southwest Airlines, with service reaching destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the northern cities of South America.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, as well as local and state dignitaries, joined Southwest Airlines Employees in the brief ceremony before work immediately began.

A 2012 study commissioned by the Houston Airport System indicates that the new terminal will generate more than 10,000 jobs across the Greater Houston metropolitan area and will provide an economic impact of $1.6 billion. The study estimates that the terminal will bring in an additional 1 million passengers a year to Hobby Airport.

The terminal project, fully funded by Southwest Airlines, includes a new five-gate international terminal, expansion of the existing security checkpoint, and upgrades to the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter area.

In support of the project, and in anticipation of the expected increase in passenger traffic, the Houston Airport System will be making significant investments of its own, constructing a new multi-level parking garage and making improvements to the existing roadway system.

Southwest Airlines anticipates its first international flights out of Houston Hobby’s new international terminal will begin in late 2015 to destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the northern cities of South America.

Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N279WN (msn 32532) with the special “Summer of Love – Cirque du Soleil” emblem taxies at the Houston (Hobby) hub.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta to equip its 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is equipping its 11,000 pilots with the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, which will be used initially as an electronic flight bag to replace heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts and aircraft operating and reference manuals. Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014.

The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flight crews easy access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources, including navigational charts, reference documents and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs.

Electronic flight bag to support real-time access to resources

Delta’s electronic flight bag will leverage Jeppesen’s industry-leading FliteDeck Pro application built specifically for the Windows platform. The interactive software gives flight crews quicker and more efficient access to key, real-time information and resources such as dynamic charts and navigation utilities that help them better manage the safe operation of their aircraft.

With the Windows RT 8.1 operating system, pilots will be able to open two applications side-by-side, offering, for example, the opportunity to assess weather information alongside proposed flight paths. The Live Tile user interface in Windows 8.1 can feed up-to-the-minute information to crew members while the Surface 2’s true high-resolution 1080p touchscreen display adds detail to maps and other resources.

Delta expects to receive approval from the FAA to use the tablets during all phases of flight next year, a process that follows an extensive period of testing on board Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Approvals for all subsequent fleet types are expected by the end of 2014. The Surface tablets fully integrate handheld technology in the flight deck, streamlining organization of necessary materials and ensuring continuity of information accessed by pilots while giving them the latest tools to drive operational and cost improvements. The reduction of paper in the cockpit also reduces clutter and allows pilots to spend more time focusing on flying the aircraft as they will benefit from an intuitive user interface that features functions to find information faster, without having to hunt for appropriate manuals in flight bags or page through paper documents.

“The integration of the electronic flight bag is part of Delta’s broader move to upgrade flight deck equipment, deploy technology enhancements and take advantage of airspace modernization efforts,” said Dickson. “With these improvements, we’re able to reduce the airline’s environmental impact while providing a great deal of flexibility to continue to add mobile technology solutions into our flying operations.”

Maximizing efficiencies for environmental benefit

Rolling out the Surface 2 tablets across the entire fleet and eliminating paper in the cockpit means the carrier will remove traditional 38-pound pilot flight bags maintained on board aircraft for each pilot. That critical weight reduction is expected to reduce fuel usage by an estimated 1.2 million gallons per year which translates to a 26-million-pound reduction in carbon emissions — the equivalent of taking more than 2,300 passenger cars off the road. Additionally, the tablet will cut the airline’s paper usage by 7.5 million sheets annually and save an estimated 900 trees each year.

In the coming years, Delta plans to expand the functionality of the EFB equipment and increase the efficiency of the operation by providing pilots with electronic dispatch and flight release information, access to real-time weather forecasts, up-to-the-minute operational information and dynamic communication with aircraft technicians on the ground.

The move to a paperless cockpit follows Delta’s industry-leading launch of handheld devices for its 19,000 flight attendants that runs on Windows Phone-based software. Delta flight attendants began using the Nokia Lumia 820 in August and are able to access customer and flight information while using Dynamics for Retail technology for easy onboard customer purchases.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The rollout will start with pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Boeing 767-332 ER N1603 (msn 29695) taxies to the active runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Video:

American Airlines to hire 1,500 pilots over the next five years

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today announced it is beginning the process to recruit and hire approximately 1,500 new pilots over the next five years, American’s largest pilot hiring in more than a decade. American will open the job posting Oct. 1, with the first new-hire class expected to begin training this winter.

According to the airline, “American’s ability to welcome new pilots is a result of its broad fleet renewal efforts that include taking delivery of new single-aisle Airbus aircraft and a mix of narrow body and wide body Boeing aircraft, an expansion of flying to international destinations important to customers, projected pilot retirements and the Federal Aviation Administration’s new rest and duty time rules that come into effect in 2014. Today’s news reflects the measurable progress and momentum the airline has achieved through its restructuring, along with its strengthened financial position.”

American currently anticipates the need to initially hire approximately 45 to 50 pilots per month through at least summer 2014, including pilots from American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and the appropriate balance from external sources. The comprehensive hiring process will include an online assessment evaluating each pilot’s skill set, experience and compatibility with American’s brand values; interviews; and a multi-step background check process. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit aacareers.com.

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. A beautiful ramp portrait of brand new Airbus A319-115 N9004F (msn 5745) with Sharklets. The new addition joined the AA fleet on August 19, 2013.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders five additional Boeing 737-900 ERs

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Boeing (Chicago) announced today the carrier is exercising options to purchase five additional Boeing 737-900 ER (extended range) aircraft. The five new aircraft are worth $481 million at Boeing’s current list price. Two of the aircraft will arrive in 2015 followed by two more in 2016 and one in 2017.

Today’s order supplements the 31 aircraft on firm order for delivery by the end of 2017. Alaska Airlines expects to have 134 Boeing 737s in its fleet by the end of 2014.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Delivered new to the carrier on December 18, 2012, Boeing 737-990 ER N408AS (msn 41732) taxies to the gate at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

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Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

SAS completes the sale of Wideroe

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) today announced it has completed the sale of subsidiary Wideroe (Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS) (Oslo).

The airline issued this statement:

On May 3, 2013, SAS announced that an agreement had been signed to sell 80% of the shares in Wideroe’s Flyveselskap AS (Wideroe) to an investment group consisting of Torghatten ASA, Fjord1 AS and Nordland Fylkeskommune. The transaction was expected to be completed during September 2013.

SAS has today (September 30) transferred 80% of the shares in Wideroe to the investment group. The total transaction proceeds amount to approximately SEK 2 billion, including aircraft related transactions, which will reduce SAS’ net debt by a
corresponding amount. Approximately half of the total transaction proceeds are strengthening SAS’ cash and cash equivalent position. In addition, the transaction will reduce the previously announced negative effect on SAS’ shareholders’ equity from amended reporting rules for pensions by approximately SEK 1 billion.

SAS has reserved MSEK -300 in the second interim report 2012/2013 resulting from the sale of Wideroe. The final capital result will be reported in the fourth interim report 2012/2013.

SAS will divest the remaining shares in Widerře during 2016.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Wideroe’s (Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) LN-WDF (msn 4244) is portrayed at a stop at Torp (Sandefjord).

Wideroe: AG Slide Show

 

Sichuan Airlines receives its first Airbus A321 with Sharklets

Sichuan A321-200 WL D-AZAE (B-9967)(91)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LRW)

Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu), the largest all Airbus operator in China, took delivery of its first A321 aircraft equipped with Sharklets fuel saving wing tip devices on September 26. The pictured A321-231 B-9967 (msn 5470) will also be the first A321 with Sharklets to be operated in China. The A321, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 194 passengers with 8 in business class and 186 in economy.

Sichuan Airlines is China’s largest all Airbus operator. It introduced an A320 in 1995 to become the first Chinese airline to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. It was also the first airline to operate Airbus A321 in China. In 2009, the airline received the first A320 assembled at the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly.

At the end of August 2013, Sichuan Airlines operated a fleet of six A330s and 75 A320 Family aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A321-231 D-AZAE (msn 5470) became B-9967 on the hand over.

Sichuan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Namibia takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-200

Air Namibia A330-200 V5-ANO (99)(Grd) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Air Namibia (Windhoek), the national airline of the Republic of Namibia, took delivery of its first A330-200 from Airbus at a ceremony in Toulouse, France on September 26. The aircraft is the first of two A330s being leased by Air Namibia from US lessor Intrepid. The airline’s A330 features a two-class cabin layout seating 244 passengers which comprises 30 business class seats and 214 economy class seats.

Air Namibia started commercial services with its first Airbus aircraft in 2006 with an A340-300. The airline currently operates four A319s on regional routes, as well as two A340-300s on its flagship service from Windhoek to Frankfurt.
Copyright Photo: Airbus/P. Masclet. The pictured A330-243 V5-ANO (msn 1451) was handed over to the national carrier on September 26.
Air Namibia: AG Slide Show
Video:

VietJetAir signs MOU for 42 Airbus A320neo, 14 A320ceo and six A321ceo aircraft

VietJetAir (Ho Chi Minh City) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for up to 92 A320 Family aircraft and will lease eight more from third party lessors. The agreement signed with Airbus covers for 42 A320neo, 14 A320ceo and six A321ceo, plus 30 purchase rights for the A320 Family.

VietJetAir is an existing A320 operator, with eight leased aircraft already in service. The carrier took delivery this week of its ninth A320, delivered new from Airbus via the US leasing company AWAS.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly with Olympic Air, Airbus A320-214 SX-OAU (msn 4193) became VN-A699 with VietJetAir.

VietJetAir: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The first Airbus A320 with Sharklets, the pictured A320-214 F-WWDR (msn 5742), was just handed over to the carrier as VN-A682 on September 26, 2013.

VietJetAir.com A320-200 WL F-WWDR (VN-A682)(11) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Alitalia’s Airbus A320-200 EI-EIB makes an emergency landing in Rome

Alitalia (2nd) A320-200 EI-EIB (06)(Ldg) GLA (FS)(LRW)

Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) Airbus A320-216 EI-EIB (msn 4249) while being operated on operating flight AZ 63 from Madrid to Rome (Fiumicino), the crew was forced to make an emergency landing at FCO late last night (September 29) after the right main gear failed to deploy. The 151 passengers and crew members safely evacuated the aircraft using the emergency chutes with no injuries.

Alitalia issued this statement (translated from Italian):

Rome, September 29, 2013:
This evening at 21:04, flight AZ 063, coming from Madrid, made an emergency landing in Fiumicino Airport due to failure in the right main landing gear.
No injuries also thanks to the skill of the commander of the flight, with over 15,000 flight hours in the Alitalia Group and previously as a military pilot.
The plane is an Airbus A320, constructed in June 2010.
Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Fred Seggie. EI-EIB arrives at Glasgow prior to the accident.
Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on Friday (September 27) quietly took delivery of its first new Boeing 737-900 ER. The aircraft, the pictured 737-932 ER N801DZ (msn 31912) (fleet number 3801) with Blended Winglets, arrived at the Atlanta base yesterday morning (September 28).

On August 25, 2011, Delta announced it had ordered 100 Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet.

According to Delta, “the order will enable Delta to add 100 fuel-efficient, state-of-the-art 180-seat aircraft to its fleet, replacing on a capacity-neutral basis older technology aircraft that will be retired from the fleet.  The new aircraft will improve the company’s profitability while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.  With a range of 3,200 nautical miles, the Boeing 737-900ER can operate on any domestic route offered by Delta.”

As previously reported, Delta will take delivery of 12 737-900 ER aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and the remaining 12 aircraft in 2018. Each aircraft has committed long-term financing.

As a result of maintenance efficiencies and a 15 to 20 percent improvement in fuel consumption per seat, the Boeing 737-900 ER will have lower unit costs than the older technology Boeing 757 and 767 and Airbus A320 aircraft that it will replace.  The aircraft will be equipped with CFM56-7B engines produced by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Company of the U.S. and Snecma of France.

The 737-900 ER will be Delta’s first aircraft to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” which offers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.

Update: On Monday, September 30, 2013 Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Delta Air Lines celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range). The delivery is part of Delta’s 100-airplane order placed in 2011 to renew its single-aisle fleet with more fuel-efficient airplanes.

The Boeing 737-900 ER is the newest member of the Next-Generation 737 airplane family. It has the highest capacity and lowest seat-mile cost of Boeing’s single-aisle family. The 737-900 ER will fit seamlessly into Delta’s existing fleet of 737-700 and 737-800 airplanes, allowing Delta to efficiently match capacity to market demand with industry leading economics.

Delta’s new 737-900E R seats 180 passengers and features the new Boeing Sky Interior. This interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers. It introduces new LED lighting and curved architecture that welcomes passengers onboard and creates a greater sense of spaciousness and comfort in the cabin. The interior also features modern, sculpted sidewalls and overhead bins that disappear into the ceiling, yet carry more bags.

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER N801DZ (msn 31912) lands at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle after a test flight.

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Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of N801DZ at Boeing Field.

Air New Zealand to operate a demonstration flight to McMurdo Station, Antarctica on October 5

Air New Zealand (Auckland) is planning to operate a demonstration flight to the Pegasus ice runway near the McMurdo Station in Antarctica on October 5 per Wired Magazine. ANZ will operate a Boeing 767-300 to the ice runway. Currently the United States Air Force (using C-17S) and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (using a Boeing 757) operate regular flights to the station, mainly during the Southern Hemisphere summer. If feasible, the airline will operate charter flights to the southern continent.

Air New Zealand has a long history with Antarctica.  In the 1970s the company operated sightseeing charter flights to the continent the overflew the rugged terrain. Tragically on November 29, 1979 while operating flight NZ 901, DC-10-30 ZK-NZP (msn 46910) with 257 passengers and crew members on board crashed into Mount Erebus killing all on board.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile on the livery front, following the announcement on June 12, 2013, Air New Zealand, in cooperation with the national tourism agency, Tourism New Zealand, is going to the pictured “New Zealand Fern Mark” as the airline’s official color scheme to also promote tourism to the nation.

As previously reported, there will be two livery versions. The first features a white fuselage with a black strip running diagonally on the rear fuselage from the tail, adorned with the iconic koru logo in white. The black and white “New Zealand Fern Mark” is vividly displayed on the fuselage. This livery will be used on most of the fleet. A few aircraft will be painted in a distinctive all black livery with the fern mark in silver. The first to display the new look, the pictured Airbus A320-232 ZK-OXB (msn 5682), was rolled out of the paint shop on September 24, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. ZK-OXB is captured beautifully on the taxiway at the Auckland hub.

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Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A319 is painted for Air Serbia at Dublin

Air Serbia (Belgrade) will soon take delivery of the first of ten Airbus A319s as the airline reorganizes under the leadership of new partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The pictured A319-131 EI-EYA is seen at Dublin after emerging from the paint shop and undergoing engine runs on September 27, 2013. EI-EYA is the former VT-KFH of Kingfisher Airlines. Jat Airways (Belgrade) is expected to be replaced by the new Air Serbia on October 27, 2013. EI-EYA will become YU-APC on delivery. Three A319s will initially be delivered with two leased from Etihad Airways.

Air Serbia is the legal successor of Jat Airways (Belgrade) and will receive its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) although it is expected to retain the JU/JAT codes of Jat Airways.

All 10 A319s are expected to be in service by March 2014.

Etihad will control 49 percent of the stock of the new company.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. The new airline also introduces this new livery.

Jat Airways: AG Slide Show

WSJ: Sale of Frontier Airlines by Republic Airways Holdings to Indigo Partners stalls

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) may not be sold by its owner Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) to Indigo Partners LLC as planned. According to the Wall Street Journal, negotiations between Republic and Indigo have stalled. Part of the problem is a complex dispute over which union represents Frontier’s pilots and whether the agreement that promised the equity stakes in Frontier is valid according to the WSJ report. September 30 is the end of the elusive period for Indigo unless it is extended again by Republic.

Indigo Partners (Phoenix) is a private equity firm established and headed by former America West Airlines CEO Bill Franke and is currently divesting itself of its common stock ownership in Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood). Besides Spirit, Indigo has been involved in AviaNova, Mandala Airlines, Tiger Airways and Wizz Air.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing the new titles, Frontier’s Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets and a Tiger Shark on the tail slowly taxies into the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Norwegian wants Boeing to repair a defective 787

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is demanding repairs from Boeing on a newly delivered Boeing 787-8 after the 787 suffered repeated maintenance breakdowns according to this report by Reuters.

Norwegian Long Haul will again lease an Airbus A340 from Hifly to maintain its schedules and will not take re-delivery of the 787 until it is more reliable according to the report.

Meanwhile Boeing is stationing a 787 repair crew in Stockholm, Sweden to handle any maintenance issues. The broken 787 is still located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

For the 787 to be a successful airliner, it must be reliable. Right now that is in question. For small, but fast-growing carriers like Norwegian, reliability is paramount as it does not have the luxury of a spare aircraft when one breaks, in this case often.

Read the analysis of the problem by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian is again leasing an Airbus A340 from Hifly to fill the gap while the 787 is repaired. On the first round when the 787 delivery was delayed, the pictured Hifly A340-313X CS-TQY (msn 190) wore a red norwegian.com banner on the lower fuselage.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

PSA Airlines’ pilots ratify a new contract, airline to receive 30 large regional jets

PSA Airlines’ (2nd) (US Airways Express) (Dayton) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have ratified tentative agreements reached with the managements of PSA Airlines and its parent company, US Airways Group Inc. (Phoenix), that guarantee the placement of 30 large regional jets at PSA. With 85.99 percent of eligible pilots casting their ballots, 61 percent voted in favor of the agreements.

The agreements are contingent on the merger of US Airways Group and AMR Corporation by December 31, 2015.

The agreements include a commitment by US Airways Group to place a minimum of 30 large regional jets on the PSA operating certificate. PSA pilots will also be granted seniority-based interviews and guaranteed additional job offers at US Airways. In exchange, PSA pilots agreed to pay adjustments, changes to medical premiums, and an extension of their contract to 2023. Coming six months to the day after the pilots ratified a new contract, the agreements also provide PSA pilots with greater job security at PSA, furlough protections, and opportunities for first officers to upgrade to captain positions more quickly.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/Airlinersgallery.com. PSA currently operates 35 smaller Bombardier CRJ200s and 14 of the pictured CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10). N702PS (msn 10135) departs from the Charlotte hub.

US Airways Express-PSA Airlines: AG Slide Show

The DOJ objects to handing over its merger analysis documents to American Airlines-US Airways

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (Washington) has asked the special master handling discovery disputes to limit the number of documents it must turn over to American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix). The DOJ is suing both carriers to block their effort to merge. All parties are currently in the discovery phase. According to this report by Reuters, the DOJ objects to the airlines’ request to turn over all confidential internal documents relating to all previous airline merger requests in the past 10 years.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/Airlinersgallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N804NN (msn 29567) lands at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, across the Potomac River from the contentious and gridlocked District of Columbia.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

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