flyVista ends operations

flyVista large logo

flyVista (Tbilisi), the airline division of Vista Georgia, has ended scheduled passenger operations according to ATW. Their website has gone dark.

The airline was hurt by the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 and the on-going conflict in the eastern part of the Ukraine.

Aerovista logo

flyVista was partnering with Aerovista (Dubai), an aircraft leasing, trading and management company, which provided the two Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Aerovista has decided to operate the aircraft elsewhere.

Read the full account from The Rakayat Post: CLICK HERE

The Georgian airline began operations on August 5, 2014.

flyVista Team

Above photo: flyVista.


Bottom Copyright Photo. Bernhard Ross/ The pictured Boeing 737-33R 4L-AJC (msn 28873) at Frankfurt was leased from Aerovista.

Virgin Atlantic plans to operate the last Boeing 747 flight from Heathrow in April 2016

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) has tentatively scheduled the last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight for Heathrow Airport with an arrival on April 18, 2016 in London. According to Airline Route, the last planned flight is currently flight VS 006 departing Miami at 9:50 pm (2150) on April 17, 2016 and arriving the next day (April 18) at London (Heathrow) at 11:30 am (1130).

Virgin Atlantic has operated the Boeing Jumbo since its inception on June 22, 1984. The pictured ex-Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 747-287B G-VIRG (msn 21189) (above), named “Maiden Voyager”, operated the first Virgin Atlantic flight between London (Gatwick) and Newark.

Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/ Boeing 747-287B G-VIRG (msn 21189) holds short of the runway, ready for departure from Gatwick Airport. Click on the photo for the large view (note the humorous painted-on painter falling off the tail and dropping red paint on the fuselage).

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/ Virgin Atlantic added the first Boeing 747-400 on April 28, 1994 with the arrival of Boeing 747-4Q8 G-VFAB (msn 24958) “Lady Penelope”. Sister ship Boeing 747-4Q89 G-VBIG (msn 26255) arrives at London (Heathrow).

AG Ad - Captain's Log 5.2015 (LRW)

KLM to introduce the Boeing 787-9 on October 25

KLM logo

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) has updated its planned Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner routes according to Airline Route. The airline is now planning to introduce the new type on the Amsterdam – Abu Dhabi – Bahrain route on October 25. This will be followed by Amsterdam – Cairo on November 30, Amsterdam – Quito -Guayaquil on December 2, Amsterdam – Xiamen on December 3, Amsterdam – Fukuoka on February 28, 2016, Amsterdam – Rio de Janeiro on March 1, 2016 and finally Amsterdam – Chengdu on March 27, 2016.

Images: KLM.

KLM aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

KLM 787-9 (14)(Flt)(KLM)(LRW)


Airlines for America predicts the busiest summer season ever

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Airlines for America (Washington), a trade group representing the United States airlines, forecasts the busiest summer season ever. The group estimates 222 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines from June 1 through August 31, up 4.5 percent from the same season a year ago.

U.S. airlines, according to the report, are collectively increasing the number of seats by 4.6 percent to meet the forecast demand.

Here is the report:

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, forecast that summer 2015 air travel would rise to its highest level ever while reporting that U.S. passenger airlines achieved strong operational performance and improved profitability in the first quarter despite another harsh winter.

“The continued rise in U.S. consumer sentiment and employment is leading to more people traveling more often, and air travel remains one of the best consumer bargains in America”

A4A projects approximately 222 million passengers (2.4 million per day) are expected to fly on U.S. airlines from June 1 – Aug. 31, up 4.5 percent (104,000 passengers per day) from 2014. This includes 31 million travelers (332,000 per day) on international flights – a record high. To accommodate the expected growth in demand, airlines are increasing the number of available seats by 4.6 percent, or 126,000 per day, during this period.

Published airline schedules show Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, respectively, as the top five nonstop international destinations from the United States. Year over year, airlines are adding the most seats to the marketplace for flights between the United States and Mexico, the United Kingdom and China.

“The continued rise in U.S. consumer sentiment and employment is leading to more people traveling more often, and air travel remains one of the best consumer bargains in America,” said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. “With 13 of the 15 busiest air travel days of the year falling in the summer months, U.S. airlines are well-prepared to accommodate the increased travel demand by adding flights and seats, and deploying new and larger aircraft, along with a boost in staffing to enhance the customer experience.”

Improving Finances Benefiting Customers, Employees, Investors and the Overall U.S. Economy

During the first quarter of 2015, 10 publicly traded U.S. passenger carriers collectively reported a Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) net profit of $3.1 billion, or 8.4 percent, which improved from 1.1 percent during the same period in 2014. Operating revenues rose 3.1 percent year over year, due in large part to a 3.9 percent increase in the number of air travelers, which is the equivalent to an additional 72,400 passengers per day. Wages and benefits rose 10.5 percent, overtaking fuel for the top spot among industry operating expenses. While the 8.4 percent margin is an improvement over last year, it leaves the industry shy of the U.S. corporate average of 9.8 percent, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500.

Heimlich noted that February 2015 was the 15th consecutive month of employment gains at U.S. airlines, having added nearly 9,500 jobs over the past five years.

Despite entering 2015 with approximately $66 billion of debt and coping with another harsh winter, meaningful financial progress enabled carriers to continue significant levels of reinvestment to further enhance operational reliability and the customer experience. First-quarter capital expenditures for the nation’s airlines totaled $3.6 billion, on track to exceed $14 billion for the full year. Collectively, these 10 airlines are slated to take delivery of 367 new aircraft in 2015, or the equivalent of roughly one per day.

“Healthy air-travel demand and lower, yet still volatile, fuel prices are helping U.S. airlines close the gap to average U.S. corporate profitability,” said Heimlich. “In the first quarter, airlines invested more than $20 per passenger in capital improvements, taking care of employees, continuing to pay down debt and returning cash to shareholders.”

1Q 2015 Financial Summary

Net profit: The $3.1 billion profit and 8.4 percent net margin reflect the results of 10 U.S. passenger airlines – Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin America.
Operating Revenues and Expenses: Revenues increased 3.1 percent year over year and total operating expenses declined 6.7 percent, due in large part to lower fuel costs. Total fuel expenses for the group fell 32.9 percent. The decline in fuel costs exceeded increases in labor, airport-related and aircraft costs.

Capital Expenditures (CapEx): U.S. airlines reinvested $3.6 billion in the product and customer experience during the first quarter. Airline CapEx rose 170 percent from 2010 to 2014; more than $14 billion of reinvestment is expected in 2015.
1Q 2015 Operational Performance

Customer Service: U.S. passenger airlines’ operational performance improved markedly year over year as airlines invested in systems, procedures and staffing operations to cope with the winter weather. According to the Department of Transportation, first quarter 2014 to first quarter 2015, U.S. carriers improved the rate of completed flights from 95.4 percent to 96.9 percent. On-time arrival rate increased from 72.2 percent to 76.3 percent, and the share of passengers having their bags properly handled rose from 99.56 percent to 99.61 percent. The rate of involuntary denied boardings fell from an already low 1.37 per 10,000 customers to 0.85 per 10,000.

Meanwhile the group previously forecast spring travel to rise to the highest level in seven years:

Airlines for America Spring 2015 Travel


Volare Air Group announces a new subsidiary, Grace Airways, also wants to revive the Northeast Airlines name

Volare Air Group logo-1

Volare Air Group (Chicago) owns the Northeast Airlines name, logo and trademark. The travel company has proposed a new airline division named Grace Airways and has issued this statement:

The Volare Air Group, the parent company for Northeast Airlines, is pleased to announce the launch of their new subsidiary Grace Airways, and is scheduled to be operationally performing by later this year into select Caribbean, European, and Asian markets. This venue has been in development for some time now, stemming over 2 years in collaboration, and will emulate the legacy quality of services once enjoyed by the iconic Pan Am brand.

Grace Airways logo

“In a literal sense, this brand has been devised to deliver a millennial adaptation of true quality Pan Am style, but geared for the economies of scale in today’s flying market place”.

Additionally, Volare will be releasing news of some key industry personnel that have been chosen, to lead their family of brands into service in upcoming announcements. One such appointment is pending an official acceptance by a chosen former female CEO of proven success, and brings ambitious quality to the current executive team.

Grace Airways will primarily serve international destinations, and is currently slated to launch an operational hub from Birmingham’s Shuttlesworth International Airport, which will focus on various key aspects for the subsidiary in terms of both maintenance, and operational support as the brand prepares to come online in the near future months. Final negotiations are currently being ratified to secure operational readiness from the former Pemco maintenance facility that is currently unused, and has been extended to Volare in previous discussions for future reuse by the airline.

Grace’s primary business model will focus of a key mix of quality upper end service to most of its destinations, but will extend its product on a more economical price class, without the final markups on inclusive fares. Many European carriers now offer higher end services to their flying public, but are more exclusively geared at fares structured on economy class rates, and that is a distinct gap that is currently felt in many U.S. markets today.

Northeast (2nd) 737-800 (Flt)(Northeast)(LR)

Image above: Volare Air Group.

More on the Northeast Airlines (2nd) brand proposal:

The home of the yellowtails returns soon offering a new service class operated as Yellowliners, to various destionations throughout the Atlantic states, & the warm and sunny coastal areas of central and southern Florida, the Caribbean, and a new intratstate system operated within Florida and select southeastern locations with the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. Stay tuned for updates and further details issued by Volare.

More on the Volare Air Group, Inc.:

The Volare Air Group is a privately held Indiana corporation, and the parent of Northeast Airlines, Inc., Northeast Jetlines, Grace Airways and Yellow Freight Systems, both being subsidiaries of Northeast Airlines, and Volare Air Tours, a division of the Volare Air Group, and serves as a travel arm in association with Global Travel International. Volare Air Tours currently maintains alliances with most major cruise lines throughout the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, Volare Air Tours is also partnered to sell and arrange ticketing for many airlines worldwide, through its partnered agreement in association with a dynamic European operator. Volare is an accredited member of the Cruise Line International Association, ARC, and IATA.


Air Canada rouge arrives in Venice

Air Canada Rouge logo

Air Canada rouge (Toronto) touched down at Venice Marco Polo Airport on May 15, marking the start of new nonstop seasonal service from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Service between Montreal and Venice will be operated by Air Canada rouge twice weekly through October 11, 2015 with a 280-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.

Air Canada rouge now serves Venice from both Montreal and Toronto during summer 2015 and offers the most seats of any airline between Canada and Venice during the peak summer season this year.

In other news, parent Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Express also inaugurated new services between Vancouver-Osaka, Vancouver-Comox, Calgary-Nanaimo and Calgary-Halifax.

Up to five times weekly Vancouver-Osaka flights are operated by Air Canada rouge this summer with 280-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins. Up to ten weekly, seasonal Halifax-Calgary flights are operated by Air Canada rouge with 136-seat Airbus A319 offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.

Daily Nanaimo-Calgary and twice daily Comox-Vancouver flights are operated by Jazz Aviation LP under the Air Canada Express brand with 74-seat Bombardier Q400 and 50-seat Bombardier DHC-8-300 aircraft respectively.

Upcoming new routes which will be launching by this summer’s peak include: Toronto-Amsterdam, Toronto-Austin, Toronto-Atlantic City, Toronto-Abbotsford, Montreal-Mexico City and Calgary-Terrace.

Copyright Photo below: TMK Photography/ Boeing 767-333 ER C-FMXC (msn 25588) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Air Canada rouge aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show


Southwest Airlines to grow the Boeing 737-800 fleet to 135 aircraft

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Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has decided to grow the Boeing 737-800 fleet to 135 aircraft by the end of 2016. The airline announced it was converting all 31 pending Boeing 737-700s orders for 2016 to the larger version according to The Seattle Times and Bloomberg News quoting a company statement. The airline will decide later on its pending 2017 and 2018 Boeing 737 orders.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo below: Tony Storck/ Boeing 737-8H4 N8642E (msn 42525) named “Heart One” was the first -800 painted in the new 2014 livery.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

AG Ad - Captain's Log 5.2015 (LRW)