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Alaska Airlines continues its Portland, Oregon expansion with a new route to DFW

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) inaugurated nonstop service between Portland, Oregon, and Dallas/Fort Worth starting today.

Portland-Dallas/Fort Worth is the eighth new route Alaska has added from PDX and it will help connect with its partner American Airlines’ hub in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Summary of new service:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Sept. 16 Portland-Dallas 10:15 a.m. 4:04 p.m. Daily
Sept. 16 Dallas-Portland 5 p.m. 6:59 p.m. Daily

All times based on local time zones.

Alaska Airlines has inaugurated service from Portland to seven other destinations since June 2012, including Atlanta, Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Fairbanks, Alaska, Bozeman, Montana, Pasco, Washington, and Santa Barbara, California.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines is gradually replacing its aging Boeing 737-400 fleet. 737-490 N794AS (msn 28889) climbs away from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Qatar Airways to join Oneworld on October 30

Qatar Airways (Doha) will become a full member of oneworld® on October 30, 2013, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s leading quality airline alliance, according to the airline and the alliance.

One of just seven carriers worldwide rated five-star by the Skytrax airline quality agency and the organization’s Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012 and runner-up 2013, Qatar Airways is the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances.

Qatar Airways received clearance to board oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness, conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring Qatar Airways’ entry into the alliance, with oneworld’s central team.

Qatar Airways completes its oneworld implementation program just one year after receiving its invitation to join, announced at a press conference in the alliance’s New York home in October 2012.  This will make its induction into oneworld one of the fastest in the alliance’s history.  Normally it takes around 18 months for any airline to be readied to enter any alliance.

Qatar Airways’ addition to oneworld will come shortly before the airline moves into its new home base, Hamad International Airport, which has been designed to strengthen Doha’s position as a premium global hub, with an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers a year.

From its first flights on October 30, Qatar Airways will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.

Also from October 30, the 130 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programs will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance. When it becomes part of oneworld, Qatar Airways’ network – serving 130 destinations in 70 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia – will be covered by the full and extensive range of oneworld fare and sales products.

More than 20 of its destinations and five countries – Ethiopia, Iran, Rwanda, Serbia and Tanzania – will be new to the oneworld map. More significantly, Qatar Airways will substantially strengthen the alliance’s customer offering by providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. For example, passengers flying between Asia and Southern Europe or between Asia and Africa will now have convenient one-stop connections not previously available within the oneworld network.

Its implementation, making oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East region, comes as the group undergoes the biggest expansion in its history with:
• 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 switch in the second quarter of next year to oneworld from the Star Alliance by TAM, the leading airline in Latin America’s leading economy, Brazil, along with its Paraguayan affiliate, following the addition to oneworld on 1 October 2013 of the newest member of the LAN group, LAN Colombia, solidifying oneworld’s position as the leading alliance in Latin America.
• 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.

In addition, US Airways proposes to switch from Star to oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, subject to necessary approvals.

With Qatar Airways 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 almost 3,500 aircraft.
• Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said:  “In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do.  We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be joining any of the global airline alliances.  We are proud to entering the best of them, in oneworld – and to be doing so in record quick time.  We very much look forward to flying alongside some of the best airlines in the world from 30 October, bringing the heightened benefits offered by oneworld to our customers.”

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Qatar Airways). Airbus A321-231 A7-ADX (msn 3397) climbs away from the runway at the old Doha International Airport. The new replacement Hamad International Airport has been built on reclaimed land adjacent to the old airport.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways to fly from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Port of Spain, Trinidad

JetBlue Airways (New YorK) today announced the intent to begin service to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (POS) with once daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Service is set to begin on May 1, 2014. The airline will also begin once-daily nonstop service to POS from New York’s JFK International Airport starting on February 24, 2014. These flights are subject to receipt of government operating authority.

Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue’s route network. In the Caribbean, JetBlue is the largest carrier in terms of capacity in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, offering more flights than any other carrier. JetBlue serves 27 Latin American and Caribbean destinations, including: Aruba; The Bahamas (Nassau); Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman); Colombia (Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena); Costa Rica (Liberia and San Jose); Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santiago and Santo Domingo); Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay); Mexico (Cancun); Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan); St. Croix; Saint Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Thomas; and, Turks and Caicos (Providenciales). The airline will also begin service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this winter, subject to receipt of government approval.

JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale and Port of Spain:

FLL to POS: POS to FLL:
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
7:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. – 3:54 p.m.
- First flight operates daily beginning May 1 , 2014 (a) — All times local -

JetBlue’s flights from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and JFK to Port of Spain will be operated with its Airbus A320 fleet with seating for 150.

In addition, JetBlue will also launch twice-daily nonstop service between Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), convenient to both Georgia and South Carolina, and New York (JFK) on February 13, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N585JB (msn 2159) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Joel Chusid’s Airline Corner – September 2013

 

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Animal Sightings

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Airplanes and wild animals don’t mix well, no matter what size. From the tiny critter side, airline travelers flying out of Kansas City Airport one Saturday a few weeks ago can attribute spiders to their tardy departures. Three employees in the Olathe, Kansas air traffic center were bitten by baby spiders which spewed forth from a hatched nest; causing a brief evacuation of the area to a safer part of the building.  While the delays were minimal, passengers were three hours late on US Airways Express flight 2690 from Charlotte to Indianapolis last July when bees swarmed a tug that was needed to push the airplane away from the gate. A beekeeper had to be called to remove the little buzzers. A slightly larger animal sighting took place on American Airlines when fellow crew members claimed to have seen a flight attendant feeding a rat in flight.  They report she had the animal, supposedly a pet, hidden in her underwear. The story is bizarre, indeed, and there are no photos, but the flight attendant felt harassed by the airline and it’s gone to court. Lion Air flight 892, a Boeing 737-900 flying from Ujung Padang to Garontalo, Indonesia with 117 people encountered a much larger animal, three of them in fact. The landing plane struck one of the cows after it touched down, causing it to skid off the runway. Luckily there were no serious injuries, but the airplane, well, it’s sort of equivalent to your car running into a deer on the highway. Not pretty.

Hard Times in Venice

About 140 people got to spend the night on the floor in Venice’s Marco Polo Airport after the cabin crew on their British Airways flight to London Gatwick “ran out of time”. Such incidents can happen when a flight is delayed, in this case a mechanical reason which delayed the inbound flight, and the crew has duty time limits that cannot be exceeded for safety reasons.  What was unusual here is that the pilots did not exceed their time, so they were able to fly the airplane back to Gatwick empty. The passengers were locked up in the terminal without their baggage or food for the night as the airline claimed there were no available hotel rooms in Venice, although comments from online readers dispute that. If it was any consolation, the cabin crew was also relegated to the floor.

Captains Going Above and Beyond

On a brighter note, two recent stories surfaced that show that airline captains really do more than just fly the plane.  On Easyjet flight 8365 from London Gatwick to Bari, Italy, the captain had to negotiate with passengers to get four of them to give up their seats as the plane was too heavy for takeoff.  Now, this is not that unusual, although it is the ground crew’s responsibility to solicit volunteers. From my own experience, there are usually willing volunteers and in this case, it was a €400 compensation payment per volunteer plus a hotel. The flight endured a fifty minute delay, but once the captain threatened to remove the last four people who checked in, four volunteers came forth. But it was the captain on an El Al flight departing from Tel Aviv for New York who wins the compassion award this time.  On August 8, 36 excited children, including 11-year old Inbar Chomsky, boarded the flight headed for summer camp, having checked in and gone through all the formalities including medical exams. This was no ordinary summer camp, but a non-profit special program designed for children with cancer and other hematologic illnesses.  After the children were seated, an adult collected passports, which is not unusual for a group of minors traveling internationally, but the young girl’s passport was missing. A frantic search of the aircraft ensued, and with passengers getting restless and annoyed, the girl was told she would have to deplane and her mother would have to come pick her up and take her home. The devastated child got off, and the plane taxied to the runway for takeoff.  Suddenly her passport was discovered in another child’s backpack. The crew was alerted, but it’s extremely rare for planes, let alone one assigned to an international route, to return to the gate after departure. The captain altered and negotiated with the control tower, airline and ground crew for thirty minutes, and finally it was allowed to return to the gate to pick up the distressed child. This is one time where compassion trumped schedule.

Sorry, No Change

On most flights nowadays, flight attendants can only accept debit or credit cards for food or duty free purchases.  Irish low cost carrier Ryanair apparently still accepts cash.  The ultra-low cost carrier recently took some flak in the media recently when a training document was made public that instructed cabin crews to avoid giving passengers change from their purchases. The document encouraged flight attendants to “boost passenger spending” by saying they had no change and suggesting customers buy something else from the cart, including scratch cards. When the news hit, Ryanair claimed the training document had been subsequently amended, and that it was an instruction that had been developed by a third party. Ryanair has a reputation for squeezing out ancillary revenue in a variety of creative ways, with one of the most recent announcements being it would offer advertising space on the nose, winglet and fuselage of its 303 airplanes to companies for a fraction of the cost of a newspaper ad.

 

 

Thai inspects the landing gear of its Airbus A330-300 fleet

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) has inspected its Airbus A330-300 fleet for possible issues involving the landing gear. According to the Bangkok Post, the airline had previously encountered problems with the Airbus A330-300 landing gear prior to the accident a week ago (September 8) involving HS-TEF. The nose wheel collapsed on landing at Bangkok and the aircraft veered off the runway.

According to Thai and this report, the accident involving HS-TEF, was due to “defective bogie beam on the aircraft’s landing gear.”

Read the full report from the Bangkok Post: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Thai has removed its name and logo from the damaged HS-TEF.

Read the full report from The Guardian: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-321 HS-TEF (msn 066) approaches the Bangkok hub prior to landing accident.

Thai: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot is set become a Boeing 737 operator once again

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) is on the verge this month of taking delivery of its first new Boeing 737-800. This will be the return of the Boeing 737 type to the Aeroflot fleet. The Russian carrier operated the 737-400 in 1998. Aeroflot will join a growing list of airlines operating both the Airbus A320 Family of aircraft and the Boeing 737 Next Generation Family of aircraft.

Aeroflot intends to eventually operate 65 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft through Russian Technologies including 25 Boeing 737-800s with Winglets as well as the 737-700 and 737-900 ER.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8LJ VP-BRF (msn 41195) at Boeing Field in Seattle will be the first and is named S. Obraztsov.

Aeroflot: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

Avianca Colombia cancels 160 domestic flights due to a pilot pay dispute

Avianca (Colombia) ATR 72-600 F-WWEE (HK-4954)(13)(Ldg) TLS (ALC)(LRW)_edited-1

Avianca Colombia (Bogota) has cancelled 160 domestic flight through next Wednesday because its pilots are refusing to work overtime due to a pay dispute according to Reuters.

Avianca’s 1,000 pilots are demanding a 15 percent pay increase from the company. Avianca Colombia is a part of Avianca Holdings. TACA’s pilots and other pilots under the Avianca brand are not involved in the dispute.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Aldo Ciarini. Avianca added its first ATR 72 on July 3, 2013 when the pictured ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) F-WWEE was handed over as HK-4954 (msn 1092). The new type is pictured landing at Toulouse before the delivery.

Avianca (Colombia): AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is close to announcing a new order with both Airbus and Boeing

Lufthansa logo-1

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) according to this report by Reuters, is close to announcing a new order for the proposed 406-seat Boeing 777-9X, which Boeing intends to formally launch this year. Lufthansa would be a launch customer like it was with the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental.

The 777-9X will have new engines and wings and is expected to start flying passengers around the end of this decade.

Lufthansa, which is already a large Airbus operator, is also expected to order between 20 and 25 of the new 314-seat Airbus A350-900. The A350 will enter service in the second half of 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air Transat to seasonally lease Boeing 737-800s from Transavia France

Air Transat logo-1

Transat A.T. Inc. (Air Transat) (Montreal) has announced the signing of an agreement for the seasonal leasing of Boeing 737-800 narrow-body aircraft that will be supplied in winter by Transavia France, the Air France/KLM Group’s French leisure airline. The five-year pact is for four planes for the winter of 2015, five for 2016, six for 2017, seven for 2018 and eight for 2019. The aircraft, which will be operated by Air Transat.

This agreement follows from Transat’s already expressed decision to internalize narrow-body medium-haul operations, for which it has relied on a third-party partner since 2003, and to adopt a so-called “accordion fleet” strategy, which enables it to adjust the number of aircraft to the seasonal needs of the tourism market. On July 24, Transat announced an agreement with the U.S.-based International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for the long-term leasing of four Boeing 737-800s, which will become the core of Air Transat’s permanent narrow-body fleet.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

Delta introduces the “Smart Travel Pack” for an extra $199

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is one of the U.S. airlines leading the stampede to find new revenue sources to “enhance the travel experience”.

According to the airline, Delta will begin offering a new travel option for SkyMiles customers which provides access to some of the airline’s most popular enhanced travel extras such as checked bags, priority boarding and seat selection for $199. The new package, called Smart Travel Pack, introduces a practical and affordable way for customers to add a suite of extra services and additional comfort for their upcoming business or personal travel.

An eligible SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack will receive:

  • Free first checked bag for each passenger traveling in the same reservation
  • Priority Boarding to give the entire party more time to get onboard and get settled in their seats with carry-on baggage stowed
  • Access to Preferred Seats to allow selection of bulkhead or exit row seats or access aisle or window seat toward the front of the plane at no additional charge
  • Discounted Economy Comfort which gives customers the option to upgrade to Economy Comfort for 50 percent less on domestic flights and 25 percent less on international flights
  • 20 percent more bonus miles for the SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack to get them to their next Award Ticket faster

Package features are valid for the SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack during the promotion period and up to eight friends or family members traveling with them with the exception of bonus miles which are only awarded to the primary purchaser’s SkyMiles account.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Former TWA/American Airlines Boeing 757-231 N709TW (msn 28479) in the SkyTeam alliance color scheme, taxies at Shannon.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

 

Mesa extends its contract with United Airlines to 2019 to operate 20 Bombardier CRJ700s, will also add 30 Embraer 175 aircraft

Mesa Air Group, Inc. (Mesa Airlines) (Phoenix) has announced a new agreement with United Airlines (Chicago) that extends the term of its existing fleet of 20 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet aircraft to 2019 and adds 30 new United owned Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) aircraft under the United Express contract.

Under the terms of this agreement Mesa will place the new Embraer 175 jets into service over the next two years. Mesa will hire approximately 350 pilots, 300 flight attendants, and 200 maintenance and other support personnel to support the additional aircraft.

“This is truly a great day for Mesa. We will continue to work hard to provide the best possible service to United’s customers,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa’s Chairman and CEO. “Mesa began operating under the United Express banner in 1992, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to expand our longstanding partnership. Our first codeshare agreement with United transformed our company, and I am sure this one will do the same. We are also very pleased to rejoin the Embraer family of operators and look forward to working with our many friends there as well.”

Paul Foley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said, “It has always been our goal to exceed the expectations of both our partners and customers. We believe this contract is evidence that our operational performance and industry leading cost structure have begun to pay big dividends for the company and our people. Based on data from the Department of Transportation, Mesa has been the number one performing regional airline for each of the last three years. We’d like to thank all of our people who have contributed to our success and enabled us to compete successfully for this new business.”

Mesa Airlines currently operates over 425 daily system departures to 82 cities, 32 states, Mexico and the District of Columbia, as United Express and US Airways Express under contractual agreements with United Airlines and US Airways, respectively, and independently in Hawaii as go! The airline, founded by Larry and Janie Risley in New Mexico in 1982, has approximately 2,000 employees.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Mesa Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N515MJ (msn 10117) arrives at the Washington (Dulles) hub.

United Express-Mesa Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bankruptcy court approves the American-US Airways merger pending government approval

AMR Corporation (American Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has secured an approval from U.S. bankruptcy judge Sean Lane yesterday for its merger with US Airways. However the merger requires a resolution with the Department of Justice which is going to court to block the proposed merger with the US Airways Group.

The judge also denied a clause that would pay outgoing CEO Tom Horton $19.9 million in severance pay.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N970AN (msn 30096) completes its final approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Georgian and Regional 1 Airlines sign MOU to merge

Air Georgian Limited (AGL) (Air Canada Express) (Toronto-Pearson) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Regional 1 Airlines (R1) (Calgary), a subsidiary of Avmax Group Inc., a fully integrated aviation company with operations in Canada, United States, Africa and Afghanistan. Regional 1 Airlines and Air Georgian Limited will merge operations under one management team through the creation of a parent holding company.

Air Georgian will continue to focus primarily on its CPA relationship with Air Canada (Montreal). Air Georgian currently operates Beechcraft (Raytheon) 1900D aircraft under the brand name of Air Canada Express. R1 will focus on expanding its domestic presence, specializing in serving the natural resource sector. R1 will further expand upon its existing international operations, specializing in ACMI contracts in remote regions, as well as continuing to support the United Nations World Food Program and other peacekeeping and humanitarian programs.

This strategic merger will allow the new combined entity to position itself as a unique, fully integrated airline leveraging the technical, geographical and asset strengths of Avmax and the professional management and strong operational background of Air Georgian. Air Georgian and Regional 1 Airlines will benefit from having access to the world’s largest private fleet of Dash 8 and CRJ series aircraft, over $100 million in spare parts and domestic maintenance bases in Halifax, Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. International operations will be supported through Avmax maintenance bases in Great Falls, Montana, Jacksonville, Florida, Nairobi, Kenya and N’djamena, Chad in Africa.

Eric Edmondson will assume the President and CEO role at the newly formed parent company, as well as the role of President at both Air Georgian and Regional 1 Airlines. Daniel Revell will continue to be the CEO of Air Georgian and John Binder will continue in his role as CEO of Regional 1 Airlines. Scott Monsen will become the CFO & VP Finance at the parent company and its subsidiaries. Daniel Bockner will be the VP, Flight Operations & Security, while Brad Warren will fill the role of VP, Maintenance & Technical. Rick Giacomuzzi will hold the position of VP, Finance at Regional 1 Airlines. This merger does not impact the current structure or operations of any other subsidiary within AvMax Group Inc.

Upon closing, the combined operations will utilize Beechcraft 1900D, de Havilland Canada (Bombardier) DHC-8-100, DHC-8-300 and CRJ100/200 aircraft types, with the ability to quickly add additional larger gauge aircraft types with the long term goal of positioning the brands as major players in the 18-76 seat turbo-prop and jet market. Air Georgian will continue to operate, maintain and support the corporate jet charter market in Toronto as well as offering third-party training to the airline and corporate aviation sectors.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Beechcraft (Raytheon) 1900D C-GORA (msn UE-326) taxies at the Toronto (Pearson) hub in the Air Canada Express livery.

Air Canada Express/Air Georgian: AG Slide Show

United to start summer seasonal flights from Chicago O’Hare to Edinburgh, Scotland

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced will launch nonstop summer seasonal service between its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning on May 22, 2014, subject to government approval.  This will be the first scheduled nonstop service between the two cities.

The flights will operate five times weekly from May 22 to June 11, daily between June 12 and September 1 and four times weekly between Sept. 2 and Oct. 5, 2014.

The flights will depart Chicago O’Hare at 6 p.m. (1800), arriving in Edinburgh at 7:45 a.m. (0745) the following day. The return flights will depart Edinburgh at 10:25 a.m. (1025), arriving in Chicago at 1 p.m. (1300) the same day (all times local). Flight times are seven hours, 45 minutes eastbound and eight hours, 35 minutes westbound.

The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

United offers more nonstop service to more destinations from its Chicago O’Hare hub than any other carrier and has added 11 new routes from Chicago since the beginning of 2013.

United currently operates year-round nonstop service from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, having started service to Scotland in 1998.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N521UA (msn 24891) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Air Transat’s parent posts net income of C$41.1 million in the 3Q

Transat A.T. Inc., the parent of Air Transat (Montreal), posted revenues of $927.0 million (all dollar amounts in Canadian dollars) for the quarter ended July 31, 2013, compared with $909.1 million for the same period of 2012, an increase of $17.9 million or 2.0%. The Corporation recorded a margin before amortization and depreciation1 of $53.1 million, compared with $22.1 million in 2012 and net income of $41.1 million ($1.07 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $9.4 million ($0.25 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012. Before non-operating items, amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges, Transat reported a margin of $54.4 million, compared with $22.1 million in 2012; and adjusted after-tax income of $30.8 million ($0.80 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $10.5 million ($0.28 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012.

“We are very satisfied with the results, as this is our best third quarter ever,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “We performed very well on the transatlantic market, and the implementation of our cost-reduction and margin-improvement program is unfolding as planned. And as the numbers indicate, we are on our way to a profitable year.”

Third-quarter highlights

The Corporation posted revenues of $927.0 million, compared with $909.1 million for the corresponding quarter of 2012, and a margin before amortization and depreciation1 of $53.1 million ($54.4 million before amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges), compared with $22.1 million in 2012 ($22.1 million before restructuring charges). The increase in revenues stems mainly from higher average selling prices, which have more than offset the impact of the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity on all its markets (Sun, transatlantic and France), hence a 7.3% reduction in the number of travellers. Across all markets, selling prices and margins were higher than in 2012.

Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales in Canada and abroad, increased by $79.3 million (13.0%) compared with the same period in 2012. The increase is partly attributable to the Corporation’s decision to account for all sales of flights between Canada and United Kingdom in North America, whereas a significant portion of said sales were until now accounted for in Europe. For the quarter, capacity on the transatlantic market was down 10.9% compared with 2012. Capacity on Sun destinations was similar. North American business units recorded a margin before amortization and depreciation of $28.1 million, compared with $2.5 million in 2012. Before restructuring charges, Transat posted a margin before amortization and depreciation of $29.4 million, compared with $2.5 million in 2012. The improvement in margin is mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.

Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales in Europe and in Canada, decreased by $61.3 million (20.4%) over 2012, mainly due to the aforementioned change in the accounting of Canada-United Kingdom sales. European operations generated a margin before amortization and depreciation of $13.7 million, compared with $10.0 million the previous year, with the variance mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.

Nine-month-period highlights

For the first nine months of 2013, the Corporation posted revenues of $2.8 billion, compared with $3.0 billion for the same period of 2012, and a margin before amortization and depreciation1 of $30.9 million ($36.1 million before amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges), compared with an operating loss  before amortization and depreciation of $36.0 million in 2012 ($36.0 million before restructuring charges). The decrease in revenues is mainly attributable to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity on its markets (Sun, transatlantic and France). The improvement in margin is mainly due to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.

Financial situation

As at July 31, 2013, cash stood at $389.3 million, compared with $292.7 million at the same date the previous year; working capital ratio was 1.02 against 0.99 and deposits from customers for future travel were $456.2 million compared with $495.9 million. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at $684.7 million as at July 31, 2013, compared with $395.9 million at the same date in 2012, the increase being attributable to the leasing of four Boeing B737-800 aircraft and the renewal of the leases on six Airbus A330s, offset in part by payments made during the 12-month period.

Outlook for the summer

The transatlantic market, outbound from Canada and Europe, accounts for a very significant portion of Transat’s business in the summer. From August to October 2013, Transat’s capacity on that market is 9% lower than that for the previous year. To date, 81% of that capacity has been sold, load factors are 1.1% lower and selling prices are approximately 6% higher compared to 2012.

On the Sun destinations market outbound from Canada, Transat’s capacity is higher by 1.0% than that for the previous year. To date, 70% of that capacity has been sold, and load factors and selling prices are similar.

In France, compared with 2012, medium-haul bookings are slightly ahead, and long-haul bookings are somewhat behind. Selling prices are similar.

To the extent the aforementioned trends hold, Transat expects to record better results than last year for the fourth quarter, but to a lesser extent than in the third quarter, in part because of last year’s favorable impact of the strong momentum at the end of the fourth quarter.

Cost-reduction and margin-improvement Initiatives

The implementation of the Corporation’s plan to return to profitability is proceeding as expected, including measures to reduce operating costs and changes to its systems and processes. In April 2013, the Corporation also announced its decision to internalize narrow-body medium-haul aircraft (Boeing 737-800s) for its Sun destination routes outbound from Canada, starting in May 2014. The various measures (cost-reduction initiatives, additional revenues and efficiency gains) had a favorable impact of $20 million on the margin in 2012. The Corporation similarly expects a favorable contribution of $15 million in 2013, of $20 million in 2014 and of an additional $20 million in 2015, when internalization of the narrow-body fleet will produce its full benefits.

NOTES

The following are non-IFRS financial measures used by management as indicators to evaluate ongoing and recurring operational performance.

(1) MARGIN (OPERATING LOSS) BEFORE DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION: Gross margin (operating loss) before depreciation and amortization expense.
(2) ADJUSTED INCOME (LOSS): Income (loss) before income taxes, impact of fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation, and restructuring charges (or gains).
(3) ADJUSTED AFTER-TAX INCOME (LOSS): Net income (loss) attributable to shareholders before impact of fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation and restructuring charges (or gains), net of related taxes.
(4) NET CASH: Cash and cash equivalents not held in trust or otherwise reserved, less balance sheet debt.

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A310-304 C-GTSF (msn 472) prepares to depart from Dublin.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico to launch AeroMexico Contigo on October 1

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has  announced the start of its AeroMexico Contigo program as of October 1.

According to the carrier, “the new product will provide migrant customers residing in Mexico or in the United States, who travel frequently between the two countries, a specific Call Center and personal assistance at participating airport check-in counters, to help the passengers fill out their immigration forms, transportation of oversized packages, connections to the airline’s route network and attention on both sides of the border, as well as competitive rates for this important passenger segment.”

The carrier has configured four of its Boeing 737-800 airplanes to offer this new service, with 174 seats. The three front rows – 18 seats – will feature the AM Plus seat configuration, with more legroom and angle in the reclining backrests, among other benefits. The other 156 seats will be in Economy Class.

Some of the destinations featuring the Aeromexico Contigo product include:

Destinations Within Mexico
Guadalajara – Tijuana 28 weekly flights
Culiacan – Tijuana 14 weekly flights

 

Mexico-US Destinations
Guadalajara – Chicago 7 weekly flights
Guadalajara – Ontario 7 weekly flights
Guadalajara – Los Angeles 14 weekly flights
Guadalajara – Fresno 3 weekly flights
Guadalajara – Sacramento 3 weekly flights

In addition to this product’s unique benefits, AeroMexico will continue to provide complimentary on board beverages and entertainment services, and one piece of checked luggage weighing up to 55 pounds, with  a 22 pounds carry-on for travel between Mexico and the United States. Passengers traveling from the United States to Mexico can also check a 50 pounds piece of luggage and carry a 22 pounds bag on board.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. AeroMexico’s Boeing 737-852 EI-DRC (msn 35116) approaches the runway at Miami International Airport.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Airzena Georgian Airways to lease a Boeing 737-700 from ALC

Air Lease Corporation has announced the long term lease of one Boeing 737-700 jet aircraft (msn 33015) to Airzena Georgian Airways (Tbilisi, Georgia). The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in October, 2013.

Airzena Georgian Airways is the designated national airline of Georgia, operating extensive scheduled services to many destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Russia, with Boeing 737s and CRJ regional jets.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The carrier already operates the type but the new addition will replace an older Boeing 737-500. Boeing 737-790 WL 4L-TGM (msn 33012) taxies at Amsterdam.

Airzena Georgian Airways: AG Slide Show

Sunwing Airlines to fly Halifax-St. Petersburg, Florida flights this winter

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto-Pearson) will operate weekly nonstop flights this coming winter season from Halifax, Nova Scotia to St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida. The flights will depart on Wednesdays from February 5, 2014 until April 30, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8K5 C-FRZG (msn 35139) in the special Oasis livery taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Sunwing Airlines: AG Slide Show

Virgin America to resume seasonal New York-Palm Springs flights

Virgin America (San Francisco) announced that it is resuming its seasonal flights to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on December 21. The nonstop flight will add to Virgin America’s seasonal daily connecting flight schedule from JFK to PSP and its seasonal daily nonstop schedule from SFO to PSP.

Virgin America’s 2013-2014 nonstop JFK-PSP flight schedule is as follows:

Flight From To Dep Arr Frequency Service Begins
55 JFK PSP 1030 1335 Saturday only December 21, 2013
Flight From To Dep Arr Frequency Service Begins
56 PSP JFK 1440 2245 Saturday only December 21, 2013

 

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N623VA (msn 2740) climbs away from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines is ranked number one U.S. airline in fuel efficiency

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is ranked Number 1 in fuel efficiency in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. The ICCT study is the first to quantify fuel performance for U.S. airlines.

Alaska, along with its regional partner Horizon Air, led all 15 mainline U.S. carriers as the most fuel-efficient airline operating in the United States in 2010, outperforming the least fuel-efficient carrier by 26 percent.

“We have made significant investments in our fleet, technology and processes to improve our fuel performance, which is a key part of Alaska’s commitment to be the airline industry leader in environmental stewardship. These sustainability efforts also help us keep our costs down in order to provide better value for our customers,” said Keith Loveless, Alaska Air Group’s executive vice president and general counsel. “We’re proud and gratified to see our efforts validated by such an independent and respected source as the International Council on Clean Transportation.”

The ICCT study looked at fuel-consumption data reported annually by airlines to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The study employed methodology developed by a team of researchers at the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR) at the University of California, Berkeley, to evaluate fuel efficiency based on passenger miles between origin and destination as well as airports served and/or flight frequency. Researchers looked at fuel burned and identified inefficiencies, such as the use of older technology, circuitous routing and taxiing with two engines instead of one.

By improving its fuel efficiency in recent years, Alaska Airlines reduced its carbon emissions by 30 percent (measured by flying one passenger one mile). This reduction was accomplished through a variety of measures—most notably by migrating to exclusively flying the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400, the most fuel-efficient aircraft in their classes.

Alaska Airlines has also made other improvements in its sustainability efforts:

  • Sustainable service ware is used for inflight meals and beverages. Additionally, Horizon Air flight attendants recycle 91 percent of all paper, plastic, aluminum and glass generated onboard while Alaska cabin crews divert 80 percent of recyclable materials.
  • First-of-their-kind solar-powered boarding ramps are being used in Seattle and San Jose, Calif. This project enables passengers to enter and exit an aircraft faster by using the front and rear doors simultaneously.
  • Worked with the FAA and Port of Seattle to implement new arrival routes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport using satellite-based navigation rather than ground-based radar. The shorter routes, which became operational last spring, save fuel, lower carbon emissions and noise, and reduce pilot-controller workloads.
  • Installed the first airport wind-turbine solar panel in Nome, Alaska.
  • In August 2013, Alaska became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy LLC to purchase sustainable biofuel for its Hawaii flights.
  • Operated 75 passenger flights powered by a 20 percent biofuel blend in November 2011. These flights demonstrated the viability and need for an adequate, affordable and sustainable supply of alternative aviation fuel. The biofuel project grew out of Alaska Air Group’s involvement in Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, the first U.S. regional group of its kind to study alternative aviation fuels.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) climbs away from Boeing Field in Seattle. All-Boeing Alaska enjoys one of the shortest delivery flights in the world from Boeing Field (King County) (BFI) in Seattle to nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

United announces new routes from the Chicago O’Hare hub

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced plans to launch new nonstop service from its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport to Elmira, New York, and State College, Pennsylvania. The airline also plans to begin new service from Chicago O’hare to Topeka, Kansas, subject to government approval. ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) will operate the United Express flights using 50-seat regional jet aircraft. The State College and Topeka flights will begin on January 7, 2014, and the Elmira service will begin on February 13, 2014.

The weekday flight schedules follow. Weekend schedules may vary. Schedules are subject to change.

Chicago – Elmira Elmira – Chicago
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
2:15 p.m.  5:00 p.m. 6:15 a.m. 7:18 a.m.
9:00 p.m. 11:45 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 6:33 p.m.
Chicago – State College State College – Chicago
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
1:55 p.m. 4:33 p.m. 6:20 a.m. 7:17 a.m.
 6:45 p.m.  9:23 p.m.  5:03 p.m.  6:00 p.m.
Chicago – Topeka Topeka – Chicago
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
1:00 p.m.  2:44 p.m. 6:00 a.m. 7:36 a.m.
8:30 p.m. 10:14 p.m. 3:14 p.m. 4:50 p.m.

Elmira and Topeka are both new destinations in United’s route network. The airline currently serves State College from its hub at Washington Dulles.

With these new routes, United has added service to ten new destinations from Chicago O’Hare since the beginning of 2013. Other new year-round and seasonal destinations include Mobile, Alabama; Fairbanks, Alaska; Nassau, Bahamas; Shannon, Ireland; San Jose, Costa Rica; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

United and United Express operate nearly 570 daily flights from the O’Hare hub to more than 125 domestic and more than 30 international destinations.

Copyright Photo: ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N11194 (msn 145940) arrives at the Dulles International hub near Washington.

United Express-ExpressJet: AG Slide Show

Corpflite Dornier 228 CC-CNW crashes in Chile, two pilots killed

Corpflite Do 228 CC-CNW crash (@profeCantarero)(LRW)

Corpflite’s (Transportes Aéreos Corporativos dba) Dornier 228-202K CC-CNW (msn 8063) crashed today (September 9) while approaching for landing at Viña del Mar Airfield/NAS Base Aeronaval Viña del Mar in Chile. The aircraft was attempting to land in fog, but collided with power lines. The crew members (pilot Ricardo Schäfer and co-pilot Carlos Peirano) tragically perished in the crash.

Copyright Photo published on Twitter by @profeCantarero showing the conditions of the Dornier after the accident.

Allegiant’s “there is no free soda” TV advertisement

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has started this TV advertisement on a national basis. The ad is actually an odd way of explaining their “charge for extras” strategy.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Thai Airways International’ Airbus A330-300 HS-TEF skids off the runway in Bangkok, 8 hurt

Thai A330-300 HS-TEF (05)(Apr) BKK (JS)(LRW)

Thai Airways International‘s (Bangkok) Airbus A330-321 HS-TEF (msn 066) while operating flight TG 679 from Guangzhou (CAN) to Bangkok (BKK) (Suvarnabhumi) with 287 passengers and 14 crew members skidded off the runway on landing in Bangkok after the front landing gear failed late last night (September 8). At least 8 passengers were slightly injured during the evacuation (some media reports raise this number to 14).

Read the report from the WSJ: CLICK HERE

Thai issued this statement:

“Thai Airways International Flight TG 679, Guangzhou – Bangkok operated with Airbus 330-300 aircraft departing Guangzhou at 16:03 hrs. (local time) scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 23:00 hrs. (local time) experienced incident while landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport. As the aircraft was landing, the landing gear touched the runway, the nose gear failed. As a result, the plane skidded off the runway. The captain took control of the aircraft until it stoped and the passengers were evacuated using slides. The aircraft was carrying 287 passengers and 14 crew members. 8 passengers were slightly injured. Injured passengers were taken care and sent to hospital for medical treatments.”

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-TEF approaches BKK for landing before the accident.

Thai Airways International: AG Slide Show

British Airways unveils its latest “To Fly. To Serve” advertising campaign

British Airways’ (London) latest “To Fly. To Serve” advertising campaign, was unveiled during the “England versus Moldova” World Cup qualifier on ITV, on Friday September 6. The airline issued this statement:

The TV advert follows a customer journey using a “micro to macro” style of filming, the footage shows close up shots of the intimate details of flying, panning to wide shots of the aircraft in motion. It draws contrasts between them both, showing the care and thought that goes into every part of their journey. The end frame poignantly shows the British Airways logo being stitched into fabric, with the voiceover commenting ‘To Fly. To Serve. Today. Tomorrow.’

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “We wanted to show travel and innovation at its best – the people behind the scenes, the attention to detail, our engineering prowess and the care and expertise to get 100,000 people in the air every day. It is beautifully crafted with a light-hearted tone and proudly features real people from around the airline.”

The campaign uses TV, cinema, press, digital, outdoor media and social media, and will run until October, in two different phases. The film is directed by Martin Krejci, with cinematography from Anthony Dod Mantle, who won an Oscar for his involvement in Slumdog Millionaire. It features a vibrant soundtrack ‘Experience’ (Starkey Remix), by the acclaimed Italian composer and pianist, Ludovico Einaudi.

Created by BBH, the TV advert will also run in a number of the airline’s international markets, including USA and India – for the first time in seven years. The press and outdoor advertising showcases the innovative ways in which British Airways helps its customers, featuring its mobile boarding pass and digital bag tag, as well as its latest aircraft – the superjumbo A380.

Hamish Pinnell, creative director at BBH London, commented: “This campaign launches the next chapter of “To Fly. To Serve”. It presents the sheer scale of British Airways’ numerous innovations and new services, and sets the platform for the future. We were able to work with some true craftsmen, Martin Kreici, Nadav Kander and Leandro Farina, and the result is beautiful work produced with the same attention to details applied by British Airways everyday.”

In social media, a digital campaign to coincide with the launch of the Dreamliner 787 will commence on September 19, and again on September 24 for the A380 flight to Los Angeles. It invites social media users to ‘tweet’ a message using #racetheplane @British_Airways. Each tweet will fuel a virtual version of the aircraft, racing against the actual flight, with prizes to be won.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Other videos:

 

Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 performs its first flight

Qatar A380-800 F-WWST (06)(Tko) TLS (Airbus)(LR)

Qatar Airways’ (Doha) first A380 took off from Toulouse on its maiden flight to Hamburg where the aircraft will be fitted with its cabin before being painted.

The carrier has firm orders for ten A380s and will become the eleventh airline to join the prestigious club of A380 operators when it takes delivery of this aircraft in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A380-861 F-WWST (msn 137) departs from Toulouse.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Iran Aseman Airlines starts twice-weekly flights to Stockholm

Iran Aseman Airlines (Tehran) launched twice-weekly flights between Tehran and Stockholm (Arlanda) on September 1, delayed from the original planned date of May 2.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-311 EP-APA (msn 002) touches down at Arlanda Airport today. The wide body airliner now wears “Sponsor of Iran National Football Team” sub-titles.

Iran Aseman Airlines: AG Slide Show

Discovery Air is a new airline in Nigeria with two Boeing 737-300s

Discovery Air (Lagos) is another new airline in Nigeria. The first Boeing 737-300 has been painted in this bright color scheme at Southend. Former Virgin Express and Brussels Airlines Boeing 737-36N OO-VEH (msn 28571) is now registered as N571TP with Wells Fargo Bank Northwest. It is due to become 5N-BQO on delivery.

The second aircraft for the new airline is former Western Pacific Airlines (N965WP)/VARIG (PP-VPX)/bmibaby Boeing 737-33R still registered as G-TOYK.
Discovery Air is planning to launch scheduled passenger operations from Lagos to Abuja and Port Harcourt.
According to the airline, Discovery Air was incorporated on July 23, 2008 as a private limited liability company. Discovery Air is “a private sector-driven airline, built from the ground up with the aspiration to become a  Nigerian multinational company. We are fully owned by Nigerian shareholders and operating in Nigeria, with Lagos as our hub.”
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The first aircraft is tugged from the paint shop at Southend on September 6.
Discovery Air (Nigeria) logo

Denver Post article on United Airlines

United Airlines (Chicago) has been described as “one big company, but not yet one happy family” in an article written by Kristen Leigh Painter of the Denver Post. According to the article, labor inefficiencies are delaying the promised merger financial benefits. The merged airline is also coming under increased scrutiny due to the proposed airline merger of American Airlines and US Airways. For the most part, United’s unions are still divided operating under separate contracts. Is this the future for the “new” American Airlines if their controversial merger is approved?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N409UA (msn 462) taxies to the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

LOT Polish Airlines will not seek any more public aid, will drop underperforming destinations during the winter season

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) will not apply in September to the Treasury for payment of the second tranche of public aid. According to the airline, this is possible thanks to the promising results of the Restructuring Plan consistently implemented in the Company. At the same time LOT is introducing the flight schedule for the winter season 2013/2014 to its reservation systems. A new network is in line with the Restructuring Plan submitted by the Ministry of the Treasury to the European Commission. It is also a result of necessary compensation required by the European Commission.

The first tranche of aid for LOT was paid in December of last year. Disbursement of the second – in accordance with the Restructuring Plan submitted by the Ministry of the Treasury to the European Commission – was planned for August this year. Meanwhile, the Company has not applied for the second tranche in August and will not apply for it in September. An amount of the second tranche will be carefully assessed when the Company will apply to the Treasury for its payment. Perhaps this will happen only in October.

According to its underlying principles, the Company will achieve sustained profitability starting from 2015.

Consistently implemented restructuring measures include, among others, the network of destinations for the winter season. These changes are in line with the objectives of the Restructuring Plan submitted in June by the Ministry of Treasury to the European Commission. They are also a result of necessary compensation required by the European Commission. Within planned changes, destinations from Warsaw to Bydgoszcz, Rome and Stuttgart will be suspended from the beginning of the winter season 2013. In the coming months, passengers will also not find in the network flights to Beirut, Cairo and Nice, which are seasonal destinations. At the same time, like last winter, flights with the aircraft staying overnight from Warsaw to Stockholm will be suspended. This means two, not three flights a day to the Swedish capital.

The Polish carrier also decided to suspend flights from Warsaw to Zurich, Helsinki and Dusseldorf. These destinations did not generate enough transfer traffic for other LOT flights from Warsaw, especially the long haul which are key to the company’s long-term strategy.

Since, in accordance with assumptions, LOT focuses on expansion of its hub in Warsaw, there will be also less flights from Polish regional airports. In winter 2013, LOT aircrafts will not fly from Cracow to Frankfurt, from Poznan to Munich and from Katowice to Munich.

At the same time, flights from Warsaw to Yerevan, Athens and Belgrade will be unchanged in the coming winter season. Belgrade, one of the strongest destinations in the network of the Polish carrier, will continue to support the flow of transit passengers in their further travel to North America or other European ports. And Athens will remain in the flight schedule due to Greek Presidency of the European Union, which will begin on  January 1, 2014.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. LOT Polish has been gradually replacing its older Boeing 737 fleet with newer Embraer E-Jets. The remaining 737-400s are likely to be retired this winter with this schedule reduction. Boeing 737-45D SP-LLF (msn 28752) approaches Belgium for landing in the updated 2011 livery.

LOT Polish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways launches new flights to Chengdu, China

Qatar Airways (Doha) on September 3 further expanded its operations in China with the launch of scheduled flights to Chengdu, the airline’s sixth destination to China.

Flight QR 884 arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to an impressive water salute, following its nonstop journey from the airline’s operational hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. All passengers and operating crew of the maiden flight received a warm welcome from the airport officials.

The new thrice weekly flights now join Qatar Airways’ five other Chinese gateways – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chongqing – for a total of 41 flights per week.

Qatar Airways’ maiden flight to Chengdu receives a warm welcome at the city's international airport earlier today
The new Chengdu flights represent the significance of China’s growing economy in the worldwide context.  Significant industries in Chengdu include: electronics and information; machinery, particularly automotive and aerospace parts; medicine; food and tobacco processing; metallurgy; and petroleum.

Chengdu becomes the 130th destination in the Qatar Airways global network, and now adds to over 15% of the airline’s routes which fly across Asia.

The Chengdu route is operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in Economy and 36 in Business Class. The aircraft features seatback TV screens providing all passengers in both cabins with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system – a choice of more than 900 audio and video on demand options.

Added Al Baker: “2013 has been a fantastic year for Qatar Airways and today we expand to eight new routes since this January. Over the next few years, we will increase our global footprint, providing greater travel options for business and leisure passengers, taking them to key business markets, holiday hotspots and underserved regions around the world.”

Flight schedules, between Chengdu and Doha, are as follows:

DOHA – CHENGDU: 3-times-a-week, effective September 3, 2013
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
QR884   Depart Doha at 0200 hrs                                    Arrive Chengdu at 1430 hrs

CHENGDU– DOHA: 3-times-a-week, effective September 3, 2013
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
QR885   Depart Chengdu at 0100 hrs                             Arrive Doha at 0350 hrs

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 130 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.

Qatar Airways has so far launched eight destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq) and Chengdu, China.

Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of further destinations – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Ta’if, Saudi Arabia (October 2), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014).

In other news, Qatar Airways has announced frequency increases to destinations in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific in preparation for the busy winter season.

Strong passenger demand and additional aircraft inducted to the fleet has prompted the Doha-based airline to add frequencies to its popular and growing routes. Highlights of the frequency increases are:

Ankara (Turkey)                4 flights a week from 3 beginning Sep 18
Belgrade (Serbia)            4 flights a week from 3 beginning Sep 18
Bucharest (Romania)     5 flights a week from 4 beginning Sep 17
Dubai (UAE)                   91 flights a week from 77 (13 daily flights) from Aug 1
Islamabad (Pakistan)    7 flights a week from 4 (daily flights) beginning Oct 27
Jakarta (Indonesia)       14 flights a week from 11 (double-daily flights) beginning Sep 1
Manama (Bahrain)         49 flights a week from 47 (7 times a day) beginning Sep 15
Moscow (Russia)           12 flights a week from 10 beginning Sep 3
Sofia (Bulgaria)               5 flights a week from 4 beginning Sep 17
Yangon (Myanmar)         7 flights a week from 3 (daily flights beginning Oct 27

On August 1 Qatar Airways increased its frequency on its very popular Doha – Dubai route with two additional daily flights, taking its capacity up to 13 services per day. Dubai has the highest frequency in the airline’s route network; this popular Gulf destination is served 91 times a week.

Flights to the Gulf region will see another increase as services to Manama in Bahrain will rise by seven to a total of 49 flights each week.

Expansion highlights also include one additional weekly flight to key European routes Ankara, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia and flights to Moscow will grow from 10 to 12 weekly flights.

Yangon, which was re-launched last October with three flights a week, will be upgraded to a daily nonstop service.

Another popular far-eastern route Jakarta will see increase in capacity from 11 to 14 flights a week, resulting in double-daily flights to the Indonesian capital city.

Qatar Airways will also be strengthening its commitment to Pakistan; the recent frequency increases to Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar will be supplemented by Islamabad moving from four weekly services to a daily service.

Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways.

Video: Richard Quest’s Interview with Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker:

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways introduces a new “Flying Nanny” program to keep the kids busy

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has introduced a new “Flying Nanny” program that will be appreciated by parents flying with children (and probably other passengers around them). The airline has also introduced new in-flight entertainment for children. The airline issued this statement:

Do you ever wish that more help was available with children on long-haul flights, so you can sit back and have a little ‘me time’? With parents and their children in mind, you’ll find our ‘Flying Nanny’ on all long-haul flights operated by Etihad Airways.
Our Flying NannyOur specially trained Flying Nannies have been approved by Norland, the UK’s renowned childcare nursing college. They’re here to provide an extra pair of hands – whether it’s helping to get the children settled for bed, keeping them entertained or simply offering advice and support to parents.Every Flying Nanny will be equipped with a goody bag of games and activities to help keep the kids occupied, easing the pressure on you. They might be making their own hand puppets, trying origami for the first time, or joining other children in a drawing competition. They could even find themselves enjoying face-painting, learning a magic trick or having fun with food.
Our Flying NannyThe type of activities your children get involved in will be down to the creativity and ingenuity of both themselves and their Flying Nanny. Yet, even in the confines of an aircraft, the options are endless and our Flying Nannies are specially trained to make the most of what’s available onboard.And whilst we can’t take them off your hands completely, as we must cater to the needs of every family onboard, we hope our ‘Flying Nanny’ goes someway to making your experience with Etihad that little bit more relaxing and enjoyable.

In-flight entertainment

Etihad’s in-flight entertainment system includes a fun-filled children’s section, with a special interface that features our four much-loved animated characters: Kundai, Boo, Zoe and Jamool.

There’s a huge variety of entertainment on offer to keep your children entertained, all carefully selected with a younger audience in mind. Etihad also offers a parental lock feature, which allows parents to block unsuitable content at request.

For television and movie buffs, there’s our Kids Club for pre-schoolers and children under 12 years old, with a combination of live-action and animated titles. Teenagers also have access to their own section, offering Disney and a variety of popular Hollywood titles for their age group.

We also provide around 30-60 games across our fleet, together with a variety of music albums on our Audio-on-Demand section, including albums from teen-idols like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

Games and fun activities  with our children’s pack

In addition to the in-flight entertainment and Flying Nanny, every child over 3 years old will also receive their own children’s pack, containing enough games, activity books and stickers to help keep boredom at bay.

Copyright Photos: Etihad Airways.

Video:

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Ryanair carries over 9 million passengers in August, the first European airline to do so

Ryanair (Dublin) celebrated a milestone in August and issued this statement (while taking a swipe at Aer Lingus):

Ryanair released its passenger and load factor statistics for August 2013:

  • Traffic increased by 1% to over 9 million passengers.
  • First European airline ever to carry 9 million passengers in one month.
  • Annual traffic to end August grew 2% to over 80 million passengers.
  • Load factor increased 1% to 89%.
  • Ryanair carries 9 million passengers in a month, Aer Lingus carries 9 million in a year!
Aug 12
Aug 13
Change
Yr to Aug 13
Passengers
8.90M
9.02M
+1%
80.2M (+2%)
Load Factor
88%
89%
+1%
82%

Ryanair 9m passengers in Aug

Ryanair celebrated its first ever 9 million passenger month by releasing 900,000 seats for travel in October and November at fares starting from just €14.99 one-way.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

The first Delta Boeing 717 is painted, ready to start flying on September 19

Delta 717-200 (07)(Grd) ATL (Delta)(LR)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has painted its first former AirTran Airways Boeing 717-200 in Delta colors. The first aircraft is N935AT. As previously reported, Delta will be leasing the entire AirTran fleet of 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest Airlines (Dallas). The new type will be introduced on September 19 between the Atlanta hub and Newark. The DL 717s will feature 12 seats in First Class, 15 seats in Economy Comfort and 83 seats in Economy.

Delta issued this statement with the photos:

We are excited to share some pictures of the first Delta 717 all dressed up in its new paint job. You’ll notice the ship number – 9564 – is a nod to the 717’s original MD-95 moniker. In total, Delta will be receiving 88 of these aircraft updated with bright new interiors. Here are the details of what you can expect when they take to the skies this fall:

First Class

• 12 Zodiac 6810 seats in a 2 x 2 configuration

• 37” of seat pitch

• 19.6” of seat width

• 110v AC and USB in-seat power

Economy Comfort

• 15 Zodiac 5751 seats at 34” pitch in a 2 x 3 layout

• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space

• 4-way adjustable headrests

• 18.1” of seat width

• 110v AC and USB in-seat power

Economy

• 83 Zodiac 5751 seats at 31” average pitch in a 2 x 3 layout

• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space

• 4-way adjustable headrests

• 18.1” of seat width

• 110v AC and USB in-seat power

Cabin Enhancements

• New cool-white fluorescent lighting

• Onboard Wi-Fi

• Updated dark blue carpet and “Sky Diamond” bulkhead laminate

• Redesigned Economy Comfort & Economy seat covers with additional comfort padding

• New placards and signage

Top Copyright Photos: Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Video: Flight Simulation of a Delta 717 landing at Philadelphia:

Bottom Images: Delta Air Lines. Delta has been doing a great job of remembering its colorful past on social media.

Delta Welcome Aboard (Delta)(LR)

Delta Douglas Fleet (Delta)(LR)

Jetairfly is coming to Miami

Jetairfly (Jetairfly.com) (Ostend and Brussels) today announced the April 2014 launch of nonstop service between Miami International Airport and Brussels, Belgium, the capital of the European Union.  The new service will mark Jetairfly’s first U.S. route, Florida’s only nonstop connection to Brussels, and MIA’s 14th European destination.

With Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft featuring Economy and Comfort service, Jetairfly will begin the new service on April 4, 2014 with flights on Mondays and Fridays.  Bookings are scheduled to be available at the end of October.

Additional new routes scheduled this year from Miami are: Oranjestad, Aruba by new carrier Aruba Airlines on September 15; Calgary by WestJet in October; and Milan, Italy and the Brazilian destinations of Curitiba and Porto Alegre by American Airlines in November.

Created in 2003, Jetairfly operates a network of 168 routes and connects 107 airports. It has a fleet of 22 modern aircraft and transported 2.8 million passengers in 2012.  Jetairfly is part of TUI Travel Belgium, the largest tourism group in Belgium, and of TUI Travel PLC, the largest Pan-European tourism group, operating a fleet of 141 aircraft and offering a wide range of other services.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-341 ER OO-TUC (msn 24844) prepares top taxi from the Brussels base.

Jetairfly: AG Slide Show

Introducing a new Guest Editor: Aaron Newman

Planely Speaking

Guest Editor Aaron Newman
Aaron Newman (small)

Frontier Airlines: An Indigo Shaded Change

By Aaron Newman

Frontier Airlines, no stranger to change and restructuring, is on the cusp of another major move. A move will not only impact themselves, but the industry as a whole. Bryan Bedford, CEO of parent Republic Airways, made it recently clear they are shopping for a potential buyer for the airline. “If a binding sales agreement is reached … we currently would expect such a closing to occur late in the third quarter,” Bedford reiterated this on a recent conference call, according to Reuters. Republic Airways has been shopping for a buyer since 2011; however it looks as if a serious potential suitor has been lined up.

As reported by World Airline News and others, Indigo Partners have been interested in buying the Denver-based airline and Bedford made it clear an announcement may be coming any day now.  “While both Indigo Partners and Republic Airways have declined to comment on the matter, Republic reportedly told investors in an earnings call in July that it expected to sell Frontier to an unnamed purchaser by September”, according to this report by ibtimes.com. There has been no shortage of speculation on this potential acquisition, and with another ultra-low cost carrier in the mix, what impact does this have on the domestic airline industry?

My Take

If, in fact Indigo Partners does purchase Frontier Airlines, expect a move further toward the Ultra-Low Cost model. More ancillary revenue strategies such as; marketing tactics to increase website traffic, removing Frontier’s Stretch Seating for additional rows of seating, increased baggage fees, and bundling vacation, car and hotel packages–something Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines have perfected.

Frontier currently offers many levels of tickets based upon what the customer wants, they offer the Classic Plus, Classic, Economy, and the newly introduced Basic ticket. The Basic ticket is any ticket purchased outside of the FlyFrontier.com website. I look for this model to continue, as most customers like the flexibility that the Classic and Classic Plus ticket offer. But, look for the price variances between the four tickets to increase, offering the flexibility to choose a higher priced ticket to include bag fees, and reservation changes. Basic and Economy tickets will offer a lower priced ticket, accompanied with the option for consumers to pay a la carte for extras.

The biggest question for a restructured Frontier Airlines; what does the route map look like in the months, and years ahead, and what is Denver’s role in the transition? I foresee Frontier slowly moving away from the intense competition in Denver and adopting a route map similar to that of Allegiant Air. Serving cities with less competition and attracting the leisure traveler to vacation destinations in places like Orlando (MCO), Las Vegas, Cancun, and Punta Cana. I expect a large presence to remain in Denver; however I do not expect Denver to act as a hub with less focus on connecting traffic and an increased focus on point to point traffic.  In summary, Frontier will be slowly ‘de-hubbing’ Denver while looking for a route strategy that works well with a changing business model.

July 2013 Route Map

Frontier (2nd) 7:2013 Route Map

The competition in Denver from a growing presence by Southwest Airlines and legacy carrier United Airlines has caused Frontier to experiment with cities like Trenton, NJ and Wilmington, DE. Frontier has created focus cities with large surrounding populations with no commercial service prior to Frontier’s entry into the market. I’m looking for Frontier to explore more cities like these; taking a page from Allegiant’s playbook by offering fewer frequencies to ensure high load factors while taking advantage of low airport costs. These airports often offer financial incentive packages minimizing risk, while testing new markets. This may cause Frontier to enter and exit markets quicker than most airlines would; look at recent announcements from South Bend, IN and Rockford, IL.

Frontier’s recent announcement of their exit from Albuquerque, NM in January is a microcosm of their flee from direct large carrier competition. With service from WN and UA, Frontier could no longer compete with Southwest and United on a lower profile route like ABQ-DEN. Contrast that decision with their recent move to increase service to Eugene, OR, Fresno, CA, and Palm Springs, CA.  Frontier will begin looking for more cities similar to these where legacy service is limited, leisure travel is in demand and airport costs are at a minimum.

Source: flyfrontier.com

Impact on the Industry

The airlines most affected by this move are United, Southwest and Spirit. The winners in this move are United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. As Frontier begins to move operations away from Denver, competition on several routes will decrease, and fares will potential increase. United and Southwest will continue to grab the largest share of the local Denver market while Frontier will potentially escape to capture underserved markets for leisure travelers.

Spirit Airlines will be the most affected by this move as it will not only have another competitor in the ultra low cost market, but it will lose William Franke and Indigo’s expertise to Frontier. Spirit announced an 8.5% profit margin in the quarterly earnings ending in June, and shares of Spirit have nearly tripled since the company’s IPO in 2011. Indigo and CEO William Franke has been successful with Tiger Airways, Volaris, Wizz Air and most notably Spirit Airlines.  Frontier’s move to an all Airbus A319 and A320 fleet, service to new under-utilized markets and new focus on increased ancillary revenues has some industry insiders speculating a Spirit–Frontier merger on the horizon.  What do you think? What does a “new” Frontier Airlines look like in the months and years ahead?

Recent World Airline News articles on Frontier Airlines:

http://worldairlinenews.com/2013/05/17/frontier-airlines-updates-its-livery-to-promote-its-website/

http://worldairlinenews.com/2013/05/02/frontier-uses-a-new-strategy-for-services-and-fares/

http://worldairlinenews.com/2013/04/11/denver-post-indigo-partners-is-interested-in-acquiring-frontier-airlines/

Aaron is a relatively new AvGeek who obtained an appetite for the industry in college while flying in and out of LAX observing the diverse liveries, and large bodied planes. Aaron studied International Business in college and found himself writing the majority of his case studies and papers on the airline business. He currently works in the oil industry and maintains a part-time job as a Customer Service Agent to satisfy his passion for planes, airlines and traveling. You can leave a comment, or you can contact Aaron directly at aaronnewman34@gmail.com.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets and the new FlyFrontier.com full-fuselage titles prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

Frontier Airlines Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Right Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Also in the updated look, Airbus A319-112 N954FR (msn 1786) lands at Las Vegas.

Finnair becomes the first airline to operate an Airbus A321 with Sharklets

Finnair (Helsinki) today (September 6) has become the first airline in the world to operate Airbus A321 aircraft equipped with new, fuel-saving Sharklet wing tip devices. The extended-range, single-aisle aircraft, which has the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprint in its class, will be quieter and more comfortable for passengers than the older planes it replaces, as well as about 7 per cent more fuel efficient per seat. Representing a substantial reduction in costs and CO2 emissions, the aircraft is the first of five orders for the A321 with Sharklets, with another two expected to enter the fleet later this year and the remainder due in the first half of 2014.

The five A321s with Sharklets will replace Finnair’s four Boeing 757-200s that have been used mainly for leisure and charter flights, enabling more flexibility and inter-operability between European scheduled and leisure flights, driving up aircraft utilization and thus improving returns on the fleet investment. The new aircraft also complete Finnair’s shift to an all-Airbus fleet, bringing further cost efficiencies in maintenance and pilot training to flight operations.

The first aircraft, registered in Finland as OH-LZG, leaves the Airbus facility in Hamburg today and enters regular service in Finnair’s fleet.

The A321s are configured with 209 Recaro BL3510 seats (three on each side of the aisle) with a 31” pitch.

Finnair first announced the A321 order in June 2010. The airline also has firm orders for 11 next-generations Airbus A350s, the first of which is expected in the second half of 2015.

Fact sheet: A321 with Sharklets

 

A321-231

Engines

IAE V2533-A5

Additional fuel tanks

Yes

Range

5741km

Wing span

34,10m

Overall length

44,51m

Height

11,76m

Passenger seats

209

Fuel consumption

2740kg/h*

Freight

2500kg**

ETOPS***

Yes (180 minutes)

* Estimate based on average flight distance
** With full payload on average flight distance
*** Extended Range Twin Operations certificate for operation in areas where nearest airport is within 180 minutes

From the Finnair Blog: Buying an aircraft by Finnair Fleet Manager Miika Haatio:

Finnair received, as the first airline in the world, a new A321 Sharklet aircraft from Airbus in Hamburg in the beginning of September, so it’s a good time to take a look at what goes on during an aircraft purchase. The purchase agreements are normally signed years before the aircraft deliveries and for brand new aircraft types even when the aircraft is still in design phase and no actual parts have been manufactured. Airlines have a fair amount of say in the final configuration of the aircraft and this customization is done depending on the aircraft type some 1-3 years before the aircraft delivery. The A320 series for example has already been in production for 25 years and the A321 Sharklet Finnair received now, got serial number 5758. In a serial production mode like this, the customization is done roughly one year before delivery. The A350 aircraft type on the other hand is still in design phase, and Finnair has already made customization decisions three years before the first delivery, which is scheduled in the second half of 2015.

Tail view

Most possibilities for customization are in the cabin, where we aim to differentiate from other airlines by our interior design and service level. We have the possibility to select the passenger seat type, seat pitch, in-flight entertainment system and galley equipment and to design the overall cabin look and feel. Out of these the passenger seats are actually also bought by the airline directly from the seat supplier. The decision on which seat type to choose is determined by comparing different products by their price, weight, sitting comfort and post delivery support conditions. On the technical side the single most important decision is to determine the engine type by comparing fuel efficiencies and predicted maintenance costs. On top of this there are roughly a hundred other smaller technical decisions.

The customization of the aircraft Finnair is now receiving has largely aimed at fitting them into our existing fleet at seamlessly as possible. The seat and cabin look and feel are identical to exiting aircraft and most other decisions have been made for commonality reasons. The biggest differences are the sharklets, extra fuel tanks and a more fuel efficient engine type. In addition Airbus is constantly developing the aircraft further, so as a whole the aircraft look technically quite different than the last A321 series aircraft we received from Airbus in 2004. Finnair will be receiving all together five A321 Sharklet aircraft of which three during this year and the last two in the beginning of 2014.

IAE Engine and Sharklet

 

The A321 Final Assembly Line is located in Hamburg, and fuselage parts are shipped there from Airbus facilities in England, France, other parts of Germany and Spain and smaller components are of course manufactured all over the world. Finnair monitors the manufacturing of the aircraft very closely and for this aircraft has for example inspected the wings in England, front fuselage in France and passenger seats in Poland. The most important inspection of the two month Final Assembly is the Cabin Check during which all details of the cabin are inspected.

The actually delivery of the aircraft takes one week and is comprised of the physical and operational checks and the inspection of all the paperwork coming with the aircraft. For the operational test a pilot first checks the aircraft behaviour on ground. This is followed by a taxiing test, engine test runs and finally a test flight. This so called acceptance flight lasts normally around two hours during which the aircraft flight characteristics are inspected. This includes for example flying on maximum and minimum speeds and angles of attack and at maximum bank angles. These should trigger specific cockpit alerts and this is also verified. Things that cannot be performed on ground are also checked, for example cabin pressure leak rate and automatic oxygen mask deployment during pressurization failure, emergency gravity extension of the landing gear and deployment of the airflow powered ram air turbine. During the flight the aircraft is obviously very light and it is amazing how powerful the acceleration feels when coming out of the low speed test!

When all three parts of the inspection are adequately performed and Airbus has rectified the findings, the delivery is concluded by the ceremonious signing of the Bill of Sale. Once we have taken care of formalities with the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority, like registering the aircraft, adding it into the Finnair Air Operator Certificate, getting all needed Airworthiness Documents and insured the aircraft, it can be flown to our home base in Helsinki. After the addition of some specific equipment the aircraft is finally ready to serve our customers.

Miika Haatio

A350 Program Fleet Manager

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Finnair): Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A321-231 D-AZAO (msn 5758) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became OH-LZG on the hand over.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Hot New Photos Slide Show: AG Hot New Photos

Germanwings adds new routes from Berlin Tegel and Hamburg

Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) on October 27 will add more routes and schedules for Berlin (Tegel), Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn, Hannover, Stuttgart and Nuremberg as the Lufthansa subsidiary expands as planned.

Here is a list of the Germanwings new winter 2013/2014 routes:

Germanwings W 2013 New Routes

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 D-AGWU (msn 5457) climbs away from the runway at EuroAirport, serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg in three countries.

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

Germania to end its Boeing 737-700 wet lease agreement with Airberlin

Germania Fluggesellschaft (Berlin-Tegel) will end its wet-lease agreement with Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin-Tegel) for two Boeing 737-700s (D-ABLB and D-AGEN) on October 31 per ch-aviation.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Germania for Airberlin, Boeing 737-75B D-AGEN (msn 28100) approaches Zurich for landing.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Germania: AG Slide Show

Air Canada completes the transfer of Embraer 175s to Sky Regional Airlines

Air Canada (Montreal) announced it has successfully completed the transfer of all 15 of its Embraer 175 aircraft, the smallest jet aircraft in Air Canada’s fleet, to Sky Regional Airlines (Air Canada Regional) (Montreal-Trudeau) to operate the aircraft on behalf of Air Canada under the capacity purchase agreement between the parties. Sky Regional now operates 20 aircraft on behalf of Air Canada , under this agreement.

Sky Regional has been an Air Canada Express partner since May 2011 , operating service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Montreal Trudeau Airport with a fleet of Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft. Since March 2013 , Sky Regional has been phasing in the operation of a fleet of Embraer 175 regional jet aircraft on existing Air Canada short-haul regional routes, primarily from Toronto and Montreal to destinations in the northeast United States including New York (La Guardia), Newark, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago (O’Hare) and Dallas/Fort Worth, under the Air Canada Express banner. Sky Regional currently employs approximately 550 people and is the sole Air Canada Express operator serving Billy Bishop Toronto City, Philadelphia, Chicago (O’Hare) and Dallas/Fort Worth airports.

In addition to Sky Regional, Air Canada has capacity purchase agreements with its other regional airline partners, Jazz, Air Georgian and EVAS, that operate regional Air Canada Express flights on behalf of Air Canada.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Air Canada, Embraer ERJ 170-200SU (ERJ 175) C-FEKI (msn 1700103) completes the River Approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library?

Air Canada Express-Sky Regional Airlines: AG Slide Show

Sky Regional logo

 

United Airlines to recall nearly 600 pilots

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced it will recall nearly 600 pilots currently on furlough to address the airline’s future staffing needs. No United pilots will remain on furlough following the recall.

Training classes for the recalled pilots will begin next month and run through the end of the year. In total, United has more than 12,000 pilots.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N75426 (msn 31622) departs from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Silver Airways adds new service from Orlando, Tallahassee and West Palm Beach

Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville) is adding new international destinations and enhanced domestic air travel options beginning on November 21, 2013. The carrier will launch new nonstop service from West Palm Beach to North Eleuthera and Freeport in The Bahamas, two nonstop flights each weekday between Orlando and Tallahassee, and two nonstop flights each weekday between West Palm Beach and Orlando that will give business and leisure travelers the only nonstop service between West Palm Beach and Orlando.

Silver Airways will deploy SAAB 340B aircraft on its new routes. Silver operates the largest fleet of 34-seat SAAB 340B aircraft in North America.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. SAAB 340B N418XJ (msn 418) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Silver Airways: AG Slide Show

United Airlines to start Indianapolis-San Francisco service, pilots release a seniority list

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new daily nonstop service from Indianapolis to its hub at San Francisco International Airport., beginning on January 7, 2014. The conveniently timed flights will operate using Airbus A319 aircraft, with eight United First seats, 40 United Economy Plus seats and 72 United Economy seats.

United flight 500 will depart Indianapolis International Airport (IND) at 8 a.m. (0800), arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at 10 a.m. (1000). The return flight, United 317, will depart San Francisco at 1:35 p.m. (1335), arriving in Indianapolis at 8:51 p.m. (2051). The new service, which launches from San Francisco to Indianapolis on January 7 and from Indianapolis to San Francisco on January 8, will provide travelers with convenient connections from United’s largest West Coast hub to points throughout North America, Asia and Australia. United currently offers nonstop service from Indianapolis to its hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Cleveland, Denver, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Newark and Washington, D.C. (Dulles) with up to 35 daily flights offering single-connection access to more than 261 cities across the globe.

In other news, the pilots of United Airlines and Continental Airlines have finally released an integrated seniority list. A three-member pilot arbitration panel came up with the solution after three years of negotiations.

Read the full report from the Denver Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 N828UA (msn 1031) lands at Las Vegas.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue and Aviation Technical Services sign an agreement to install Wi-Fi connectivity on 130 Airbus A320s

JetBlue Airways (New York) has signed a contract with Aviation Technical Services (ATS) for the Washington state-based company to install super-fast next-generation Ka-band satellite Wi-Fi technology on JetBlue’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.

The agreement covers up to 130 A320 aircraft at ATS’s maintenance facility in Everett, Washington. Additional Ka-band installations will be accomplished at JetBlue’s LiveTV subsidiary in Orlando. The technology was designed by LiveTV, which will be conducting training and technical support to ATS to ensure a quality installation. All Airbus A320 installations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Fly-Fi, JetBlue’s brand for wireless inflight internet, will use satellite-based connectivity, while most other carriers use ground-based systems, known as Ku-band. Subsequently, JetBlue’s Fly-Fi system is expected to be significantly faster than others.

Ka-band is the next generation of high-bandwidth satellite technology, with eight times more bandwidth than Ku-band. Ka-band satellites are better suited to support high-throughput capacity that cannot be met by more congested Ku-band frequencies. Ka-band also allows smaller end-user antennas.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N566JB (msn 2042) in the Bubbles scheme arrives at Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

FedEx Express takes delivery of its first Boeing 767-300F freighter

Boeing (Chicago) and FedEx Express (Memphis), an operating company of FedEx Corp. (Memphis), yesterday (September 4) celebrated the delivery of the company’s first 767-300 freighter. The delivery supports the FedEx strategy to modernize its fleet with more efficient freighters.

The 767 Freighter is an ideal upgrade for the fleet serving the FedEx Express domestic network, providing improved fuel, maintenance and cost savings over the MD-10 freighters it will replace.  FedEx Express gains additional efficiency through the ability to share parts, tooling and flight simulators between the 767 and the more than 70 757 freighters already in its fleet.

The 767 freighter is based on the popular 767-300 ER (extended range) passenger airplane. Able to carry approximately 58 tons (52.7 tons) of revenue cargo with intercontinental range, the 767 Freighter is ideal for developing new long-haul, regional or feeder markets.

The airplane joins other Boeing freighters in the FedEx fleet such as the MD-10, MD-11, 757 and the 777.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-3S2F N101FE (msn 42706) is pictured at Paine Field near Everett, WA on a test flight prior to the official hand over.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Delta cuts 29 flights from Memphis on September 3

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) as promised, dropped 29 flights from its former Memphis hub on Tuesday, September 3.  Delta will now operate around 64 flights a day into MEM on its weekday schedule. Overall the airport is down from around 300 flights a day in 2000 to around 100 total passenger flights today. Delta cut flights to Baton Rouge, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Jackson, Knoxville, Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville), Oklahoma City, Phoenix, St. Louis, Shreveport and Tulsa.

Read the full report from the Memphis Business Journal: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Former Northwest Airlines Airbus A319-114 N346NB (msn 1796) taxies to the runway at MEM.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

Boeing forecasts China’s airline fleet to triple over the next 20 years

Boeing (Chicago), China’s leading provider of passenger airplanes, projects a demand for 5,580 new airplanes in China over the next 20 years valued at $780 billion. The company’s annual China Current Market Outlook forecasts the country’s fleet to triple in size over the next two decades.

Tourism in China and intra-Asia travel will help spur a strong demand for single-aisle airplanes, with total deliveries in that segment reaching 3,900 through 2032. Tinseth said both the Next-Generation 737 and the new 737 MAX offer significant advantages in improved capabilities, fuel efficiency and maintenance costs, as well as enhanced environmental performance.

Long-haul international traffic to and from China is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 7.2 percent. The international growth is primarily driven by anticipated passenger traffic between China and North America, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania and Africa. This growth in the long-haul segment is expected to result in demand for an additional 1,440 new fuel-efficient widebodies, such as the 787 Dreamliner, 777 and 747-8 Intercontinental.

New Airplane Deliveries to China: 2013-2032

Airplane type Seats Total deliveries Dollar value
Regional jets 90 and below 240 $10B
Single-aisle 90-230 3,900 $370B
Small wide-body 200-300 730 $170B
Medium wide-body 300-400 610 $200B
Large wide-body 400 and above 100 $30B
Total 5,580

(16% of world total)

$780B

(16% of world total)

Boeing projects investments of $4.8 trillion worldwide for more than 35,000 new commercial airplanes to be delivered during the next 20 years. The complete forecast is available at www.boeing.com/commercial/cmo/index.html.  China accounts for approximately 16 percent of the total demand in terms of both new deliveries and market value.

Top and Bottom Copyright Photos: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. China Southern Airlines‘ Boeing 737-71B B-5283 (msn 38919), the 4,000th Next Generation 737, passes through Honolulu on its long delivery flight to China.

China Southern Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Atrak Air plans to launch operations with Airbus A320s

Atrak Air (Tehran) is a new airline based in Iran. The airline is preparing to launch domestic and international operations very soon. The new carrier has acquired its first Airbus A320 and plans to add two more in order to start its initial operations.

Copyright Photo: Shahram “Shary” Sharifi/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-231 EP-TTA (msn 393) approaches for landing at the Tehran base. The airliner is being leased from Khors Aircompany.

Atrak Air logo

SAS Group’s third quarter net profit rises to $128 million

SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines-SAS) (Stockholm) reported its third quarter net profit rose to 844 million kroner ($128 million). Facing stiff competition from low-fare airlines, the SAS Group cut 800 jobs last year in order to reduce its costs. The SAS Group issued this financial statement for its third quarter:

SAS delivers positive result for the May-July 2013 quarter:

· Revenue: MSEK 11,593 (11,638)
· Traffic: up 5.6%
· Passenger revenue adjusted for currency: up 5.3%
· Income before tax and nonrecurring items: MSEK 973 (497)
· EBIT margin: 11.6% (9.0%)
· Income before tax: MSEK 1,120 (726)
· Net income for the period: MSEK 844 (534)
· Earnings per share: SEK 2.57 (1.62)
· Cash flow from operating activities: MSEK -276 (-187)

November 2012-July 2013

· Revenue: MSEK 31,123 (31,007)
· Traffic: up 3.8%
· Passenger revenue adjusted for currency: up 5.3%
· Income before tax and nonrecurring items: MSEK 229 (-788)
· EBIT margin: 2.2% (-1.3%)
· Income before tax: MSEK -9 (-2,694)
· Net income for the period: MSEK -174 (-2,436)
· Earnings per share: SEK -0.53 (-7.40)
· Cash flow from operating activities: MSEK 518 (299)

“It is gratifying that our robust and sweeping restructuring program is having the anticipated effect and SAS exits the third quarter strongly with a positive income before tax of MSEK 1,120.

We have made substantial progress in the implementation of our plan to improve our financial position. When the sale of Widerøe is concluded in September, we will have completed the sale of assets corresponding to about SEK 2.7 billion.

In parallel, during the quarter, we were able to increase traffic through a significant improvement in productivity. During the summer, 32 new routes were opened, which contributed to increased passenger revenue at the same time as operating expenses decreased. We have signed a letter of intent with Airbus regarding the renewal of the SAS Group’s long-haul fleet, which bolsters our long-term competitiveness.

Competition in European air traffic remains very intense. Consequently, our focus is on completing the entirely necessary transition to a lower and more flexible cost structure, in parallel with our continued aggressive investment in our customer offering. Our forecast of achieving positive earnings for the full-year remains firmly in place,”

Rickard Gustafson, SAS President and CEO.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS has eight Airbus A350-900s on order with the first deliveries in 2018. The new type will replace the older Airbus A340-300s. A340-313X LN-RKG (msn 424) approaches the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

Delta orders 10 Airbus A330-300s and 30 A321s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today announced plans to purchase 40 Airbus aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2017. The order, which comprises 10 international wide body A330-300 and 30 large domestic narrow body A321 jets, is the latest step in Delta’s prudent fleet renewal to enhance profitability while diligently managing capacity.

The 10 A330-300 aircraft will augment Delta’s existing fleet of 32 A330s. The first A330 delivery is scheduled for spring of 2015, with three additional airplanes scheduled for that year, four in 2016, and the final two in 2017.

Delta will be the first airline to operate the enhanced 242-metric ton A330-300, which offers additional payload capacity and range. Delta will use the aircraft’s versatility to optimize its Pacific and Atlantic networks.

These aircraft will be powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines. Delta currently operates similar GE CF6 engines on more than 60 widebody aircraft.

The A330 will feature 34 full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in BusinessElite, 32 extra-legroom seats in Economy Comfort and 227 Economy seats. The international aircraft will feature in-flight Wi-Fi and industry leading in-flight entertainment with a library of more than 1,000 on-demand options, as well as standard 110v power, modern interiors with LED lighting, and extra-capacity overhead bins.

The 30 A321s will expand Delta’s existing fleet of 126 A320-family domestic aircraft. Delta’s first three A321s are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2016, with 12 more due in that year. The remaining 15 jets are scheduled for 2017.

Delta’s A321 will be equipped with CFM56-5B engines produced by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Snecma of France. Delta operates more than 200 aircraft in its fleet today with CFM56 engines, including all Airbus narrowbody aircraft. The A321s will also feature wingtip sharklets, which will provide up to 4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

The Airbus A321 will have 20 First Class seats, 22 extra-legroom seats in Economy Comfort and 148 seats in the Economy cabin. Every A321 will feature in-flight Wi-Fi, industry leading in-flight entertainment with live satellite TV and on-demand options, and standard 110v power. The A321 will also offer Economy cabin seats that are among the widest in the industry.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-323X N801NW (msn 524) taxies at Amsterdam.

Bottom Image: Airbus.

Delta A321-200 WL (07)(Flt-1)(Airbus)(LR)

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

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