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AAIB: No evidence the Ethiopian 787 fire at London Heathrow Airport was caused by the batteries

AAIB logo

Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has classified the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) fire at London Heathrow Airport on Friday (July 12) as a “serious incident”. The important statement in the message below is the statement at the end is the heat damage in upper rear fuselage “is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship”.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Fixing ET-AOP could be a challenge for Boeing: CLICK HERE

The AAIB issued this statement:

AAIB LHR Statement 7.13.13

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Luxair to fly to Dublin again next summer, Luxair Group loses $13.7 million in 2012

Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines (Luxembourg) has announced it will resume service to Dublin on March 30, 2014 with four weekly frequencies. The restored route will operate during the summer season with Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft.

According to the flag carrier, “This decision is part of the new Luxair strategy to serve its customers better, not only with a more attractive fare structure but also by developing its European network according to the demand of both business and leisure travellers. This follows the opening of the new Luxembourg-Copenhagen route as of June 3, already coming up with a very good load factor. This also is in accordance with the enhancing of the London City route (a fifth daily flight is being operated since April 8) and the Milan Malpensa connection (a third daily flight is being operated since September 2012).

A losing year in 2012. Previously the Luxair Group issued its financial statement for 2012:

The aviation sector remains very sensitive to the vagaries of the economy, with increased exposure with regard to traditional regional air transport in Europe. Luxair Luxembourg Airlines’ operating result thus logically experienced a further downturn in 2012, while the tour operator Luxair Tours only just managed to struggle through in a highly competitive environment. As for the freight handling business, the interaction between the state of the economy and goods transport unsurprisingly resulted in a decline in volumes handled by Luxair CARGO. 2012 was therefore a difficult year for Luxair Group and resulted in a loss of 10.5 million EUR ($13.7 million).

Luxair Group

Luxair Luxembourg Airlines’ losses, the deterioration in the profitability of Luxair Tours and Luxair CARGO’s deficit pushed the operating loss to over 18 million EUR in 2012 against only 2 million EUR in 2011. Group revenue increased from 428.6 million EUR in 2011 to 446.7 million EUR in 2012. The net result for the year came out at a loss of 10.5 million EUR in 2012 against a profit of 3.6 million EUR in 2011.

Consolidated results

Luxair S.A. has a 43.4% stake in Cargolux. In 2012, Cargolux has suffered again from weak economic conditions. The handled volumes have decreased by 2% to 645,800 tons. An after-tax loss of $35 million had a negative impact on the financial year (loss of $18 million in 2011), equally affected by a fall of 7.6% in turnover.

By including the subsidiaries, including Cargolux by 43.4%, the consolidated net result of Luxair Group comes
to a loss of 21.2 million EUR in 2012 compared to a gain of 1.4 million EUR in 2011.

Luxair Luxembourg Airlines

2012 was marked by increased competition on Luxair Luxembourg Airlines’ domestic routes, particularly with regard to flights to and from Munich, Geneva, London and Hamburg, as well as connecting traffic via the hubs served by competitors. The rise in the price of oil, + 10% compared with 2011, is another factor which weighed heavily on Luxair’s financial performance.
On a like-for-like basis, Luxair recorded a 7% rise in passengers, which enabled passenger numbers to stabilize despite lower capacity due to a reduction in the number of flights.

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) LX-LGA (msn 4159) climbs gracefully from Frankfurt bound for LUX.

Luxair: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photos: Luxair. The airline invited local children to visit this Boeing 737-800 at the local Luxembourg base. The airline has also added promotional Disney Planes logos to this Boeing 737-8C9 LX-LGU (msn 41047).

Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines 737-800 WL LX-LGU (07-Disney Planes)(Logo) LUX (Luxair)(LRW)

Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines 737-800 WL LX-LGU (07-Disney Planes)(Lion Pilot) LUX (Luxair)(LRW)

Route Map:

Sunwing Airlines to add two new seasonal routes from Montreal in December

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto-Pearson) will add weekly seasonal flights from Montreal (Trudeau) to both Aruba and Ixtapa, Mexico starting on December 16. The company is also adding extra frequencies to existing Caribbean routes.

The company issued this statement:

In response to a successful winter of sold out flights and with further enhancements to its leading product portfolio, Sunwing is announcing greater frequency to the popular resort destinations of Punta Cana, Varadero, and Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, with service up to twice daily.

Sunwing has also announced new destinations, with direct service from Montreal to the Caribbean island of Aruba and Ixtapa, Mexico, starting in December of 2013.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8K5 WL C-FRZG (msn 35139) in the special 2011 Oasis Hotels and Resorts – Oasis Loves U livery climbs away from Montreal (Trudeau).

Sunwings Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways to resume Phoenix-Miami nonstop flights on October 27

US Airways (Phoenix) in anticipation of the merger with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), will re-launch the Phoenix-Miami route on October 27. The route will be operated daily with Airbus A320s according to Airline Route. This is an old America West route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N119US (msn 1268) approaches Los Angeles International Airport for landing.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways stockholders approve the merger with American Airlines

US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix), the parent of US Airways (Phoenix), today announced that its shareholders approved the merger agreement with AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth).

The merger agreement was approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of US Airways stock, which represented over 99% of the votes cast by US Airways shareholders on the proposal. Of the 132,788,060 shares voted, 132,273,780 shares voted in favor of the proposal; 257,757 shares voted against; and 256,523 abstained. Shareholders also approved other proposals related to the merger.

Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, and incoming CEO of the combined company, said, “We are pleased that our shareholders overwhelmingly supported our merger with American Airlines.  This approval is a major milestone on our path to completing the merger, and we continue to make excellent progress overall thanks to the focused efforts of the dedicated representatives from both companies. By bringing together two highly complementary networks and generating significant revenue synergies, the new American Airlines will deliver enhanced value for its shareholders.  I want to thank our shareholders, our customers and our more than 100,000 dedicated employees for their support throughout this process and look forward to moving forward as an even stronger airline.”

As previously announced, AMR and US Airways agreed to combine to create the new American Airlines, a premier global carrier.  Headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth, the new American Airlines will become a highly competitive alternative for consumers to other global carriers and is expected to offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.  The combined airline will offer customers more choices and increased service across a larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance.  Together, American Airlines and US Airways are expected to operate a mainline fleet of almost 950 aircraft and employ more than 100,000 team members worldwide.

The merger is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and confirmation of AMR’s Plan of Reorganization by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.  The companies continue to expect to complete the combination in the third quarter of 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-323X N275AY (msn 370) departs from London (Heathrow).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N336AA (msn 25193) lands at Zurich.

Breaking News: Operations suspended after a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines parked Boeing 787 at London Heathrow

Ethiopian logo

Ethiopian Airlines‘ (Addis Ababa) Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) parked at a remote stand (parking spot) at London (Heathrow) was involved in an unspecified on-board fire this afternoon. No passengers were on board the aircraft.

The 787 was grounded in January after several on-board fires involving the battery system. The NTSB was never able to determine the cause of the battery fires. Boeing re-designed a battery containment package system that was approved and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the aircraft returned to the skies in April. It is undetermined if this reported fire involves the battery system.

Airport operations at LHR was suspended briefly due to the fire. Fire equipment were seen surrounding the aircraft at the stand. Fire crews were inspecting the rear cargo compartment (see second video).

According to a Reuters photo, there appears to be a damaged area in the top rear roof area ahead of the tail.

Ethiopian Airlines issued this statement:

Today, Friday, July 12, 2013, smoke was detected from Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 aircraft with the registration number ET-AOP, which was parked at London Heathrow Airport for more than eight hours.

The aircraft was empty when the incident was observed.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by all concerned.

Further statements will be issued in due course, as we receive more information.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The aircraft has been moved to a hangar and an investigation has started. All airlines continue to operate the aircraft although a Thomson Airways 787 had to return due to a technical problem. Read the full report from the Financial Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. ET-AOP in action at Toronto (Pearson) before today’s incident.

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show


Flying on Norwegian’s first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on a “Dreamtour”

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is currently operating the pictured Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) (above) (Antony J. Best) on European routes before it enters its long-haul service career with Norwegian Long haul. EI-LNA was the first 787 for the rapidly-growing low-fare airline and was handed over to the carrier on June 29, 2013.

Norwegian 787 Dreamtour Banner (Norwegian)(LR)

The Norwegian is operating a “Dreamtour” for its European customers this summer. From July 4 through August 4 the airline is substituting its new 787 on select European routes from Oslo. This includes flights to London (Gatwick) as well as Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga and Nice on the Mediterranean Sea.

Norwegian 787 European Dreamtour (Norwegian)(LR)

Allan Huse booked and flew one of these “Dreamtour” flights, a round trip from London (Gatwick) and Oslo and return.

Asked about his experience and first impressions of the 787, Allan said; “It was very enjoyable and smooth flight. The crew was friendly and knew all about the aircraft and the on board systems. The fare was good at under £100 return. I would recommend a flight on one!”

Allan has also provided these in-flight and cabin photos of EI-LNA from his “Dreamtour”.

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LNA (02-Sonja Henie)(Cockpit) LGW (AHE)(LRW)

Above: The “front-end office” of EI-LNA with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The crew loves the new “toy”.

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LNA (02-Sonja Henie)(Cabin-2) LGW (AHE)(LRW)

Above: EL-LNA is dedicated to Norwegian figure skater and film star Sonja Henie. Her image appears on the tail and also in the inside of the cabin where Norwegian has placed a photo of Sonja on the bulkhead.

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LNA (02-Sonja Henie)(Cabin) LGW (AHE)(LRW)

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LNA (02-Sonja Henie)(Cabin-1) LGW (AHE)(LRW)

Above Two Photos: Even of these short European routes, Norwegian is showing off the mood lighting on EI-LNA.

Norwegian.com 787-8 EI-LNA (02-Sonja Henie)(Wing)(AHE)(LRW)

Above Photo: For those with the perfect window seat, the beautiful sweeping lines of the wing of EI-LNA is apparent.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best (all others by Allan Huse). Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA prepares to land at London (Gatwick).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Video: In Norwegian. Following in the footsteps of Thomson Airways. Norwegian is taking a state-of-the-art aircraft with its lower operating costs and merging it with its low-fare strategy on new leisure routes.

JetBlue Airways provides an update on its “Fly-Fi” system

JetBlue Airways (New York) has issued this update on its WiFi aircraft upgrade program:

As Summer hits its stride, we wanted to take a moment to give an update on a topic of great interest to our online audience: WiFi onboard!

Earlier this spring we announced some details on our upcoming service we’re calling Fly-Fi and we’re well on our way to bringing this innovative solution to our customers. Bringing faster internet connections than the other guys isn’t without it’s challenges though. If we want to have a better connection, we can’t just use the same technology, so we turned our eyes to the sky… about 22,000 miles up!

As the first U.S. airline to use Ka Band satellite technology to deliver high speed internet to our aircraft, it also falls to us to prove that the technology and equipment used to deliver it is safe, and have the FAA certify that the equipment is ready to be installed in additional aircraft. With safety as our number one value, we don’t take this responsibility lightly.

In June, we took one of our planes out of service and gave it an experimental designation so we could install the necessary equipment. Aside from the electrical work to be done throughout the cabin, there’s the small matter of outfitting the external equipment as well. It’s no small feat to install rotating, pivoting blades that constantly track the orbiting ViaSat-1!

After several ‘proving flights’ to test the air-worthiness of the added equipment and new radome (the bubble on top of our planes containing antennae), we were able take another flight to test the Fly-Fi system and any impact the signals may have on other aircraft systems or equipment. The tests were VERY thorough, we even tested the lavatory lights!

The most exciting tests were of the system itself though, and the team reporting back was thrilled with the results and download speeds they were seeing. Needless to say, our excitement is high and we itching to start rolling it out, but there are a couple final steps to go.

One of a flurry of photos sent from the experimental aircraft using Fly-Fi
One of a flurry of photos sent from the experimental aircraft using Fly-Fi

With testing done, the experimental aircraft must now sit and wait for the FAA to review the documentation and data collected to issue a Supplemental Type Certificate that will allow us to return the plane to service, and begin the process of installing Fly-Fi on our fleet. We expect that process to take a bit of time, but once complete, we get to take to the air once again for final preparations. Once the plane is completely vetted, it’ll return to service, and we’ll be able to begin rolling out Fly-Fi to the rest of the fleet.

Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by JetBlue). JetBlue Airways is also adding new Sharklets tail devices in-house to its fleet. The first, the pictured A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) “Blue Yorker” was unveiled at New York (JFK) on February 22, 2013.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Allegiant Air to fly between Los Angeles and Honolulu, starting at $99 OW

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Los Angeles and Honolulu beginning on October 30, 2013.

In March 2010, the company announced it signed a forward purchase agreement to acquire six Boeing 757-200 aircraft that enabled Allegiant to expand its leisure travel strategy into Hawaii with flights beginning in summer 2012.

Allegiant currently operates a fleet of 57 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 (MD-80) aircraft, six Boeing 757-200 aircraft, and one Airbus A319 aircraft. The Company has agreements to acquire eight additional Airbus A319 aircraft and nine Airbus A320 aircraft, which will be introduced throughout 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N906NV (msn 27236) lands at the Las Vegas home base.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Despite the protests of founder Stelios Haji-Iannou, easyJet finalizes its Airbus order

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has firmed up the purchase of 135 Airbus A320 family aircraft (100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos). The initial agreement was announced earlier in June.

Founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou was critical of the order and did not want to approve the order as a stockholder. However enough stockholders gave their approval for the order to proceed.

Haji-Ioannou started easyJet in 1995 when he was 28. In 2000, EasyJet PLC was partially floated on the London Stock Exchange. Stelios’ family remains its largest single shareholder.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZTY (msn 4554) approaches Geneva for landing (click on the photo for the full size view).

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

Bottom Image: Airbus. An artist rendition of the A320neo.

EasyJet (UK) A320-200neo (00)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)


Asiana Airlines’ pilot sees a bright light on the final approach

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has conducted its final press conference in San Francisco. The landing Asiana Airlines pilot reported a bright light source on his final approach (reflection of the sun on the water?). The pilot looked away and did not think it blinded him. The other pilot did not report any source of light. Here is the briefing from yesterday afternoon (July 11). The final accident report will probably take a year or longer before it is issued. If there are any recommendations, the NTSB will issue those recommendations sooner to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Meanwhile the remains of the Boeing 777 are slowly being removed.

Air China starts nonstop Beijing-Houston service

Air China (Beijing) began its four weekly nonstop services between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in Beijing, China and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas yesterday (July 11).

The inaugural flight from Beijing, CA 995, arrived at 3:40 (1540) yesterday afternoon to a Texas-sized welcome which included a traditional water cannon salute. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was on hand to greet the delegation from Chinaled by Ms. Yinxiang Wang, Co-Chairwoman of Air China Limited; Chinese Consul General for Texas and seven U.S. southern states and Puerto Rico, Ms. Erwen Xu; and, former Houston Rockets star and now Houston’s Honorary Goodwill Ambassador, Yao Ming.


Copyright Photo: Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Air China’s New Nonstop Service Between Houston, Texas and Beijing, China. (PRNewsFoto/Houston Airport System).

With the launch of the nonstop service, Houston becomes Air China’s fifth gateway in North America, joining Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver.  Air China will operate inside Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s gateway for all foreign carriers.

Houston and Beijing have enjoyed a strong relationship for several decades. China’s paramount leader, the late Deng Xiaoping, visited Houston during his historic trip to the United States in 1979.

Air China will operate the nonstop flights, CA 996, from Houston to Beijing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 1:00 AM local time (0100) and arriving in Beijing at 4:50 AM (0450) local time, next day.   The chart below shows the schedule of the new service.

Flight Number Code-Share Flt. No. Route Departure Arrival Schedule Aircraft
CA 996 UA7602* Houston-Beijing 01:00 04:50+1 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun B777-300ER
CA 995 UA7601* Beijing-Houston 15:00 15:40 Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun B777-300ER

NOTES: All times are local.  “+1″ stands for next-day arrival.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2036 (msn 38676) arrives at the Frankfurt terminal.

Air China: AG Slide Show

* Codeshare flight.

Thomas Cook Airlines introduces its “Air Flair” logojet

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) (Brussels) loves logojets and the additional advertising revenue its brings in. Following on the new Ice-Watch logojet, the airline has also introduced this new “Air Flair” logojet on the pictured Airbus A320-214 OO-TCJ (msn 1787). The logojet promotes the local Belgian magazine Flair, which is read mainly by women.

Aor Flair logo

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. OO-TCJ prepares to land at the Brussels base.

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium): AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines unveils its next generation cabin product and KrisWorld

Singapore First Class Seat (Singapore)(LR)

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has unveiled its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, according to the airline “the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system”. The airline issued this statement:

Customers will soon be able to experience the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system to date, on new Boeing 777-300 ERs entering Singapore Airlines’ fleet in the coming months.

The new KrisWorld, based on a Panasonic Avionics hardware platform, will initially be available on eight new Boeing 777-300 ERs that will begin to enter service from September 2013. It will also be introduced on new Airbus A350s scheduled for delivery in the coming years, in line with the terms of an agreement valued at nearly $400 million that was signed with Panasonic Avionics in 2012. Existing KrisWorld systems on other aircraft already in service may also be retrofitted with the new system.

Singapore Airlines agreed last year to be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ next-generation eX3 system for the Airbus A350s, as well as the first to offer the eX3 experience on the Boeing 777-300ERs. The airline will also be the first to offer Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite on the A350s, with the capability to provide broadband Internet services to passenger devices and the seat-back, as well as mobile phone services.

Singapore First Class (Singapore)(LR)

The new KrisWorld features larger LCD screens and video touch-screen handsets across all classes. LCD screens will increase from 23 to 24 inches in First Class, 15.4 to 18 inches in Business Class and 10.6 to 11.1 inches in Economy Class. Economy Class customers will also be able to browse through the more than 1,000 on-demand entertainment options by swiping or scrolling through the touch-screen monitor.

Working with renowned design company Massive Interactive, Singapore Airlines has seamlessly integrated the functionality of the video touch-screen handset into the core design of a new, innovative KrisWorld user interface to ensure that navigating through menus and programmes is intuitive and user-friendly. Customers will be able to multi-task among the varied entertainment options available. For example, they may watch a movie, while at the same time use the handset to keep up to date with the latest news headlines or track the aircraft’s flight path. Alternatively, customers may use the handset as a touchscreen trackpad to navigate KrisWorld. New features such as  “Quick Search”, where a flick of the handset pulls up a playlist of entertainment choices, are also being introduced.

Leveraging on technology, a number of thoughtful features are being incorporated into KrisWorld with customers’ convenience in mind. For example, the Notification Centre on the KrisWorld dashboard contains information relevant to the flight, reducing the number of onboard announcements, thereby allowing customers to watch movies uninterrupted.

Customers will also experience greater personalisation, with KrisWorld providing content recommendations based on passengers’ preferences. They may also rate movies and see how others have rated these.

Twenty-one aircraft have been equipped to date and the service will be rolled out to the rest of the Airline’s Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft by the end of next year. Inflight connectivity service on the 21 aircraft is provided by OnAir. For the new 777-300 ERs entering the fleet over the next two years, the service will be provided by Panasonic Avionics.

Key Features

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

IFE screen size 61 centimetres 24 inches 46 centimetres  18 inches 28 centimetres  11.1 inches
Touch-screen handset Available across all three classes
Ports HDMI, USB & eXPort  HDMI, USB & eXPort    USB & eXPort  
In-seat power supply Available across all three classes
Headphones Bose Quiet Comfort QC15noise-cancellation headphones Phitek Supra Auranoise-cancellation headphones   Standard headphones

Entertainment – movies, TV, music, radio channels

More than 230 movies, over 340 TV programmes, 22 hosted radio programmes and more than 790 CDs.
Games In addition to more than 80 interactive games including high performance 3D games, popular touch-screen games are now available.
Applications New to KrisWorld: 

  • Travel Forum: Introducing a social networking element to KrisWorld, customers can now share their travel experiences, tips and recommendations with fellow passengers.
  • DK Travel Guides: comprehensive guides to major cities in the world.
  • Live News: Customers can stay connected to the happenings on the ground with news from Channel NewsAsia
  • Flight Path iXplor 2: Improved flight path information  allowing customers to view key points of interests, for example, the Taj Mahal, when they are flying over it. 

Copyright Photos: Singapore Airlines. The airline has launched its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system. They will be available on new Boeing 777-300 ERs over the next two years. Customers travelling on select flights between Singapore and London will be the first to experience the new products from September 2013.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-312 ER 9V-SWJ 9msn 34575) arrives back at the SIN hub.


Silk Way Airlines orders two Boeing 747-8 Freighters

Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) and Boeing today announced an order for two Boeing 747-8 Freighters valued at $704 million at current list prices.

Silk Way Airlines currently operates Boeing 747-400 Freighters (see above) and 767-300 Freighters. It is considered as one of the leading cargo airlines in Central Asia providing full-fledged services to Europe and the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as the Far East including Korea, China and Hong Kong. In addition, it also serves international destinations through a network of alliances.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F 4K-800 (msn 29729) prepares to land at Moscow (Shereyetyevo).

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ pilots ratify a new five-year contract

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) pilots yesterday (July 10) approved a new five-year contract. With nearly 94 percent of 1,343 eligible pilots casting a ballot, 67 percent voted in favor of the agreement. The contract increases pay by nearly 20 percent over the life of the agreement and contains job security and work rule improvements. It also protects pilots’ retirement and insurance benefits.

The airline stated, “It is particularly significant that the pilots and Alaska management reached agreement on a new contract a little more than a month beyond the last agreement’s April 1, 2013, amendable date. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire, they only become amendable, and it is common for negotiations to last for years beyond the amendable date. The parties’ full negotiating teams began meeting in summer 2012.”

Alaska’s pilots and management now will begin the process of implementing the new agreement and preparing to discuss changes needed to accommodate new flight-time/duty-time rules that are scheduled to go into effect on January 4, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 WL N532AS (msn 36347) completes the final approach from the south into Washington (Reagan National).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Trip Report: Flying the Dreamliner #06JUL13 – Welcome to tomorrow

United 787 Trip 1

Guest Editor Marcelo F. De Biasi.

Flying the Dreamliner #06JUL13 – Welcome to tomorrow

Guest Editor Marcelo F. De Biasi

Guest Editor Marcelo F. De Biasi

This is a special one.  As most out there, having seen the Dreamliner take shape all the way from the very beginning when the airplane was still dubbed 7E7 and looked more like a shark than an actual bird, being able to actually try out the plane that in a sense “we” got to build (remember when Boeing had extensive surveys in place online asking for customer/passenger feedback?) is nothing short of a dream come true.  It’s only been a couple of months since I had the chance to see a Dreamliner live – years after its roll-out – and it certainly wasn’t easy finding a good and “cheap” flight that I could book without having to fly abroad.  Nevertheless, it required some doing as I had to make my way all the way down to Houston (IAH) in order to see this through.  Since the 787 was grounded at the beginning of the year, United Airlines (UA) stopped serving Newark (EWR) with the Dreamliner and didn’t reinstate the flight once the plane was put back into service in June.  My options were to fly from IAH to either Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX) or Chicago (ORD).  Chicago was the “cheaper” option I also wanted to connect at O’Hare International Airport and finally get to know United’s largest hub.  And so my itinerary for a day and half of flying developed into LaGuardia (LGA)-Charlotte (CLT)-IAH (on US Airways on Friday evening), IAH-ORD (the actual Dreamliner flight on United) and finally, ORD-Washington Dulles (IAD)-New York (JFK) (also on United) – the last three flights all on Saturday.  Quite an ordeal “just” to try out the Dreamliner.  I’m sure a number of people think I’m nuts for doing this (admittedly, sometimes I am).

United 787 Trip 2

So, was it worth it?  The answer is big fat YES.  I would do it all over again.  The Dreamliner sets new standards in flying.  From a financial/operational efficiency standpoint there is little doubt that the 787 is a game changer and will remain largely unchallenged for some time – yes, the A350-900 has initiated its test flying program, but it is also slightly larger than the 787 and is in fact more in the size category of the 777-200/200ER (where the 787-10 will probably also steal the show now that it has been officially launched).  United 787 Trip 7

From a customer perspective, I can tell you that 787 is by far the best airplane in existence today. Its cabin is spacious, elegant, functional, and modern.  The windows are larger in area than any other civil aircraft in-service or in development.  Window shades no longer exist, these have been replaced with electrochromism-based smart glass that allow passengers (and flight attendants alike) to dim the light to their liking (five levels in total) – and this really works like a charm.

United 787 Trip 3

As if the extra spacious feeling in the cabin – unlike anything I’ve experienced on any other plane I’ve flown on so far – wasn’t enough, the more humid cabin is simply perfect.  While you might not sense any immediate difference to another airplane, it’s when you connect onto another “normal” airplane afterwards that it hits you and you realize what a difference the cabin of the 787 makes.  Quite astonishing.  Now, I know that pretty much all of you have at least read about these advanced features – and some of you have already tried the Dreamliner out yourselves and will know what I’m talking about here – but, trust me when I say that Boeing and 787 customers are not exaggerating when they claim that the Dreamliner is tomorrow’s airplane, today.

United 787 Trip 5

Setting my “avgeek” mentality aside for a moment, as a regular passenger I would certainly opt for a Dreamliner flight in the future whenever an option is available, particularly if flying long-haul.  It sounds a bit extreme, but in all fairness, this is how good of a passenger experience the Dreamliner offers its customers (of course, provided the airline which chooses to operate the 787 doesn’t fit the plane with a 28 inch pitch in Economy Class).

Last but not least, the Dreamliner is also incredibly quiet – almost as silent as the A380 (credit where it’s due).  

United 787 Trip 8

I also need to say a little something about United.  On my 787 flight between IAH and ORD, the onboard service was very good – it was noticeable that the crew was excited about their new “toy”.   Nevertheless, only serving beverages (no spirits) on a 2 and a half hour flight in Economy Class (not even peanuts) is not really what you would expect of a traditional legacy carrier.  In any case, overall it was a top notch job by the enthusiastic “Dreamliner crew”.

United 787 Trip 4

Please enjoy a few photos of the flight – and of that INCREDIBLE looking wing, truly a work of art – and a short video I took of the final approach into Chicago O’Hare Airport.

United 787 Trip 6

Video: Landing in ORD

By the way, in case any of you were wondering, the registration of the plane I flew was N27903 (msn 34823), delivered factory fresh to United on December 20, 2012.

Copyright Photos: Marcelo F. De Biasi. All rights reserved.

About the Guest Editor:


What’s there to say about me? I’m just your average “AvGeek”. Having been bitten by the aviation bug shortly after I was born – the first words to come out of my mouth were apparently “VARIG” -, some 11 years ago I decided to make the leap to aviation photography. Occasionally, I’ve also been known to write an article or two about aviation. Aside for my obvious love for aviation, I’m also a regular amateur photographer with a nag for history, international politics, branding & marketing, social media, philosophical questions, Formula 1 and quality hard & heavy rock.  Last but not least, I also work for a major network carrier in Network Planning.


I’m from: São Paulo, Brazil, currently residing in New York, United States
Favorite Airliner: Boeing 737 Series, Boeing 777 Series, Embraer 190 and 195, MD-11, Lockheed Electra II
Fascinating Airlines: Azul, AirAsia X, Copa Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Emirates, Lufthansa
Memorable Airports: SDU, CGH, HKG, ZRH, DCA, SSA

Norwegian’s second quarter profit soars to $45.6 million

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) reported a profit before taxes of $45.6 million for the second quarter. The company issued this statement:

Norwegian today reported a profit before tax (EBT) of 277 million NOK for the second quarter of 2012. This is an improvement of 152 million Norwegian kroner, compared with the same period last year. The quarter was marked by significant cost reduction, strong output growth and fully booked flight. Even with startup costs for long-range effort and new bases in Europe reduces costs, something that is crucial to ensure the company’s competitiveness in the future.

Norwegian had a turnover of NOK 4 billion in the second quarter, an increase of 27 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Earnings before tax (EBT) amounted to 277 MNOK 152 million Norwegian crowns better than in 2012. Number of passengers flew with Norwegian in the second quarter amounted to 5.5 million, over 1 million more than the same period last year and an increase of 23 percent. The traffic growth (RPK) increased sharply to 35 percent, which is linked to every Norwegian passengers now fly much longer than they did a year ago. Cost reduction is at 9 percent.

Growth in all markets

The figures also show a strong production growth, with an increase of 34 percent (ASK). Growth is consistently in all markets. Even with a solid growth in capacity is the load factor high. The load factor for the second quarter was 77 percent, 1 percentage point higher than in the same period last year. The Norwegian’s long-range initiatives, Norwegian has had a load factor of 96 percent. The new base at London Gatwick already has a 85 percent load factor on the newly opened Mediterranean routes.

“It has been a good quarter for Norwegian where we see clear results on the choices the company has made. We finally got started with long-haul flights and we have opened a new base in London. At the same time, we have managed to reduce our costs, which is essential in such a competitive industry as the airline industry”, said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP WL LN-NGE (msn 39050) in the special UNICEF – Unite For Children markings, prepares for runway departure clearance at Palma de Mallorca. UNICEF is Norwegian’s favorite charity.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

ALPA applauds the new FAA standards for First Officers

ALPA logo

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) has hailed the announcement by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the agency is increasing the minimum qualification requirements for first officers (copilots) who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines. The new regulations, which go into effect on August 1, reflect ALPA’s efforts on several fronts and incorporate several ALPA recommendations.

In addressing ALPA members about the significance of the new rule, the Association’s president, Capt. Lee Moak, noted, “ALPA was instrumental in helping to develop these regulations through its participation on the related FAA-industry Aviation Rulemaking Committee, by working with the FAA and airline industry stakeholders, and by submitting extensive comments on the proposed rule.

Directed by Congress, the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 called for increased minimum requirements for airline first officers. The new rule mandates that airline first officers hold an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate or the new “restricted ATP.”

An ATP certificate requires, among many other qualifications, that the pilot be at least 23 years old and have logged at least 1,500 hours of flight time.

The “restricted ATP” will require pilots to be at least 21 years old with

  •  750 flight hours if they are military-trained and qualified,
  • 1,000 flight hours if trained in a four-year college or university-accredited aviation training program leading to a bachelor’s degree, or
  • 1,250 flight hours if trained in a two-year college aviation program leading to an associate’s degree.

Pilots who obtain their certificates and ratings via non-structured general aviation flight training can qualify for the restricted ATP at age 21 with 1,500 hours of flight time.

The new rule also requires, per ALPA’s recommendation, that first officers be “type rated” in the aircraft they fly in airline service—i.e., receive special training and testing on operation of that specific aircraft type.

To upgrade to captain, an airline copilot will have to log at least 1,000 hours of flight time as an airline copilot, as pilot in command (PIC) in certain small and charter airline or commercial general aviation operations, or any combination of these situations. The flight experience does not have to be obtained at the pilot’s current airline.

Military PIC time (as much as 500 hours) in a multi-engine, turbine-powered, fixed-wing airplane in an operation requiring more than one pilot may also be credited towards the 1,000 hours.

At ALPA’s urging, the FAA has not changed the type of medical certification required for airline first officers—they will still be required to hold a second class FAA airman medical certificate.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada.

The latest (July 10) NTSB briefing on the Asiana Airlines crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued this briefing on the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco late yesterday (July 10). The briefing includes new information on the pilots.

US Airways now offers a baggage delivery service and a tool to track your bag

US Airways (Phoenix) now offers customers the ability to skip the line at baggage claimwith Bags VIP delivery service; which delivers their bag to their home, hotel or office. The airline also offers customers the Track Your Bag tool on usairways.com. Track Your Bag allows travelers to follow their bags from check-in to landing from their smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Bags VIP Delivery Service

Customers can now opt to have their bags delivered directly to their home, hotel or business withBags VIP delivery. Travelers can schedule and pay for Bags VIP delivery up to one hour prior to their scheduled departure by visiting maketraveleasier.com/usairways. Once scheduled, customers need only to drop the bags off at the airport, pay any applicable baggage fees and they will be delivered within four to six hours of arrival. Bags VIP delivery service starts at $29.95 and is offered in all domestic locations the airline serves.

Track Your Bag

Any passenger connected to the Internet can now view real-time information on the bag’s status, including when the bag is checked in, on a plane, and off a plane, with US Airways’ Track Your Bag tool. Track Your Bag tool can easily be accessed at usairways.com/baggage; all that is needed is a last name and baggage tag number or confirmation code. Track Your Bag is also available free on Gogo® internet equipped flights.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2G7 N909AW (msn 24522) prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Delta to start weekly seasonal nonstop Atlanta-Fargo, North Dakota flights on December 21

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add new nonstop seasonal service between Fargo, North Dakota and Atlanta, effective on December 21, 2013. Fargo is a growing market.

The Saturday-only service between Fargo’s Hector International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be operated by Delta Connection carrier ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) using a two-class Bombardier CRJ900, equipped with 12 First Class seats, 12 Economy Comfort seats and 52 seats in the main cabin.

Delta’s new nonstop seasonal service between Fargo and Atlanta is scheduled as follows:

Service Flight Departs Arrives Service Begins Service Ends
ATL-FAR 5180 7:15 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 29, 2014
FAR-ATL 5181 6:15 a.m. 10:10 a.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 29, 2014

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N131EV (msn 15217) prepares to taxi from the gate at the Atlanta hub.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Condor Flugdienst unveils a new “Janosch” Boeing 767 logojet

Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) has introduced new “Janosch” Boeing 767-300 logojet. Janosch and Condor are teaming up in support of “A Heart for Children”. Condor has supported this organization for the past year and a half and has contributed a portion of its ticket sales. This includes an auction of aircraft models with the Janosch markings. The proceeds are fully passed on to “the A Heart for Children” fund.  The pictured Boeing 7673-330 ER D-ABUE (msn 26984) is covered with the images of the animated heroes and will be the flagship for worldwide attention to the project. All other  Condor aircraft will also carry the charity logo and a Janosch character in the Condor logo.

Top Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. D-ABUE departs from Manchester last evening.

Condor: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Condor. A close-up of the special markings.

Condor 767-300 D-ABUE (13-Janosch)(Close-Up)(Condor)(LR)

Air Canada to serve Red Deer, Alberta starting on September 3

Air Canada (Montreal) announced today it will commence scheduled service to Red Deer, Alberta on September 3, 2013 with three daily flights from Red Deer Airport to Calgary. Flights will be operated by Air Georgian (Toronto-Pearson) under the Air Canada Express brand, using 18-seat Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.

Flight # Depart Red
Deer (YQF)
Arrive Calgary
Flight # Depart Calgary
Arrive Red
Deer (YQF)
AC7205 05:30 05:57 AC7206 08:45 09:12
AC7207 09:35 10:00 AC7208 13:20 13:47
AC7209 14:10 14:37 AC7210 21:30 21:57

Copyrigth Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Beech (Raytheon) 1900D C-GAAR (msn UE-207) prepares to land at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air Canada Express-Air Georgian: AG Slide Show

Route Map: Air Georgian operates from three far-flung Air Canada hubs.

Air Canada Express-Air Georgian 7:2013 Route Map

Hainan Airlines brings its first Boeing 787 to China, will go into service tomorrow

Hainan 787-8 B-2722 (07)(Grd) BFI (Jim Arlow)(LRW)

Hainan Airlines (Hainan Airlines Company Ltd.) (Haikou and Beijing) brought its first 787 Dreamliner aircraft to China on July 7 at 11 a.m., when the pictured 787-8 B-2722 (msn 34939) landed at Haikou Meilan International Airport.

Top Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. B-2722 stopped at Seattle (Boeing Field) on its long journey between Charleston and Haikou.

The airline issued this statement:

With the delivery completed, Hainan Airlines becomes the second Chinese airline with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as part of its fleet. At the welcoming ceremony, Hainan Airlines simultaneously kicked off the “Fly Your Dreams” program, during which the airlines will hand out hundreds of 787 Dreamliner air tickets to graduating college students and model workers as well as randomly selected romantically-engaged couples and ordinary citizens free of charge, providing an unparalleled flying experience for the lucky recipients.

Hainan 787-8 B-2722 (07)(Flt) (Hainan)(LR)

Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 in flight.

At 11 a.m., the long-awaited 787 Dreamliner aircraft appeared as a great majestic bird in the distance, grabbing the attention of all present. The golden yellow silhouette of the craft glistened against the azure blue of the sky moments before passing through the “water gate,” washing off the dust accumulated during 13 hours of flight. At last, the plane glided to a smooth stop on the spacious parking apron.

Hainan First 787 Arrives in China (Hainan)(LR)

Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 arrives in Haikou and group poses for this historic photo.

Captain Theodore V. Shropshire of Boeing said at the ceremony, “We are excited to witness the maiden flight of Hainan’s first 787 Dreamliner. Boeing remains committed to providing efficient and safe aircraft and technical support for Hainan Airlines. We look forward to more planes from Boeing joining Hainan Airlines’ fleet.”

Hainan 787-8 B-2722 Cabin 1 (Jim Arlow)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Here is the cabin of B-2722.

Hainan Airline’s first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners will initially be used on three domestic routes: Beijing-Haikou and Beijing-Shanghai, and then, following a three-month trial operation along these routes, will become available for North America’s medium- and long-haul international flights including Beijing-Chicago (O’Hare), Beijing-Seattle/Tacoma and Beijing-Toronto (Pearson), further enhancing Hainan Airlines’ global competitiveness. Hainan Airlines’ first 787 will initially be used on the Beijing-Haikou route, sparking a tourism boom between Hainan and Beijing during the summer travel peak season.

Hainan Airlines celebrated its 20th anniversary this year while also launching the “Fly Your Dreams” program. The arrival of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft marked the start of Hainan Airlines’ journey to a new dream.

After the delivery ceremony, Liu Lu announced the start of the 2013 Hainan Airlines 787 “Fly Your Dreams” program. Lin Tao, Deng Xiaogang the leaders from the government of Hainan province and Li Xianhua, the CEO of HNA Group, stepped on stage and inserted a key into a globe, jointly launching the program.

Hainan 787-8 B-2722 Cabin 2 (Jim Arlow)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Another view of the cabin of B-2722.

The program, broken down into five individual segments themed “Student Dream Comes True,” “Travel Dream Comes True,” “Romance Dream Comes True,” “Flying Dream Comes True” and “North American Dream Comes True” will send hundreds of free 787 flight passenger tickets to students from low-income homes who have participated in the recent college entrance exam; locally-based Party members who have performed “above and beyond”; model laborers; air travel aficionados; long distance couples; and ordinary citizens. The program will allow students to travel to their colleges, model laborers to visit Beijing, ordinary citizens to fulfill their dream of flying for the first time, air travel enthusiasts to experience the new 787 and long distance couples a chance to reunite. Passengers can participate in Hainan Airlines’ ” Fly Your Dreams ” program by visiting the company’s official website at www.hnair.com, following Hainan Airlines on the company’s official microblog on Weibo and its official chat account on China’s instant voice messaging app We Chat.

Afterwards HNA’s vice president Huang Qijun handed out the first batch of round trip air tickets between Haikou and Beijing to Hainan-based model workers, who will take the maiden voyage 787 flight to Beijing, realizing their travel dreams.

“Hainan Airlines’ first 787 Dreamliner will take its first commercial maiden voyage on July 11. The most important mission of this flight is for the airline to achieve its dream plan and realize that dream through the 787 Dreamliner, while providing a safe and comfortable onboard experience for each traveler achieving their own personal dream by being on the flight,” Liu Lu added.

A Boeing 737-800 made the airline’s first maiden flight between Haikou and Beijing 20 years ago, and now the airline has chosen another Boeing model, the new 787, to upgrade this route. The airline has continuously added aircraft, from a mere two when the route was first launched, to over 120 craft today. In those 20 years, Hainan Airlines has successively added over 100 Boeing planes to its fleet, becoming an important partner of Boeing in China. The Hainan Airlines’ fleet is now providing 500 routes connecting nearly 90 cities around the world. Hainan Airlines plans to upgrade the overall quality of the fleet through the introduction of more advanced models, expand the route network, consistently add routes to meet customer demand and help with China’s economic and social development as the airline and the country continue to modernize. The 787 Dreamliner addition to the fleet is another step in the airline’s efforts to perfect its five-star level of services and create the ideal flying experience for passengers through its advanced aviation technologies and design concepts.

Sixteen “787 Dream Angels” sporting Hainan Airlines’ grey uniforms made an appearance at the ceremony, and were awarded “Golden Wing” hair accessories by the company. The accessories each have the number “787” embedded in the design, a design which looks like a pair of wings, representing the goodwill behind the realization of Hainan Airlines’ “Golden Dreams.”

The “Dream Angel” crew was selected from more than 3,000 Hainan Airlines crewmembers, and flew on the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner from Charleston, South Carolina in the U.S. to Haikou Meilan International Airport as the plane was being delivered. Each selected crewmember has clocked in thousands of hours of in-flight experience and was chosen for their excellent service skills. Hainan Airlines, by combining its special five-star services with the personalized design of the Boeing 787 aircraft, will enable passengers to partake of an onboard experience akin to a “golden dream.”

In the cabin of the Boeing 787, a flight attendant from the “Dream Angel” crew briefly introduced the customized design of the passenger cabin. With bright red, the representative color of the Chinese nation and its people, as the dominant color, the layout and design of the entire cabin demonstrates Hainan Airlines’ service positioning and brand image as the “The Beauty of the Orient.” The roomy cabin features 213 seats, the lowest number among all the 787 Dreamliners delivered into China. The 36-seat business class cabin is configured in a 2-2-2 layout, with full flat-bed seats and a wide 2.4-meter (95-inch) space separating each seat. The 177-seat economy class cabin with a 3-3-3 seating layout features upgraded seats providing a higher level of comfort. The entire aircraft is equipped with individual 15-inch in-flight entertainment screens and easy access to power supply ports. USB ports are provided in the business class cabin. The newly-designed and lavishly equipped lavatory facilities fully embody the quality goals of Hainan Airlines’ five-star services.

Meanwhile, Hainan Airlines has developed a set of brand new services for passengers on the Boeing 787 aircraft. During the first week following the maiden flight, every passenger will have the opportunity to enjoy special “Golden Dream” welcome drinks as well as “Dream Cookies” specially supplied for 787 Dreamliners. The cookies will also contain “fortune cookie” messages designed to amuse passengers. In addition, Hainan Airlines offers specially produced 787 Series postcards as part of the “Post Office in the Air” onboard service, enabling passengers to send their messages while airborne and to truly experience the fun of being in flight while partaking of Hainan Airlines’ five-star service.

Hainan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways posts record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) posted record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013. The airline issued this statement:

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates achieved an eight per cent increase in Q2 2013 passenger revenues, generating $921 million (all amounts in US Dollars) (2012: $855 million), while passenger revenues for the first half of 2013 reached $1.8 billion (2012: $1.6 billion), up by 13 per cent.

Revenue generated by codeshare and equity alliance airline partners was $184 million in Q2 2013. This was 25 per cent above the $147 million turnover in the same period of 2012.  Partnership revenue comprised 20 per cent of the airline’s total passenger revenue in both Q2 and the first half of 2013.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the company’s Q2 and half year results were achieved despite the continuation of unsteady economic and geopolitical factors, with air fare yields slightly lower for the quarter, compressed by strong competitive capacity growth and resultant price competition.

“Despite the tough global trading climate, we have still achieved record, double digit growth in both Q2 and the first half of 2013,” Mr Hogan said.

“This reflects not only the continuing popularity of our Abu Dhabi hub, but the growing maturity of our airline partnership strategy and the strength of our cargo operations, which continue to well exceed industry growth rates.”

Mr Hogan said a significant achievement in Q2 was the improved contribution of the Etihad Airways equity alliance partners, in particular Germany’s Airberlin, which has become the largest codeshare contributor. This reflects increased connectivity between the integrated networks of the two airlines.

Etihad Airways increased its codeshare partnerships during Q2, adding Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways (Belgrade), and announced new partnerships with Air Canada (Montreal), South African Airways (Johannesburg) and Belavia (Minsk) of Belarussia, all to take effect during Q3. With these inclusions, Etihad Airways will have 45 codeshare partners and a virtual global network of more than 350 destinations, the most comprehensive of any alliance or Middle Eastern airline.

In Q2, Etihad Airways’ Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) – reflecting network seat capacity – rose by 13 per cent to 17.2 billion  (2012: 15.2 billion).  Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) – reflecting traffic – increased by 13 per cent to 13.3 billion in Q2 2013 (2012: 11.8 billion).

This growth was achieved through the delivery of two new Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft –  a three-class version seating 328 passengers and a two-class model seating 380 –  and a corresponding increase in flights, including new services to Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Belgrade.

Results for Q2 were further strengthened by the introduction late in March of daily flights to a fourth new destination, Washington, D.C.

Etihad Cargo continued to achieve the strongest growth in the company, with 112,963tons uplifted in Q2 2013 (2012: 89,470 tons) and 215,124 tons in the first half of 2013 (2012: 174,622 tons). This reflected a massive 26 per cent growth in Q2 and 23 per cent growth for the first half of 2013.

The growth in cargo volumes was underpinned by the delivery in Q2 of three new freighter aircraft – one Airbus A330-200F, one Boeing 777-200F and the company’s first Boeing 747-8F, which was wet leased from Atlas Air – taking the cargo fleet to nine. Cargo performance was further boosted by increased passenger services, providing more under-floor freight capacity.

During Q2 Etihad Airways announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, it would acquire 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways, enlarging the Etihad Airways equity alliance and group network.

In addition, Etihad Airways signed an Initial Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Serbia to discuss potentially investing in Jat Airways.  Etihad Airways also secured Australian regulatory approval to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia from 10 per cent to 19.9 per cent.

As well as its Virgin Australia stake, Etihad Airways holds a 29 per cent shareholding in Airberlin (Berlin), 40 per cent of Air Seychelles (Mahe) and three per cent of Aer Lingus (Dublin).

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery. Newly-built Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETP (msn 41699) lands at Paine Field near Everett after a test flight. The new airliner was delivered on June 25, 2013.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Flybe Finland to operate a new Helsinki-Tromsø route for Finnair

Finnair (Helsinki) will open a new route to Tromsø, Norway for the 2014 winter season.  The Arctic city in the far north of Norway will be served from Helsinki three times per week from January 1, 2014 until March 28, 2014.  

Situated directly under the aurora zone in the Arctic, Tromsø is ideally placed for viewing the spectacular Aurora Borealis (northern lights) on clear winter nights.  The town is made up of 70,000 people and also serves as a base for winter sports such as downhill skiing, snowshoeing, dog and reindeer sledding, and glacier hiking.  Tromsø, or Romsa in Sami languages, is also a center of Sami culture in the Norwegian Lapland and hosts Sami Week every February. 

Due to the warming effect of the Gulfstream, from January to March the city is relatively warm for the Arctic, with average highs of around -2 degrees centigrade and lows of about -6.

Flights are scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for departure from Helsinki (AY2679) at 8:15 pm (2015) and departure from Tromsø (AY2680) at 9:55 pm (2155) local time. The route, operated on behalf of Finnair by Flybe Finland (formerly Flybe Nordic and Finncomm Airlines) with Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft, takes approximately two hours.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. The 12 Finnair Embraer ERJ 190-100LRs are now operated for Finnair in Finnair colors by subsidiary Flybe Finland. OH-LKP (msn 19000416) taxies at Zurich.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

The lastest NTSB investigation briefing on the Asiana Airlines crash

The July 9, 2013 NTSB Briefing by Chairperson Deborah Hersman on the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco. Two flight attendants survived their ejected from the aircraft.

NTSB B-Roll from July 9, 2013:

Thomas Cook Airlines introduces a Ice-Watch logojet

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) (Brussels) introduced this special Airbus A320 logojet today (July 9) to help promote the Ice-Watch collection.

According to the manufacturer, the Belgian watchmaker burst onto the fashion scene in 2007. The colorful collection of hip designs is available in 110 countries and 12,000 outlets worldwide. The line of watches feature vibrant colors.

Ice Watch logo

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OO-TCH (msn 1929) arrives back tonight at the Brussels base in the colorful new design. Last year this aircraft was decorated in a special 10 Years celebration color scheme.

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium): AG Slide Show

ATI keeps the Cargo Cargo livery alive in a modified version

ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock) has apparently decided to keep the Capital Cargo International Airlines (Orlando) 2011 livery alive. Like the United Airlines-Continental Airlines merger, the surviving airline has adopted the color scheme of the airline that was closed down. The airline has not yet announced this decision.

Capital Cargo was merged into ATI-Air Transport International on March 11, 2013. Founded in 1995, Capital Cargo International Airlines (CCIA) was a FAA 121 Supplemental Air Carrier. The airline operated five Boeing 727-200 and three 757-200 freighters.

In April 2013 the pictured Boeing 757-2G5 (F) converted freighter was rolled out of the paint shop at Wilmington, Ohio in the Capital Cargo brand but now with ATI-Air Transport International Airlines titles.

The ATI version now includes red and dark blue stripes below the window line (above). The Capital Cargo version had a single red stripe (below).

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. This former National Airlines (5th) aircraft was previously operated as N151GX and never was operated on the  Capital Cargo certificate. It was delivered to ATI on March 14, 2013.

ATI-Air Transport International: AG Slide Show

Capital Cargo International Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Former United Airlines Boeing 757-222 (F) N531UA (msn 25042) was the only 757 to wear the new 2011 color scheme with Capital Cargo. Notice the differences with the cheatlines. N531UA is pictured operating to Memphis.

Capital Cargo 757-200F N531UA (11)(Grd) MEM (TMK)(LRW)

Hawaiian Airlines today commences a new route to Taipei, Taiwan

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) today (July 9) launched nonstop service to Taipei, Taiwan, the latest addition to its expanding international network and seventh Asian gateway destination.

The departure of HA 807 followed gate side festivities that included Hawaiian music and hula, performance honoring the Taiwanese culture, traditional Hawaiian blessing, and presentation of lei to passengers boarding the inaugural flight. Remarks were given by Hawai’i Governor Neil Abercrombie, who was one of several VIP guests on the inaugural flight; V.C. Chu, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu; and Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer.


Copyright Photo: PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines employees greet Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (center) with lei as he boards the inaugural flight from Honolulu to Taipei today. Taipei is the latest addition to Hawaiian Airlines’ growing international network and seventh Asian destination. Front Row (L to R): Sharon Wai, Governor Neil Abercrombie, and Billy Remular. Back Row: Shannon Kaleikini-Fukuda, Sonny Ah Puck and Jerrica Sorrow.

Today’s inaugural capitalizes on the extension of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program to cover citizens of Taiwan. Taipei is the capital city and economic center of Taiwan, and the surrounding metropolitan area of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung is home to nearly seven million people. As a whole, Taiwan has more than 23 million people and is considered one of the “Four Asian Tiger Economies” with one of the highest Per Capita GDP in Asia.

Hawai’i hosted nearly 10,000 visitors from Taiwan in 2012, according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), which expects arrival numbers to grow substantially with Visa restrictions lifted. “This new Hawaiian Airlines flight fits into our strategy of global market diversification,” commented Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. “This new service is critically important asHawai’i strives to become a major hub for that region in Asia.”

Hawaiian Airlines will operate three flights a week between Honolulu and Taipei using a 294-seat A330-200 aircraft. Flight HA 807 departs Honolulu International Airport at 1:55 a.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, crosses the international dateline, and lands at Taipei International Airport at 6:15 a.m. the following day.

The return Flight HA 808 departs Taipei at 8:55 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, crosses the international dateline, and arrives in Honolulu at 1:10 p.m. the same day.

The addition of Taipei to Hawaiian Airlines’ international network follows the launches of service to Tokyo in November 2010, Seoul in January 2011, Osaka in July 2011, Fukuoka in April 2012, New York in June 2012, Sapporo in October 2012, Brisbane in November 2012, Auckland in March 2013 and Sendai in June 2013. New non-stop service will begin between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, subject to government approvals.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A330-243 F-WWYX (msn 1104) became N380HA on delivery.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thomson Airways launches its first Boeing 787 international flight

Thomson Airways (London-Luton and Manchester) yesterday (July 8) started its first international Boeing 787 route between Manchester and Sanford, Florida

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-TUIA (msn 34422) approaches the Manchester base for landing.

Thomson Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: Alesha Dixon helped Thomson Airways launch the first flight to Sanford (near Orlando), Florida:


Mokulele to begin Kona-Kapalua (Maui) service on July 19

Mokulele Express Caravan N862MA (Tko) OGG (redlegsfan21)(LRW)

Mokulele Airlines (Mokulele Express) (Kona) has announced that effective July 19, 2013, it will begin offering service between Kona International Airport on the Big Island and Kapalua Airport on Maui.

Mokulele will operate four daily flights between Kona to Kapalua. When the new service launches on July 19, Mokulele will become the first airline to operate regular service between the two cities.

Copyright Photo: Mokulele Airlines.

Mokulele logo-1

Route Map:

Mokulele 7:2013 Route Map

Los Angeles International Airport welcomes Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways (2nd) A330-200 DQ-FJT (13)(Grd) LAX (Pete Morejon)(LRW)

Los Angeles International Airport has welcomed the first arrival of a Fiji Airways (2nd) (Nidi, Fiji) branded Airbus A330-200. Previously the airport was served with Air Pacific Boeing 747-400s.

The airport issued this statement:

To honor its cultural heritage, Fiji Airways has announced a new refreshed brand at a celebratory launch event at Los Angeles International Airport. American travelers will now see direct flights from Los Angeles to Fiji almost double by the end of the year, and they will travel in new, state-of-the-art A330s.

The event retired its “Air Pacific” brand to align more closely with what makes Fiji unique, its people. With increased frequency of flights and new aircrafts, it will be even easier for Americans to get to the 333 islands of Fiji, home to happiness and rich culture.

The airline has retired its previously known classes Pacific Voyager (economy) and Tabua Class (business) and will introduce the Fiji Airways’ Economy and Fiji Airways’ Business Class as part of its enhanced on-board offering.

On board, Fiji Airways has introduced new (A330) and refreshed (B737) interiors. Revitalized service, including new meal options, new crockery and linens, have been introduced to offer an improved long-haul dining experience.

Additional Enhanced Features Include:

  • Business class guests will enjoy optimized comfort in seats that provide eight degree in-flight sleep bed and 76 inches of bed length at 60 inches of pitch, along with Panasonic’s 15.4-inch LCD displays, a handset that includes a credit card reader and keyboard, as well as noise cancelling audio jack and a USB interface.
  • A new fine dining experience and a new wine cellar with world-class wine options will be available to business class guests. Special Fiji Airways designed amenity kits for overnight flights and noise cancelling IFE headsets are part of the full suite of on-board products.
  • State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems, in-seat power, mood lighting and the introduction of sleeper and breakfast service—Yadra Vinaka, which means “Good Morning” in the Fijian language—complete the new Fiji Airways experience.
  • On the new A330s the Fiji Airways Kids Club offers complimentary entertainment for children with movies, games and e-books.

Copyright Photo: Pete Morejon. Newly-delivered Airbus A330-243 DQ-FJT (msn 1394) had the honor of operating the first flight to LAX. It is pictured parked at LAX waiting for the departure back to Fiji.

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

ALPA pushes back on growing pilot error media conclusions

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, released the following statement regarding the crash landing of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 in San Francisco on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with those who were involved in the accident this past Saturday. From the crew to the passengers to the families and first responders, we hope they can gain some comfort during this difficult time.

ALPA is stunned by the amount of detailed operational data from on-board recorders released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this soon into the investigation. The amount of data released publicly during the field portion of the accident investigation is unprecedented.

It is imperative that safety investigators refrain from prematurely releasing the information from on-board recording devices. We have seen in the past that publicizing this data before all of it can be collected and analyzed leads to erroneous conclusions that can actually interfere with the investigative process.

The release of individual data points from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder—without the context of the entire body of factual investigative data—represents a potential detriment to flight safety. It encourages wild speculation, as we have already seen in the media, about causes of the accident before all the facts are known, before investigators have the ability to determine why the events occurred, and in this case before the flight crew had even been interviewed.

This premature release of partial data is often taken out of context and creates the impression that the NTSB has already determined probable cause even before the investigation has started. Since each factor of flight, landing, airport environment, and crew is part of safe air travel, we need to ensure that reckless release of information is not sensationalized by the media for the purpose of a few headlines.

ALPA has long supported an objective accident investigation process that is based on the fundamental principle of obtaining all the facts to perform accurate analysis in the context of all factors that may have led to an accident. We stand ready to assist the NTSB or any state investigative agency in obtaining those facts and ensuring that an appropriate operational context is maintained.

ALPA urges the NTSB to make sure that the objective investigative process continues by gathering all the facts and relevant information before leading the public to believe that a cause has been determined.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada.

NTSB Videos:

CNN Video:

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is another view of the ill-fated Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) arriving at Los Angeles before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Crash of Rediske Air Otter in Alaska kills 10 people

Rediske Air (Nikiski) de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Turbo Otter N93PC (msn 280) (above) crashed at Soldotna yesterday in Alaska. Nine passengers and the pilot were killed in the crash. Soldotna is located in the Kenai Peninsula about 75 miles from Anchorage.

Rediske Air was established in 1991. According to the company, “Rediske Air Inc. specializes in air transportation, site seeing, aircraft charters, plane charter and freight services. We provide services to Anchorage and Kenai, AK and the surrounding areas.”

Read the full report (and photo) from the Peninsula Clarion: CLICK HERE

The NTSB issued this statement:

The National Transportation Safety Board is launching a go-team to Alaska to investigate the crash of a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter. The air taxi crashed at Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska, at 11:20 a.m. local time on Sunday July 7, 2013.

NTSB Senior Aviation Accident Investigator Dan Bower will serve as investigator-in-charge. NTSB Board Member Earl F. Weener is accompanying the team and will serve as the principal spokesman.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter N93PC is pictured at the Nikiski, Alaska base prior to the accident.

NTSB First Briefing on the crash:

Asiana Airlines’ pilot at San Francisco had only 43 hours in the Boeing 777

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman SFO (NTSB)(LR)

Asiana Airlines‘ (Seoul) pilot attempting the ill-fated landing at San Francisco on Saturday (July 6) was visiting San Francisco for the first time in a Boeing 777 (he visited SFO in other aircraft in the past). Lee Kang-kuk had previously logged only 43 hours in the Triple Seven before the accident. It is unclear if the senior pilot in the cockpit, Lee Jung-min, who had 3,220 hours in the Boeing 777, attempted to take over the aircraft to abort the landing at the end.

The aircraft was coming in “slow and low” as the now famous plane watcher video now shows (see below in a previous entry) along with data released by the NTSB. NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman (above) said the 777 was “well below” the required air speed of 137 knots on its low approach. The crew finally applied power after receiving the “stick shaker” warning of an imminent stall. It was too late to go around.

The two Chinese teenagers who died in the crash were thrown from the aircraft. Now it has been announced that one of the teenagers was probably run over by a responding fire truck.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: NTSB Chariman Hersman briefs (top and video) the media yesterday in San Francisco.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show


Manchester United picks Aeroflot as its official carrier

Aeroflot A320 Nose (Aeroflot)(LR)

Manchester United has today announced a five-year partnership with Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow). Aeroflot will become the Club’s Official Carrier.

Manchester United logo

According to the announcement by the football (soccer) club, “this partnership marks the Club’s first commercial venture in Russia – an expanding market it is keen to explore further and where it has close to 18 million followers.”

Announced at a ceremony at United’s Old Trafford stadium today, Aeroflot’s CEO Vitaly Saveliev and Manchester United’s Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold were joined by team manager, David Moyes and the first team squad, to celebrate the partnership.

As the Official Carrier of Manchester United, Aeroflot will provide the English Premier League champions with strategic advice on travel for the team and club representatives.

Aeroflot has 137 planes and one of the youngest fleets in Europe, with an average age of five to six years and in 2012, the Group provided an outstanding travel experience to its 27.5 million passengers. Each of its luxury aircraft features comfortable seating as well as award-winning on-board menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. As a member of SkyTeam global airline alliance, Aeroflot and its partners provide services to more than 1000 destinations in 178 countries and offer the shortest route between Europe and Asia, via Moscow.

Aeroflot is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

According to the club, “Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through our 135-year heritage we have won 61 trophies, enabling us to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Our large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media and mobile, broadcasting and match day.”

Manchester United Team

Will there be a Manchester United logojet flown by Aeroflot?

Copyright Photos: Manchester United and Aeroflot.

Aeroflot: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot FAs on steps (Aeroflot)(LR)

Spring Airlines Japan to now launch operations in late 2013 or early 2014

Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) as the new low-cost subsidiary of Spring Airlines (Shanghai), has been approved by Japan’s MLIT for a launch of scheduled passenger operations. However the new airline is now planning to commence operations in late 2013 or early 2014 according to CAPA. The new airline is planning to operate domestic routes initially from Narita Airport to Hiroshima, Kumamoto and Takamatsu. The airline previously was hoping to start operations in the spring of 2013 and the first Boeing 737-800 was prepared for delivery.

Spring Airlines is the largest low-cost carrier in China and operates over 50 international and domestic routes covering a network of more than 30 cities across China, Japan and Thailand. Spring Airlines is the aviation subsidiary of Shanghai Spring International Travel Service.

Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. Unlike the parent which operates Airbus A320s, Spring Airlines Japan will operate Boeing 737-800s. The Japanese subsidiary also has a different livery. Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) will be delivered as JA01GR.

Spring Airlines (China): AG Slide Show

New video from CNN shows the Asiana Boeing 777 crashing and cartwheeling at San Francisco

A new exclusive video taken by Fred Hayes has been released by CNN.

All photos by the NTSB.

Asiana 777 Wreck (NTSB)(LR)

Asiana 777 Cabin (NTSB)(LR)

Follow the latest Tweets from the NTSB Team: CLICK HERE

Go2Sky starts operations from Bratislava, Slovakia

Go2Sky (Bratislava) is a new airline in Slovakia based at Milan Rastislav Stefanik Airport in Bratislava, Go2Sky provides non-scheduled transportation of passengers, cargo and mail. The new carrier is being headed by pilot and investor Daniel Ferjancek, together with two partners. Ferjancek was previously a shareholder in another Slovakian charter carrier, AirExplore, which continues to operate.
The carrier signed a lease agreement with Triton Aviation Ireland Limited for one Boeing 737-400 in March 2013. The pictured Boeing 737-4Q8 registered OM-GTA (msn 24332) was delivered on June 30. It was previously operated by China’s Hainan Airlines and has undergone a C check and refurbishment. It is operated in a single-class, 168-seat configuration.
Go2Sky is operating this aircraft until mid-September to Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY) (near Milan) on behalf of Mistral Air.
The slogan of the airline is “To the Sky and Beyond”.
Go2Sky Slogan
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. OM-GTA visited Palma de Mallorca today and was pictured climbing out after departure from runway 24R bound for BGY as flight MSA 6127. All other photos and images from Go2Sky.
Go2Sky Crew (Go2Sky)(LR)

NTSB is on the scene at the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco

NTSB-Asiana 777 Crash SFO 1 (NTSB)(LR)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) investigators arrived on the scene last evening of the crash of Asiana Airlines‘ (Seoul) Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) that crashed while attempting to land.

Meanwhile Asiana Airlines issued this statement:

Press Release for Incident Involving Asiana Flight OZ 214 (July 7, 2013 06:30 KOR.Time)

The following information has been confirmed.

Asiana Airlines flight OZ 214 (Aircraft Registration HL7742) departed Incheon International Airport on July 6, 2013 at 16:35 (Korea time) bound for San Francisco. On July 7, 2013 at 11:28 (Local time) an accident occurred as OZ 214 was making a landing on San Francisco International Airport’s runway 28 L.

There were a total of 291 passengers (19 business class, 272 travel class) and 16 cabin crew aboard. The majority of the passengers were comprised of 77 Korean citizens, 141 Chinese citizens, 61 US citizens, 1 Japanese citizen, etc. for a total of 291 people.

Asiana Airlines is currently investigating the specific cause of the incident as well as any injuries that may have been sustained to passengers as a result. Asiana Airlines will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation of all associated government agencies and to facilitate this cooperation has established an emergency response center at its headquarters.

At this point no additional information has been confirmed. New developments will be announced as more information becomes available.

For further information regarding OZ213/214, please contact 800-227-4262.

Additionally the CEO of Asiana has ruled out any engine problems with the aircraft.

All passengers and crew members have now been accounted for. The two dead passengers were Chinese teenagers who were found outside of the aircraft, probably dropping from the rear section when it broke up on impact with the seawall. More than 100 people were injured.

Read the full story from KGO Channel 7 in San Francisco: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: NTSB. NTSB investigators conduct first site assessment of #Asiana214 in San Francisco.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: NTSB. Chairman Hersman and Investigator-in-Charge Bill English looking at interior damage to #Asiana214.

NTSB-Asiana 777 Crash SFO 2 (NTSB)(LR)

Breaking News: Asiana’s Boeing 777-28E HL7742 crashes on landing at San Francisco

Asiana Airlines‘ (Seoul) flight OZ 214 from Seoul (Incheon) to San Francisco with a reported 291 passengers and 16 crew members crashed landed short of runway 28L on landing at San Francisco at 1127 local time. The underside of the fuselage, possibly the main gear, impacted the rock seawall while landing leaving a trail of debris down the overrun area and on to the runway. The forward section of Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) was consumed by fire. The main fuselage separated from the tail section on impact. Most passengers and crew members were able to escape the burning aircraft from the main section.

The flight crew gave no indication of a problem before attempting its landing.

Two people have died in the crash. 181 people were initially transported to nine area hospitals from the triage area. 123 people are listed as uninjured. 34 people have been transported to the Trauma Center at the San Francisco General Hospital. Of these 34, five are listed now as “critical” and five are now listed as “serious”. One person is now listed as “unaccounted”. The remainder were later transported to area hospitals for medical attention and are expected to be released.

One eyewitness, watching the planes landing, reported to CNN that he saw the airliner land short of the runway with the landing gear hitting the seawall. A fire ball flared on the underside of the aircraft during the hard landing. The aircraft cartwheeled according to the eyewitness with the tail section and vertical stabilizers separating quickly. The right wing tip shows damage.

Another eyewitness who was a passenger in the rear section of the aircraft told CNN the tail section hit the ground very hard and at least two Flight Attendants “fell out” from rear into the gap that was created when the tail section separated.

An United Boeing 747-400 was very close to the final resting spot of the forward section and was preparing to depart.

Weather was reported to be clear and visibility at 10 miles at the time of the accident.

San Francisco International Airport is now reporting it has opened two runways.

HL7742 was delivered new to Asiana on March 7, 2006.

More news will be posted as it is confirmed.

Read the report from NBC: CLICK HERE

Local TV news coverage from PIX 11: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. HL7742 is pictured on final approach previously at Los Angeles.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Videos from San Francisco:

Report from CNN:

ANA to add two new Boeing 787 routes

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to introduce the Boeing 787 on two new international routes, bringing the number of overseas destinations it serves with the Dreamliner to eight.

ANA will begin flying the Boeing 787 from Tokyo Narita to Munich on September 1 and Singapore on October 1. ANA will also re-introduce the aircraft on its Tokyo Narita-Seattle/Tacoma route on September 20.

The 787, which offers significantly better fuel efficiency than rival aircraft and new standards of passenger comfort, already serves ANA routes from Tokyo to Frankfurt, San Jose, Beijing, Taipei and Shanghai.

The increase in 787 flights is part of an international expansion plan that will also see ANA double the number of flights between Tokyo Narita and Chicago O’Hare to 14 flights a week starting on September 1 to meet the growth in demand for connections between Asia and North America. In addition, ANA is introducing a larger sized aircraft onto services between Tokyo Narita and Shanghai on September 30.

Increased frequency
Change of aircraft type

*1 Boeing 777-300ER will be installed on NH921 (18:10 departure – 20:15 arrival) and NH922 (10:15 departure – 14:15 arrival). (B777-300ER flight departing Shanghai starts from October 1.)
*2 Boeing 787-8 will be installed on NH901 (17:35 departure – 23:40 arrival) and NH902 (00:45 departure – 08:45 arrival). (B787 flight departing Singapore will start from October 2.)

* Schedule may change according to the equipment and flight conditions on that day.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA813A (msn 34521) has additional  “Tomo Dachi” markings at Frankfurt.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Swiss to add six new routes from Geneva this fall

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will be adding six further destinations to its Geneva-based network this fall:  Stockholm (served four times weekly), Oslo (three flights weekly), London Gatwick (three flights weekly), Gothenburg (twice weekly), Belgrade (twice weekly) and Marrakesh (twice weekly). Swiss will also be turning its present summer-season services between Geneva and Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Porto into year-round operations.

Swiss customers travelling from Geneva will also see a new fare concept that replaces the current pricing model. In one major innovation here, both round-trip and one-way fares will be offered.

The new Geneva Economy Flex fare offers European travel from Geneva for as little as CHF 89 one-way. The new fare offers greater flexibility, too, since bookings can be modified at no additional fee; and one piece of registered baggage is included in the fare.

The new Geneva Economy Light fare offers European travel from Geneva for as little as CHF 39 one-way. One piece of carry-on baggage is included in the fare. Bookings here cannot be changed or cancelled once they have been made.

Swiss is further creating a local cabin crew base for 150 new flight attendants.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-IJW (msn 2134) taxies at Geneva.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Allegiant Air to fly Provo-Los Angeles flights

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Provo Municipal Airport (PVU) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning on September 26, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N423NV (msn 53008) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Alitalia issues a new Turnaround Plan, Air One to be rebranded

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome), a carrier that is familiar with financial problems, has issued this new “Industrial Plan 2013-2016″ to turnaround the flag carrier along with Air One (Milan-Malpensa):

Gabriele Del Torchio, new CEO of Alitalia, presented the strategic outline of the new Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 for Alitalia and the new mission of the Company.
With this Plan, the Group wants to better respond to changes in the aviation market which, in recent years, has seen a sharp reduction in the domestic traffic sector, against a growth of international and intercontinental routes, particularly to Eastern Europe, North and South America, Middle and Far East.
The Plan foresees an increase in revenue from overseas activities which already account for over 50% of the total revenue of the Group, making Alitalia one of the main Italian companies to contribute to the balance of payments of Italy.
The Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 will focus on 3 principal businesses – Alitalia, Air One and Alitalia Loyalty (the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and enhancement of the MilleMiglia program) and will be based on 4 strategic lines with the goal of recovering the productivity of the Company, allowing it to remain in the market efficiently and profitably.
This will involve the redefinition of the Alitalia Group’s short and medium haul network, differentiating the activities of Alitalia and Air One, avoiding overlapping between the two Companies, with the aim to better respond to the needs of all customer segments.
The Smart Carrier Air One: a web oriented company, which will have operational bases in Sicily, North East Italy and Pisa.
A new image and branding project is under way for Air One. The new brand, which will replace Air One, will have a stronger likeness to Alitalia. The Smart Carrier will offer, with a predominantly web-oriented sales model, 2 fares and 2 levels of service (GO and SMART) to meet the needs of both price-sensitive and premium segments. GO fare passengers will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The Smart Carrier’s new short and medium haul network structure will be dedicated to serve point-to-point connections, from the bases of Catania, Palermo, Venice and Pisa, strengthening, in particular, the provision of international flights.
The increase of the offer in Sicily and in North East Italy responds to the need to meet the high traffic demand in Sicily and to regain market share in North East Italy, which was lost in recent years to other European airports. Maintaining a presence in Pisa and Tuscany is also of great importance.
Alitalia strengthens its operations at the hub of Rome Fiumicino and at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports
Alitalia will operate all national and international connections to/from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and to/from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, increasing international and intercontinental services at these 3 airports.
With regard to Milan Linate airport, whilst maintaning the connections to Southern Italy, the Plan provides that selected Rome-Milan-Rome slots will be replaced with new international point-to-point connections, thereby allowing Alitalia to satisfy the needs of customers in Northern Italy, especially business travellers.
During the course of the Plan, new flights from Milan Linate to Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna, Stockholm, Helsinki, Malta, Tallinn, Prague and Warsaw will be introduced.
Alitalia will also operate services from Milan Malpensa airport to non-EU destinations such as Cairo, Tunis, Moscow and Tirana, in addition to connections to Rome Fiumicino.
The international offer will be further enhanced, as early as 2013, with new flights from Rome Fiumicino to several international routes. Possible new destinations are: Nuremberg, Lviv, Bordeaux, Skopje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ankara, Marrakech, Misurata, Minsk, Basel, Marseille, Rostov, Pristina, Damascus, Erbil.
New pricing strategy and servicing
The safeguard and the development of the domestic and international market share will be ensured through a rethinking of pricing strategies to take into account and to attract not only those who choose a premium fare (the vast majority of Alitalia passengers today), but also price-sensitive customers, who, in any case, will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The new strategy also embraces other customer groups by offering dedicated initiatives. For example, young people (thanks to the already introduced JUMP ON-BOARD fares) and, soon, families and foreign nationals living in Italy.
The Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016 sees a strong projection on the intercontinental network.
Development of the long-haul fleet
To support the development of the intercontinental network, 6 long-haul aircraft are expected to be introduced into the Alitalia fleet, during the course of the Plan.
Various actions are needed in order to increase profitability of the current intercontinental routes. In October 2013, as part of a specific plan, the reconfiguration of 10 Airbus A330 aircraft part of the Alitalia fleet will commence and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The new configuration is the result of a research into the precise needs of the Italian air transport  market.
New long-haul routes with high potential
New long-haul routes with high traffic potential to/from Italy will be identified and introduced. The new routes will operate mainly from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and the airports of Milan Malpensa and Venice.
The new intercontinental destinations which may be introduced between Winter 2014 and Winter 2016 are Nairobi, Seoul, Santiago de Chile, San Francisco and Johannesburg from Rome. Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Osaka from Milan Malpensa; Tokyo from Venice.
The launch of the new routes will be combined with the strengthening of the Alitalia presence through increased frequencies to North and South America (especially the United States and Brazil), Japan and the Arabian peninsula.
This process will boost the attractiveness of Rome Fiumicino as a national and intercontinental hub, with a strong and innovative trade policy to attract increasing volumes of passengers.
Strengthening of business partnerships with major companies
Parallel to the development of new long-haul routes served directly, Alitalia will expand its worldwide presence in countries which, are today insufficiently served, by strengthening existing commercial partnerships.
Thanks to the reinforcement of existing codesharing agreements, or through the development of new agreements, Italian passengers will be able to reach destinations throughout the world, even if not directly served by Alitalia.
Development of market share and of commercial activity abroad
Alitalia, as ambassador of Italy and of Italian excellence in the world, aims to increase its market share abroad and, in particular, in those countries where there is a strong presence of Italian communities, such as Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia.
At the same time, to further increase the flow of traffic to Italy, of both leisure and business travellers, Alitalia will strengthen its commercial network, already present in many worldwide countries.
The expansion of Alitalia abroad will be made possible by alliances and codesharing agreements.
An all-encompassing activity, which will fast forward the achievement of the objectives highlighted in the first two strategic lines of the 2013 – 2016 Industrial Plan, is the Re-Hubbing project of the Alitalia hub at Rome Fiumicino Airport, which will be launched in October for the Winter 2013 – 2014 timetable.
This process consists of the reorganization and optimization of the time slots for domestic, international and intercontinental flights departing from and arriving at Rome Fiumicino, with the aim of improving the quality of the service offered to passengers.
The change of the time slots for flights to/from Rome Fiumicino has been implemented in favour of both business passengers, who will benefit from flights to Italy and Europe with early morning departures and evening returns, and passengers departing from other Italian airports, who will be able to take advantage of more convenient connections in Rome Fiumicino to reach long-haul destinations, such as the Americas.
This reorganization will also guarantee significant benefits and economic advantages for Alitalia, thanks to a more efficient operational structure and use of flight and ground resources at the Rome Fiumicino hub.
It involves the identification of new partnerships and the strengthening of existing ones, with key infrastructure partners in Italy, such as, for example, airports.
The goal of these partnerships is to create synergies and improve customer satisfaction through increased efficiency of ground operations, joint development of network and infrastructures and the expansion of services which are not closely related to flight operations (parking or transfers to/from airports).
The Plan calls for another key element of future collaboration: the opportunity to introduce and develop appropriate intermodal connections between aviation and high speed rail.
A more efficient allocation of traffic between train and plane will allow to optimize the inputs of the Italian national production system.
This relates to Alitalia Loyalty, the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and the enhancement of the Alitalia MilleMiglia programme.
The main guidelines of the Plan relating to the operation of Alitalia Loyalty include: the push to increase the number of members of the MilleMiglia programme, the development of new ways to redeem miles on flights or other services, the creation of high value partnerships with leading financial and credit institutions, the entrance of the MilleMiglia programme in a coalition of many loyalty programs to increase the opportunities of earning and redeeming Alitalia miles, the development of new forms of communication and marketing towards MilleMiglia members.
During the course of the four-year plan, with the implementation of all the expected industrial and financial measures, the Company plans to achieve the following economic results:
  • 2013: positive industry EBIT in the second semester, resulting from an improvement in industrial management
  • 2014: break-even operating margin
  • 2015: balanced budget
  • 2016: balance sheet profit
Concurrently, the following objectives have also to be achieved:
  • Increase the convertible shareholders loan by 55 million euros within December 2013
  • Increase the financial resources by 300 million euros in December 2013
The Industrial Plan provides that Alitalia refocuses on the values that have always distinguished the Company in Italy and in the rest of the world: the being Italian, the high quality service and the pride of belonging.
These elements define the new mission of the Company:
The new mission of Alitalia, which will be made as visible as possible to customers on planes and at airports, is, in a nutshell, the new spirit of Alitalia: a company that, with its highly recognizable tricolor tailfin and thanks to the passionate effort of all its employees, is the ambassador of the quality, the elegance and the typical Italian lifestyle that make Italy an icon in the world.
The first initiatives will address the re-branding of the three flight service classes, the improvement of on-board services, the new VIP Lounges and the new assistance service dedicated to passengers in transit at the airport hub of Rome Fiumicino.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia will concentrate on adding new, higher-yield long-range international routes. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISA (msn 32855) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Air One: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Air One will be rebranded, possibly as “Smart Carrier”. Air One’s Airbus A320-215 EI-DSK (msn 3328) taxies at the Milan (Malpensa) base in the 1995 color scheme.

Sky Airline phases out its last Boeing 737-200s

Sky Airline (Chile) (Santiago) on July 3 2013 retired from scheduled operations three of its Boeing 737-200s: CC-CTO, CC-AAG and CC-ABD. Three 737-200s still remain in service: CC-CTH, CC-CTK and CC-CVI. However these last three aircraft will be retired by the end of July 2013. After that, the carrier will only operate Airbus A319s and A320s.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/ModoCharlie.com. Boeing 737-230 CC-CTK (msn 22402) completes its final approach back into the Santiago base.

Sky Airline (Chile): AG Slide Show

The first American Airlines Airbus A319 is rolled out of the Hamburg plant

American A319-100 N8001N (13)(Grd) XFW (American)(LR)

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) first Airbus A319 has been rolled out of the paint shop at the Airbus facility in Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The airline is expected to introduce the new type in September. AA has not been an Airbus operator since it retired the last Airbus A300-600 on August 26, 2009.

American will take delivery of the first of 130 Airbus A319 and Airbus A321 aircraft beginning in July 2013, with continued deliveries through 2017.

Features on the “new” American fleet (not including an US Airways aircraft types):

American New Fleet Features (American)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: American Airlines. The pictured aircraft does not show any markings. It is believed to be Airbus A319-112 with the future marks of N8001N (msn 5678). The new aircraft also will be delivered with Sharklets. Ironically the new aircraft currently displays a small German flag on the top of the tail over the “American flag” design! While the aircraft is in testing it will wear a D- German aircraft registration.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. A319-112 D-AVYQ (msn 5678) has started its testing phase. The new airliner will become N8001N when it is handed over later this month.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Syphax Airlines firms up its order for three Airbus A320neo aircraft

Syphax A330-200 TS-IRA (12)(Apr)(Syphax)(LR)

Syphax Airlines (Sfax) has now signed a firm contract for three Airbus A320neo aircraft.

The airline already operates two Airbus A319 and three A320 aircraft and will shortly commence operating a leased A330-200.

Copyright Photo: Syphax Airlines. The new airline added its first Airbus A330 on June 20 when the pictured former Emirates A330-243 A6-EKZ (msn 345) arrived as TS-IRA leased from ILFC.



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