Tatarstan Airlines (Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia) today (December 31) is shutting down and will cease all operations. All passengers on the Kazan-Baku route will be transported by Ak Bars Aero (Bugulma, Russia) in the future.
The shut down was due largely to the terrible “dive into the ground” crash of Tatarstan Airlines flight 363 on November 17, 2013 which killed all 44 passengers and six crew members on board. Russia’s air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya recommended the airline’s AOC be revoked after it discovered inadequate training and overworked crews. The revocation was affective today.
Other noteworthy airline departures in 2013:
Air Cargo Germany (April 18)
Air France by Airlinair (March 31) (all three became Hop!)
Air France by Brit Air
Air France by Regional
Air Italy (2nd) (merged into Meridiana in April 2013)
Air Pacific (2nd) (June 27) became Fiji Airways again.
AirAsia (Japan) (August 31) (relaunched as Vanilla Air)
American Eagle Airlines-Executive Airlines (2nd) (March 31)
Arkefly (now operating as Arke)
Armavia (March 29)
Augsburg Airways (October 26)
Aurela Aircompany (February 18)
Avient Aviation (April 5)
Bahrain Air (February 12)
Batavia Air (January 31)
Belle Air (Albania) (November 25)
Belle Air Europe (Italy) (November 26)
Brindabella Airlines (December 14)
Brit Air (March 31)
Capital Cargo International Airlines (March 11)
Condor Berlin (April 30)
DAE (Dutch Antilles Express) (August 24)
Danube Wings (November 20)
Delta Connection-Pinnacle Airlines (July 31)
Dniproavia (January 8)
Donbassaero Airlines (January 14)
Evergreen International Airlines (December 31)
Flybe-Suckling Airways (April)
FlyNonstop (October 29)
Georgia Skies (Pacific Wings Airlines) (March 31)
Gestair Cargo (Une) (became Cygnus Air again)
Jat Airways (October 26) (reformed as Air Serbia)
Lufthansa Regional-Augsburg Airways (October 26)
Meridiana fly (became Meridiana)
Mongolian Airlines Group (April 18) (became Hannu Air)
Nasair (November 13) (became Flynas)
OLT Express (Germany) (January 27)
Orbest Orizonia Airlines (Spain) (February 20)
Regional (Compagnie Aerienne Europeenne) (March 31)
Ryan International Airlines (January 11)
SAT Airlines (merged in October with Vladivostok Air to form Aurora Airlines)
SEAIR-South East Asian Airlines (June 7) (became Tigerair Philippines)
Sky Airlines (Turkey) (June 4)
Skywest Airlines (Australia) (May 5) (became Virgin Australia Regional Airlines)
TACA (El Salvador) (May 28) (now operating under the Avianca brand)
Tampa Cargo (June) (became Avianca Cargo)
Tiger Airways (Australia) and Tiger Airways (Singapore) (July) (now operating as Tigerair)
Vladivostok Air (October) (merged with SAT Airlines to form Aurora Airlines)
Zest Air (Zest Airways) (August 16)
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly with United Airlines, Boeing 737-322 VQ-BAP (msn 24665) taxies past the camera at Antalya.
Donghai Airlines (Shenzhen) currently operates seven Boeing 737-300 freighters. The airline has been approved by the CAAC to start flying regularly scheduled passenger routes and has ordered three Boeing 737-800s according to Travel Daily Asia.
Donghai Airlines was established in November 2002. The airline was approved by the Ministry of Commerce, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), as the first private foreign joint venture cargo airline in China.
Operations commenced on September 19, 2006.
Shenzhen Donghai Airlines shareholders are : Shenzhen Donggang Trading Company (representing 51 % of the shares), the United East, Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited (25% of the shares) and Hong Kong Wing Enterprises Ltd. (24% of the shares).
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3W0 B-2517 (msn 23396) arrives in Beijing.
Current cargo route map:
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) launched new flights this weekend in three cities that join the carrier’s network through previously established service by wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways (Dallas). The new routes complete a plan to bring Southwest Airlines service to all domestic cities in the Company’s network by year’s end, as the integration of Southwest and AirTran approaches its final phases.
As of November 3, 2013, Southwest Airlines offers new nonstop service between:
Pensacola and Nashville and Houston (Hobby)
Richmond and Orlando
Memphis and Baltimore/Washington, Houston (Hobby), Orlando, Chicago (Midway), and Tampa.
AirTran will continue service between Atlanta and Richmond International Airport, with four daily nonstop departures. Southwest Airlines anticipates a full conversion in Richmond in the second half of 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-3H4 WL N352SW (msn 24888) in the Lone Star One motif lands in Las Vegas.
Jat Airways (Belgrade) is no more. The national carrier of Serbia was succeeded by replacement carrier Air Serbia (Belgrade) yesterday (October 26). Air Serbia is the result of a new strategic partnership between the Government of Serbia and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The majority 51 percent of the shares of new Air Serbia are now owned by the Serbian Government and the remaining 49 percent by Etihad Airways which has been on a spending spree to to partially acquire and transform underperforming national carriers to feed its own operations.
Jat Airways is now defunct.
Air Serbia’s inaugural flight departed Belgrade yesterday for Abu Dhabi.
Here is the history of troubled Jat Airways (from their website):
Jat Airways’s predecessor, the Society for Air Transport AEROPUT, was founded on June 17, 1927. This date marks the beginning of civil aviation in our country. The first aircraft to fly under the company name Yugoslav Airlines took off 20 years later, on April 1, 1947.
In mid-January 1947, the civil aviation traffic administration became part of the Transport Ministry, thereby confirming its civilian status. On March 17, 1947, pilots, navigators, radio operators and flight mechanics were transferred from the Transport Regiment to the newly formed company. In the meantime, the company acquired modified aircraft and the first flying season was launched on April 1, 1947.
After weathering the winds of war, AEROPUT pilots and mechanics joined Yugoslav Airlines crews in JAT’s earliest days.
Yugoslav Airlines kicked off with two Douglas C-47 aircraft modified into a DC-3 and two JU-52 Junkers. In the course of the year, the fleet grew by another JU-52, four DC-3s and one unmodified C-47 intended for cargo transport. These aircraft maintained regular traffic on domestic lines: Belgrade-Zagreb-Ljubljana and Zagreb-Sarajevo, and on international lines: Belgrade-Prague-Warsaw.
The first three Sud Aviation Caravelle airplanes joined the JAT fleet in 1963, and the fleet continued to grow six years later with the addition of the first Douglas DC-9, and seven years later with the first Boeing 707. At the same time, the last of the piston-engine veterans – the DC-3 and Convair – were withdrawn from the fleet. The introduction of jet engine aircraft enabled more comfortable and affordable flights – far exceeding the characteristics of piston engine aircraft. With increased capacity and range, these planes served as a basis for expanding the flight network, enabling the company to appear in third markets and make a bid for genuine air traffic growth. This was the main course of Yugoslav Airlines development through the early 1970s, a period tentatively termed by the company as “the beginning of jet aviation”.
Just as the beginning of the 1960s was decisive due to the introduction of the first jet-engine aircraft, so were the 1970s with the introduction of the “big Boeing” – the Boeing 707, after which the first charter lines were established to North America with regular traffic. In addition to the introduction of the Douglas DC-10-30, the first wide-body aircraft, in 1978, this period represented the beginning of one of the most important stages in JAT’s evolution.
Persistent investment in modernization and the acquisition of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 guided Yugoslav Airlines to yet another phase of development, the so-called wide-body stage, which was followed several years later by the purchase of a medium-range aircraft – the Boeing 737. This acquisition, among the first in Europe, established a basic pre-condition for further expansion of traffic in nearly all directions. Also, existing lines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were significantly extended, followed by network expansion to the US, Canada and Australia.
During those “golden years”, as some JAT chroniclers have dubbed the period, Yugoslav Airlines opened many offices abroad, carried five million passengers annually, continued to develop and modernize its technical operations parallel to developing service activities such as general aviation, hotel commerce, operating its own training centre and investing in infrastructure. JAT also constructed a large hangar to accommodate wide-body aircraft and a jet-engine test stand, which enabled the company to master the technique of examining engines and other components for modern fleets. Furthermore, the company proved excellent in business skills, successfully negotiating contracts with several third world companies.
Meanwhile, JAT developed its information system and introduced automatic ticket sales. In short, the company made a bid to meet its competition by responding to the growing demands and expectations of its passengers while continuing to satisfy regular passengers by living up to the famous company slogan – JAT is MORE THAN FLYING.
Yugoslav Aerotransport changed its name to Jat Airways on August 8, 2003.
Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. A fine taxiway study of Jat Airways’ Boeing 737-3Q4 YU-AON (msn 24208) in the last color scheme at Zurich. The Jat Airways Boeing 737-300s are being replaced with newer Air Serbia Airbus A319s, another narrow body customer loss for Boeing.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Former TACA AIrbus A319-132 N473TA (msn 1140) has become A6-SAA on lease from Etihad Airways to Air Serbia.
Azman Air (Azman Air Services Limited) (Kano) is yet another new airline in Nigeria which is planning to launch scheduled passenger flights with two Boeing 737-300s. The company was founded in 2010 by Abdul Manafi Yunusa. Azman Air is a wholly owned Nigerian airline.
The pictured former Bmibaby Boeing 737-36N G-TOYF (msn 28557) is now painted and is the second 737. This aircraft will become 5N-YSM on delivery. The first aircraft (G-TOYH, msn 28570) is still at Norwich awaiting delivery.
This aircraft is named “Athaji Yunusa Sarina”.
Azman intends to fly mainly from Kano, Abuja and Lagos. Here is a list of domestic routes being advertised on their website:
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36N G-TOYF (5N-YSM) (msn 28557) departs from Southend on a test flight after repainting.
VivaAerobus (vivaaerobus.com) (Monterrey) will reportedly jump off the Boeing ship next week and order up to 40 Airbus A320 family aircraft according to this report by Reuters. The new aircraft will replace the aging Boeing 737-300 fleet. This will be the latest defection to Airbus from Boeing in the latest hard fought battle.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-33A XA-VIM (msn 25032) lands at Las Vegas.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) continues to bleed money. According to this report by Reuters, the flag carrier needs almost $680 million to avoid bankruptcy again. Its main fuel supplier has threatened to stop making fuel deliveries this weekend.
The Italian government, which considers the failing airline a “strategic asset”, has now structured a deal where state owned Poste Italiane through Mistral Air (Rome) would provide a partial capital float in the form of a capital increase to keep the passenger airline flying.
Alitalia continues to lose money and has not been profitable since 2002. The causes of continued losses has not been fully addressed due to political meddling.
The government now wants “radical change” at the airline and wants the current stockholders to share in the capital increase.
Stockholders Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam), which control 25 percent of the shares, has mainly been mum of the recent government calls for action and has continued to ask for more financial information.
The Italian government would like Air France-KLM to raise their stakes in Alitalia but this is unlikely to happen since Air France is restructuring itself.
Can Alitalia survive? Will any of the Gulf carriers (Etihad Airways?) come to the rescue? Will any of the other SkyTeam partners help? Stay tuned.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close runway action of Alitalia’s Boeing 767-35H ER EI-DBP (msn 26389) in the SkyTeam colors at New York (JFK).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Mistral Air’s Boeing 737-348 EI-BUE (msn 23810) prepares to land at Zurich.
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (East Midlands) will add a new route from its East Midlands base to Paris (CDG) starting on April 3, 2014 according to Airline Route. The new route four days a week with Boeing 737-300s.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36N WL G-GDFL (msn 28568) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Jat Airways (Belgrade) is getting a new makeover with a new brand, new name and new aircraft. The airline will be renamed Air Serbia. Etihad Airways is taking a 49 percent share in the Serbian flag carrier. Etihad Airways will wet lease two Airbus A319s to the struggling carrier. A further eight A319s will join the fleet in order to retire the aging Boeing 737 fleet.
Etihad Airways has issued the following statement:
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) has unveiled plans to acquire 49 percent of Jat Airways. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has also been awarded a five year management contract for the Serbian national airline.
• Etihad Airways to acquire 49 per cent of Jat Airways
• Jat Airways to be renamed and rebranded Air Serbia
• Etihad Airways awarded five year management contract for new airline
• Etihad Airways and Government of Serbia both to inject $40 million
• Etihad Airways and Government of Serbia to each provide up to $60 million further funding
• Air Serbia to launch fights to Abu Dhabi from October 2013
These are two of the key components of a wide-ranging strategic partnership agreement, signed by Etihad Airways and the Government of Serbia, which includes a fleet of new aircraft, and a new integrated network of international destinations enabling greater access for business and leisure travellers to Serbia.
The historic agreement follows the launch of Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade in June and will significantly enhance trade and investment relations between the United Arab Emirates and Serbia as well as boosting the tourism sector in both countries.
Economic ties between the two countries, valued at EUR 23.3 million in 2012, three times greater than in 2011, continue to expand with a number of key government agreements signed in recent months which will see investments in agriculture, defence, technology, and tourism.
The strategic partnership agreement was announced by James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways and Aleksandar Vučić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Serbian Government, at a media conference in Belgrade today, Thursday August 1, 2013.
Within the agreement Etihad Airways will make available a $40 million loan facility which will be converted into equity on January 1, 2014, subject to regulatory approval. This will be matched by an equal funding injection by the Government of Serbia.
Etihad Airways and the Government of Serbia will also each provide further funding through shareholder loans and other funding mechanisms of up to $60 million to meet working capital requirements and support network development for the newly created Air Serbia.
The rebranding and renaming of JatAirways to Air Serbia is a significant moment in the history of the Serbian carrier which is more than 80 years old. Tail fins on Air Serbia aircraft will feature the Serbian coat of arms and the country’s state colours on both sides.
The new livery was designed by a team in Serbia and the UAE and provides a new look and feel for the national airline. The aim was to make a break with past practice, but not with Serbian heritage and also offer an unmistakeable national identity.
Among other planned developments will be an enhanced flight network, codesharing with Etihad Airways and Airberlin, adding to Air Serbia’s current network of 33 cities another 12 destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
The new destinations are Abu Dhabi (complementing Etihad Airways’ daily service), as well as Banja Luka, Beirut, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Kiev, Ljubljana, Prague, Sofia, Varna, and Warsaw.
Among the first new destinations to be launched by Air Serbia will be a four flights a week service between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi.
Complementing Etihad Airways’ current daily flights, the new Air Serbia service will start in October 2013 and will move to daily when the new fleet grows to facilitate an increased service.
The new A319 aircraft will be in Air Serbia livery, with a stylish cabin trim and product of a standard never seen before operating out of Belgrade.
The current Ja tAirways fleet of 10 Boeing 737-300 aircraft will be retired from scheduled operations, and in the short term will be replaced by leased narrow body aircraft. In the longer term, an Air Serbia order will be made for 10 new narrow body aircraft.
The strategic partnership agreement will also offer unprecedented career development opportunities for Air Serbia cabin and flight deck crew, who will have access to Etihad Airways’ world class Training Academy and facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Air Serbia will become Etihad Airways’ sixth equity partner following investments in Airberlin (29.21 percent), Air Seychelles (40 percent), Virgin Australia (10.5 percent), Aer Lingus (2.99 percent) and most recently Jet Airways (24 percent – subject to regulatory approval).
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3Q4 YU-AON (msn 24208) taxies past the camera at Zurich, displaying the current name and 2004 livery.
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (East Midlands) on July 15 added weekly service between its East Midlands base and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Jet2 now serves Gran Canaria from Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle and now East Midlands.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-377 G-CELS (msn 23660) taxies at Geneva.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has issued a new video. This video explains Norwegian’s strategy in order to stay competitive. New aircraft, a smooth organization and international expansion are mandatory to stay in business. This video contains interviews with independent sources, Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos and several employees at Norwegian.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian is rapidly phasing out its less efficient Boeing 737-300s. Boeing 737-36N LN-KKL (msn 28671) with Roald Amundsen on the tail departs from Southend.
Video (in Norwegian with English sub-titles):
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (Leeds/Bradford) yesterday (May 27) launched a new route from Belfast to Reus, Spain (near Barcelona). The airline issued this statement and publicity photo:
Latino beauty Juliana Cunha is celebrating leading leisure airline Jet2.com’s inaugural flight to Reus. Flights to this Spanish hot-spot, which is close to Salou and only an hour from Barcelona, started on Monday, May 27 and will continue every Monday until September 16 from Belfast International Airport.
airBaltic (Riga) on May 12, 2013 launched a new route from Riga to Malta. The new route will offer convenient travel between the airports, and beyond to destinations in the Baltics, Scandinavia, Russia, and the CIS.
(from North Hub Riga)
|Flight frequency||Start date||Price*, Basic||Price*,
|1 flight weekly||May 12, 2013||59 LVL/ 85 EUR||315 LVL/ 449 EUR|
airBaltic will fly from Riga to Malta once a week on Sundays, the return flight from Malta to Riga will be operated also on Sundays to secure convenient connections. Passengers will board a Boeing 737-300 aircraft (above) for a flight that will last for 3 hours and 40 minutes.
airBaltic serves 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. For summer 2013, airBaltic has introduced six new destinations – Prague (Czech Republic), Heviz-Balaton (Hungary), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Rijeka (Croatia), Larnaca (Cyprus), and Malta.
On the financial, the struggling flag carrier stated it trimmed its first quarter net loss by over $12 million. The airline issued this statement:
Latvian airline airBaltic has improved its net result by LVL + 6.7 milllion in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same perid a year ago.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “After improving our consolidated net result by LVL +66 million in 2012, we were again able to beat our own plan.”
For the January to March period, airBaltic achieved +41% improvement of its net result, compared to the same period a year ago. airBaltic achieved +10% yield improvement in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, and generated LVL 44.5 million in revenues. The unit revenue, or RASK – revenue per available seat kilometer, was improved by +8% in the January to March period, compared to the same period a year ago.
airBaltic operated 9,685 flights in the first quarter of 2013, or 9% less than in the first quarter of 2012 when airBaltic operated 10,637 flights. In March 2013, airBaltic operated 3,442 flights. The airline carried 534,879 passengers in the first three months of 2013 in its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, but in March 2013 the airline carried 201,757 passengers. The airline’s load factor, which represents the number of passengers as a proportion of the number of available seats, in the first quarter of 2013 was at a level of 63%, while in March it stood at 69%.
The 15-minute flight punctuality indicator for airBaltic was at a level of 83.9% in the first quarter of 2013. This means that 83 of every 100 airBaltic flights in the first quarter of 2013 departed at the planned time or with a delay of no more than 15 minutes.
For summer 2013, airBaltic has introduced six new destinations – Prague (Czech Republic), Heviz-Balaton (Hungary), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Rijeka(Croatia), Larnaca (Cyprus), and Malta.
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-33V WL YL-BBK (msn 29332) taxies past the camera at Paris (CDG).
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and the Verdi union representing 33,000 Lufthansa workers have agreed to a new pay increase and a new contract. Pay increases range from three percent to 4.7 percent.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Boeing 737-330 D-ABEM (msn 25416) climbs gracefully away from the Frankfurt hub.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is changing its Atlanta operation in order to better compete against Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) for business customers. The airline, according to this Bloomberg report, will have no more than 20 aircraft on the ground at any time at ATL instead of current 30 (including the shrinking AirTran Airways). This will allow the 175 daily flights to be spread more evenly throughout the day according to the airline. The new strategy and schedule will become effective in November.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging. Boeing 737-3H4 N629SW in the second Silver One scheme taxies at Houston (Hobby).
Jat Airways (Belgrade) is moving closer to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The latter will introduce daily Abu Dhabi-Belgrade flights on June 15. The two carriers are now exploring partnership options where Etihad could buy into the struggling Serbian carrier and help it upgrade its aging fleet. Etihad will take a hard look at Jat Airways before it makes an investment. If it invests, the investment is likely to follow and resemble the previous Airberlin (Berlin) investment. In the meantime, the two airlines will be code-sharing (see details below).
Read the full report from In Serbia: CLICK HERE
Both carriers issued this statement:
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will commence daily nonstop flights between its home-base of Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, from June 15, 2013.
Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network. In return Etihad Airways will place its EY code on 23 of JatAirways’ European flights.
This new Etihad Airways flights will help provide better travel access to Belgrade for several hundred thousand Serbian nationals living around the world.
Etihad Airways will operate a two cabin Airbus A319 aircraft on the service between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, configured to carry 106 passengers, with 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 90 seats in Coral Economy Class. The announcement was made on April 15, at a media conference in Belgrade hosted by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr Hogan was joined at the media conference by Vladimir Ognjenović, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer.
As part of the codeshare agreement, subject to government and regulatory approval, JatAirways will place its JU code on Etihad Airways flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond to Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, New York, Melbourne, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
In return, subject to government and regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on JatAirways flights between Belgrade and Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Heathrow, Larnaca, Milan, Moscow, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna and Zurich.
Jat Airways will place its code on a number of the flights operated by Etihad Airways’ equity partner, Airberlin (Berlin). A major highlight of this would be the provision of a direct link for passengers travelling from Belgrade, via Berlin, to Chicago in the US. The capital of Illinois is renowned for having the second largest Serbian population of any city in the world, with an estimated 200,000 Serb nationals living in Chicago, and up to 500,000 residents of Serb origin.
Belgrade will become the third of five new destinations to be served by Etihad Airways in 2013, following the launch in March of flights to Washington, D.C., and in May to Amsterdam.
Etihad Airways will commence services later this year to Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.
Lufthansa (Frankfurt), according to this report by Reuters, is willing to endure additional strikes like last week (even with its pilots) in order to gain the flexibility it needs. The company is restructuring and is planning to eliminate 3,500 positions as it shifts more European flying to subsidiary Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn).
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Full moon rising. Lufthansa will continue to gradually phase out the older Boeing 737s including the pictured 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) rising from the Frankfurt hub.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) reported a full-year pre-tax profit of 623 million Norwegian kroner ($112.4 million), an increase of 457 million Norwegian kroner ($82.5 million), compared with 2011. According to the carrier, “2012 was characterized by high traffic growth and international expansion with many new routes and the establishment of new bases.”
Sales for 2012 amounted to 12.9 billion Norwegian kroner, an increase of 22 percent. Norwegian flew 17.7 million passengers in 2012, an increase of 2 million (13 percent). The load factor for 2012 was 79 percent, the same as last year.
In 2012, Norwegian took delivery of 13 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. This year, Norwegian will continue to phase in new aircraft – 14 Boeing 737-800s and 3 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. Norwegian is gradually phasing out its Boeing 737-300s and many of its special aircraft schemes. The pictured Boeing 737-3S3 LN-KKY (msn 29245) in the special ACTA livery at London (Gatwick) in 2011 went to Transaero Airlines as EI-ERP.
Routes from Oslo:
PIA-Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi) had an incident today at Muscat, Oman. Boeing 737-33A AP-BEH (msn 25504) operating flight PK 259 from Sialkot, Pakistan to Muscat suffered a rough landing on its arrival. The left main gear collapsed on landing. There were no injuries to the 108 passengers and crew members on board.
Read the full story from Gulf News: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. AP-BEH is pictured arriving at Dubai in 2010 before it was repainted in the current 2010 livery.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today that Grand Rapids, Michigan is the next AirTran Airways (Dallas) city to be converted to Southwest service. Those flights from Grand Rapids to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Orlando, and Saint Louis will begin on August 11, 2013. AirTran service in Grand Rapids will end the previous day, August 10, 2013.
From Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), fly Southwest Airlines Nonstop to:
- (BWI) Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- (DEN) Denver International Airport
- (MCO) Orlando International Airport
- (STL) Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Additionally, AirTran expands operations in Memphis with new nonstop flights between Memphis and Chicago (Midway), Baltimore/Washington, and Orlando, beginning on August 11, 2013. In Memphis, AirTran currently offers five daily nonstop flights to Atlanta.
Southwest also will begin nonstop service between Flint, Michigan and Las Vegas starting on August 11, 2013. Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint is currently served by AirTran Airways and will convert to Southwest Airlines service on April 14, 2013. Inaugural service from Flint will also include nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, and Tampa Bay.
Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney. Boeing 737-3H4 N609SW (msn 27929) in the California One motif lands at Las Vegas.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Southwest Airlines is also phasing out the AirTran Airways’ Boeing 717 fleet. The 717s will gradually migrate to Delta Air Lines. Boeing 717-2BD N946AT (msn 55009) painted in the special livery of the world champion Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL) climbs away from the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Cayman Airways (Grand Cayman) will resume nonstop, year-round flights from Grand Cayman to Dallas/Fort Worth starting on April 10, 2013. The route will operate two days a week.
The new schedule also facilitates immediate connections to Cayman Brac from Grand Cayman.
Cayman Airways operates four Boeing 737-300s and two de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
Bi-weekly flights will be scheduled Wednesdays and Saturdays for the following times:
|KX 320||Grand Cayman||8:30 am||Dallas-Fort Worth||12:30 pm|
|1:50 pm||Grand Cayman||5:50 pm|
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-36E VP-CKW (msn 26322) arrives at Miami dressed in the 2007 livery based on coat of arms for the British Overseas Territory.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is adding new seasonal nonstops in several Florida markets.
Effective from February 15 to April 13, 2013 the airline will be bringing back daily roundtrip nonstops between Orlando and Oklahoma City (last flown since 2008!). WN is also adding new nonstop service between Orlando and Little Rock. Southwest will also be adding a third daily nonstop roundtrip between Tampa and both Columbus, Ohio and St. Louis.
From March 10 through April 13, 2013 WN will be adding a second flight between Louisville and Tampa and between Kansas City and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. The airline will also add a fourth daily roundtrip between St. Louis and Tampa.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 737-3H4 N334SW (msn 23938) taxies to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Kuban Airlines (Krasnodar, Russia), named for the Kuban Province of southern Russia, ended all operations today (December 11) due to “a difficult financial situation”. The airline started operations in 1932 as a regional division of Aeroflot (Moscow). The company merged with SkyExpress on October 29, 2011. The company issued the following statement (translated from Russian)
Kuban airline will stop all operations at 00:00 on December 11, 2012. The main reason for the stop of the airline is the difficult financial situation and the inability to follow a number of provisions of the new Federal Aviation Regulations “Certification requirements for natural persons, legal persons engaged in commercial air transport” (FAP-11), which became effective at the end of November 2012. According to the rules scheduled air carrier shall not have less than 8 aircraft with a capacity of 55 or more passenger seats.
Until now, Kuban operated six aircraft of foreign manufacture. Three of them (Airbus A319) were prematurely returned because it is impossible for timely payments under the contract and the company was in arrears on the payments. Previously, from November 1, 2012, the company had removed the obsolete Yak-42s. (The A319s were operated in an all-white condition).
Given the inability of the prevailing conditions (reducing the fleet by 50%) to run a program of autumn-winter navigation in the stated amounts in accordance with the requirements of FAR-11, airline management made the decision to stop the forced operations.
We have to state that today the very existence of regional airlines in Russia is threatened. This is facilitated by the current legislation. There is a problem with access to markets, selective support of some airlines in the form of protectionist measures and subsidies, the opacity of the aviation industry suppliers, the absence of a favorable financial background, aimed at stimulating regional carriers to move to new modern aircraft. The existing regulations does not promote competition, the emergence of new carriers, opening regional routes and the overall financial health workers airlines.
Kuban will work closely with the Administration of Krasnodar region, in order to minimize the problems associated with the forced cancellation of flights.
The company sent a statement to the Arbitration Court of Krasnodar Krai on the recognition of its bankruptcy. All financial claims will be considered by the bankruptcy process to manage the airline.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Kuban also operated two Boeing 737-300s and two 737-500s. This bright and dazzling Sunflower design was introduced by the airline in February 2010. Boeing 737-3Q8 VQ-BHB (msn 26310) taxies to the runway at Munich.
Tiara Air Aruba (Aruba) yesterday (November 27) expanded to the United States with twice-weekly Boeing 737-300 jet service on the Maracaibo-Aruba-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and return route.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Formerly operated by United Airlines as N345UA and Gol Transportes Aereos as PR-GLE, Boeing 737-322 was delivered to Tiara Air Aruba as P4-TIW (msn 24249) on February 14, 2012. The jetliner is named “Arawak” after the Arawak indigenous people of the West Indies.
US Airways (Phoenix) quietly retired its last Boeing 737-300 on November 26 from revenue service. Aircraft 737-3B7 N530AU (msn 24412) operated flight US 1611 from Raleigh/Durham to the Charlotte hub ending 28 years of faithful service for the type with the company per Airliners.net. USAir was the launch customer of the 737-300 and received its first copy (N353AU, later registered as N374US) on November 28, 1984. N530AU was delivered new on June 26, 1989. N530AU was immediately ferried to Miami. US Airways still operates the Boeing 737-400.
Southwest Airlines currently still operates the Boeing 737-300 and is now likely to be the longest operator of the type when retired.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-3B7 N530AU (msn 24412) taxies to the runway at Charlotte.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Armes. Originally the Boeing 737-300 fleet wore the 1975 Allegheny Airlines livery. Boeing 737-3B7 N351AU (msn 22951) is pictured at Orlando, a popular destination for the new type in the early years. Later the type was relegated to shorter feeder routes.
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aereos) (Sao Paulo) has announced as of today (November 23), it will begin the process of winding up the activities of its subsidiary Webjet Linhas Aereas (Rio de Janeiro) and the discontinuation of its name and brand. The airline was grounded today.
The group continued in its statement; “The first step is to extinguish flight operations. Webjet has an operational model based on a fleet that mostly consists of aging Boeing 737-300 aircraft that are advanced age, technologically out of date and consume large amounts of fuel. Given the Brazilian sector’s new cost standards, this model is no longer competitive.
As a result of the winding up of operations, around 850 employees, including flight and cabin crew and maintenance personnel, will be laid off.
Webjet’s clients and passengers will be fully served by Gol and their flights will be guaranteed. As of this date, Gol will be responsible for all air transport and associated services for these passengers. In this context, all the necessary measures are been taken.
As a result of this decision and its consequences, the Company estimates a non-recurring increase in costs in the fourth quarter of 2012, which will be disclosed to the market opportunely. However, the measures will improve operational efficiency as of 2013.
In relation to Webjet’s Boeing 737-300 fleet, Gol estimates that it will return all 20 aircraft by the end of the first half of 2013, 16 of which in the first quarter.
Thanks to the smaller fleet, Gol expects to reduce its domestic supply (ASK) by between 5% and 8% year-on- year in the first half of 2013, underlining its commitment to recovering its operating margins and the sustainability of the business.”
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi. Boeing 737-33A PR-WJW (msn 27267) climbs away Guarulhos Airport near Sao Paulo.
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (Leeds/Bradford) is adding three new destinations from Glasgow for the next summer season. The three new destinations will include Murcia (Spain), which will take off every Monday and Friday from May 24, 2013. Flights to the Eastern Med’s Croatian resort, Pula, will start on June 18, 2013. Finally, the airline will operate weekly flights to Menorca starting on May 25, 2013. Jet2 will fly to 19 destinations from Glasgow in the summer of 2013.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw. Boeing 737-377 G-CELU (msn 23657) in the special Scotland motif departs from Glasgow.
“Monarch confirms that the flight operating from Nice on flight ZB 467 operated by Aurela Airlines on September 21, 2012, has been involved in an incident upon landing at Birmingham Airport.
It is understood that the flight operating on an Aurela Boeing 737-300 aircraft registration LY-SKA with 135 passengers onboard left the runway whilst taxiing to the terminal, bringing the aircraft to a stop. Passengers have now safely disembarked from the aircraft and have been coached to the terminal where they are being cared for by Monarch Airline staff. At this time we understand that no passengers or crew have sustained any injuries.
Monarch apologises to all passengers on-board and is offering them all possible assistance. Monarch is working with Birmingham Airport to move the aircraft and is fully assisting with the authorities. As a standard precaution emergency services have attended the aircraft.
We have suspended the use of Aurela Airlines.”
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez. Boeing 737-35B LY-SKA (msn 23972) was being operated for Monarch in the basic Aurela livery without titles. The airliner is pictured departing from Palma de Mallorca before today’s incident.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Nik French. Monarch’s Airbus A321-231 G-OZBS (msn 1428) has received decals (both sides) of a drawing by an employee’s daughter. This drawing was selected in a competition for the employees’ children to draw a picture depicting new destination Munich. Service to MUC starts today.
“AMR Corporation (“AMR”), the parent company of American Airlines®, and US Airways Group, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”), under which the companies have agreed to exchange certain confidential information and, in close collaboration with AMR’s Unsecured Creditors Committee, to work in good faith to evaluate a potential combination.
The companies do not expect to provide any further announcements regarding the status of any such discussions unless and until the parties have entered into a transaction or discussions between the parties have been terminated. Furthermore, AMR and US Airways have each agreed while they are evaluating a potential combination that they and their representatives will not engage in discussions with other parties concerning a potential combination of AMR and US Airways. The companies noted that there can be no assurance that a transaction will result from these discussions.”
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. American is a large Boeing operator with Airbus aircraft on order. Boeing 737-823 N959AN (msn 30828) taxies at Miami.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. US Airways has a large Airbus fleet. The company is also getting ready to phase out its last Boeing 737-300 after Labor Day. Boeing 737-301 N574US (msn 23739) departs from Charlotte.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today the carrier will add a 79th destination to its route map with service to Branson, Missouri, beginning in March 2013. Southwest starts service in Branson on March 9, 2013, with daily flights offering nonstop service to Dallas (Love), Houston (Hobby), and Chicago (Midway), and with Saturday-only service to Orlando. Southwest will assume all flying from AirTran Airways, its wholly owned subsidiary, with AirTran’s operations at Branson fully converting to Southwest Airlines.
Southwest’s Branson Service:
- One daily nonstop flight between Branson and Dallas Love Field
- One daily nonstop flight between Branson and Houston Hobby
- One daily nonstop flight between Branson and Chicago Midway
- One Saturday-only nonstop flight between Branson and Orlando
Southwest also announced today that the airline has extended its flight schedule for travel between March 9, 2013, and April 12, 2013. In the new schedule, Southwest will begin service between several markets as listed below. The carrier also will add seasonal service to this flight schedule to accommodate Spring Break travel.
Southwest’s new markets:
- Two daily nonstop flights between Newark and Nashville
- One daily nonstop flight between Newark and Austin
- One daily nonstop flight between Newark and New Orleans
- One daily nonstop flight between Dayton and Orlando
- One daily nonstop flight between Key West and New Orleans
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 737-3H4 N352SW (msn 24888) in the special Lone Star One livery arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
New WN routes radiating from Branson:
Bmibaby (bmibaby.com) (East Midlands) is going out of business. The last flights will be operated on September 9. To avoid a drop off of passengers at the end, the carrier is advising its customers to fly out on the airline and has given them guidance on who to fly home after September 9.
Here is the full list of the last flights: CLICK HERE
“Tiny” will soon be enjoying retirement. For now he is encouraging customers to continue flying on the airline.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista/Flyingphotos. Boeing 737-36N G-TOYL (msn 28594) prepares to land at Lisbon.
Air Onix Airlines (Simferopol, Ukraine) is planning to expand to Istanbul from Simferopol starting on September 11 with twice-weekly service. The new airline launched scheduled passenger operations on April 28, 2012 from Simferopol to Kiev (Zhuliany Airport) with Boeing 737s. Today it currently flies scheduled flights to Kiev (both airports), Lviv, Moscow (Domodedovo), St. Petersburg and Warsaw.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Boeing 737-33R UR-KRA (msn 28873) arrives in Antalya, Turkey, one of the charter destinations.
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (Leeds/Bradford) is planning to add its 45th destination from its Leeds/Bradford base. The LBA-Pula (Croatia) route will be operating once a week on Sundays starting on May 26, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 737-377 G-CELY taxies at Geneva.
Kenya Airways (Nairobi) on August 1 started a staff restructuring plan to reduce its staff costs which ballooned in the last few years.
Read the full statement from the carrier: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw. Boeing 737-3U8 5Y-KQD (msn 29750) taxies to the runway at the Nairobi base.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) financial performance improved in the second quarter, reporting its pre-tax profit increased 68 percent to $20.4 million in the second quarter.
Here is the complete report by the airline:
“Norwegian (NAS) reported a pre tax profit of 125 million NOK, an improvement of 50 million from last year. This year’s result has been considerably influenced by the strike among the security staff at airports throughout Norway. The strike cost Norwegian 70 million NOK.
The company’s growth continues and increased by 15 percent in the second quarter. The number of passengers increased by 430,000 (11 percent). The load factor was 76 percent, down 2 percentage points compared to previous year.
By phasing in new and bigger aircraft to the fleet, Norwegian’s operation will become more efficient and competitive. In the second quarter, the company has saved 38 million NOK thanks to its more fuel-efficient aircraft.
So far this year, Norwegian has taken delivery of eight brand new Boeing 737-800s, while five will be delivered from the Boeing factory in Seattle later this year. At the same time, the older 737-300s are being phased out. Following the summer, the average age of the fleet will be 4.9 years. Norwegian’s fleet renewal program enables the company to increase its production considerably, as the new aircraft have larger seat capacity.”
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The older Boeing 737-300 fleet is shrinking with each new 737-800 delivery.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced today they extended their flight schedules for travel bookings through February 13, 2013. In the schedule, Southwest will begin new service between Nashville and New York LaGuardia with two daily nonstop flights. The carrier also will begin new seasonal routes as listed below:
Southwest’s new seasonal markets include:
- One daily nonstop flight between Nashville and Ft. Myers
- One daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Phoenix
- One daily nonstop flight between Milwaukee and New Orleans
- One daily nonstop flight between Ontario and Reno
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.
Northern Air Cargo-NAC (Anchorage) on June 18 leased its second Boeing 737-300 freighter. Boeing 737-301 (SF) N361NC (msn 23260) was formerly operated by Bluebird Cargo as TF-BBI.
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, leased the freighter to NAC, a new customer for GECAS.
The aircraft will be used to upgrade and expand Northern Air Cargo’s fleet.
Privately held Northern Air Cargo operates scheduled freight service to destinations in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest as well as charter freight service to other locations throughout North America. The carrier operates a fleet of five cargo aircraft.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. The pictured Boeing 737-301 (SF) N360WA (msn 23553) was the first, delivered on October 28, 2010.
Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways aircraft maintenance technicians ratify Seniority Integration Agreement
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT) from Southwest Airlines, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), and AirTran Airways (Dallas), represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 528, voted to ratify their Seniority Integration Agreement. This agreement integrates the two groups’ seniority lists. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., on May 2, 2011.
AMFA represents approximately 1,750 Southwest Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, and the IBT represents close to 500 Mechanics from AirTran Airways.
Today’s vote by the AMTs means they now join the Pilots, Flight Attendants, Flight Instructors, Dispatchers, and Ramp, Operations, Provisioning and Freight Agents as having successfully completed the Seniority Integration negotiation process. Work groups still in seniority integration negotiations include Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Service Employees and Materials Specialists.
This moves the merger one step closer.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. The AirTran Boeing 717s will not be painted in Southwest’s livery.