Tag Archives: 747-400

Avatar Airlines turns to crowdfunding for start-up capital

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Avatar Airlines (Boca Raton, Florida), as we previously reported, is a proposed new paper airline that wants to operate high-density Boeing 747-400s on “popular domestic routes with attractive low fares”. The new airline previously reported its had submitted an application to the DOT and the FAA for operating authority as an air carrier. A core component of its business plan to offer corporate sponsors the opportunity to advertise on the exteriors of the aircraft as well as in the interiors of the aircraft.

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Now according to USA Today, the proposed airline has turned to crowdfunding for capital funding in order to obtain a Part 121 AOC and start operations. The entity has a funding campaign target of $5 million.

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Above: Avatar is offering this shirt for every $50 donated to the start-up on their Facebook page.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Avatar 747-400

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

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

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

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

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

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Air France to downsize Boeing 747 operations to one route next winter, retirement coming in 2016

Air France (Paris) is downsizing the number of Boeing 747-400 (above) routes next winter to only one route; the Paris (CDG) – Mexico City route, starting on October 25, per Airline Route.

Air France has been a long-time operator of the Boeing 747 going back to the original 747-128 (below). The airline is planning to operate its last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight in 2016.

Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-128 F-BPVD (msn 19752) taxies to the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on May 18, 1971. F-BPVD is painted in the original 1959 livery.

Top Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4B3 F-GEXB (msn 24155) approaches the runway at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

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QANTAS signs over VH-OJA to HARS, it may be used for upcoming movies

QANTAS 747-400 VH-OJA lands for the last time (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) yesterday (March 14) signed over the paperwork of its first Boeing 747, 400, the pictured 747-438 VH-OJA (msn 24354), to the Historic Aviation Restoration Society (HARS), a week after it was flown to Illawarra Regional Airport for permanent display. The Jumbo may be used as a future movie set.

Top Photo: QANTAS Airways. VH-OJA touches down for the last time at Illawarra Regional Airport.

QANTAS issued this statement:

QANTAS on March 14 did a ceremonial sign-over of its historic 747 aircraft VH-OJA to the Historic Aviation Restoration Society, seven days after it touched down in spectacular fashion at Illawarra Regional Airport.

Gareth Evans, CEO of QANTAS International, together with the QANTAS pilots that delivered the aircraft, joined thousands of locals at the HARS Open Day to host tours of the historic 747 where it featured on display for the first time.

QANTAS 747-400 VH-OJA final crew (QANTAS)(LRW)

Above Photo: QANTAS Photo. The final flight crew of VH-OJA.

It is the only 747-400 type of aircraft to be on public display anywhere in the world and is already proving to be a popular tourist attraction for the region, with hundreds of locals wanting to get up close and personal with the “Queen of The Skies”.

While in retirement the aircraft is also set to begin a new career as a movie star.

QANTAS gets approached on a regular basis for access to its fleet for filming purposes which is challenging to facilitate with most of the aircraft in the air. Having a static 747 on display at HARS provides an opportunity to support filming requests.

Using the historic 747 as a film set, has the potential to bring a number of additional tourism benefits to the region including catering, accommodation and casting from the local area.

QANTAS will facilitate a location visit as early as next month for a scout to tour the HARS facility and OJA. The museum already attracts filming interest due to its vast collection of historic aircraft and the addition of the jumbo jet will provide even further opportunities.

Gareth Evans said: “It is terrific to see OJA at her new home at HARS. It’s clear this iconic Qantas aircraft is in very good company alongside their fantastic collection of historically significant aircraft.

“We are confident the team at HARS will preserve OJA with great care for future generations of Australians, whether here at HARS or up on the big screen.”

Below Photo: QANTAS Airways. The ceremonial hand over of the “keys” of VH-OJA.

QANTAS handover of the keys of VH-OJA (QANTAS)(LRW)

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Air France-KLM outlines the changes and strategies for their Summer Schedule

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have outlines the changes for its upcoming Summer Schedule effective from March 29 through October 24, 2015. Overall the Air France-KLM Group capacity is increasing (+ 1.7%) compared with the summer 2014 season.

Long-haul operations are increasing by 1.8%. Medium-haul activity is continuing its reorganization and is decreasing by 1.9%. Transavia’s low cost operations (+ 7.8%) are undergoing strong development in France and are being consolidated in the Netherlands.

Here are the highlights:

Long-haul: Air France-KLM is increasing services to Canada and is launching two new routes: Vancouver operated by Air France from March 25, 2015 and Edmonton served by KLM from  May 5, 2015. The Group is also improving its position in South America thanks to the launch of a new KLM route to Bogota and Cali (Colombia) from March 31, 2015.

Medium-haul: Air France-KLM is developing its European network on departure from the Amsterdam-Schiphol hub by adding three new destinations operated by KLM Cityhopper as from May 18, 2015: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Krakow (Poland) and Montpellier (France). At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France is increasing capacity to Bordeaux (France), Naples (Italy), Billund (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary).

On departure from Paris-Orly and the regional airports, the Group continues to reorganize its short-haul activity, currently regrouped within HOP! Air France’s operations.

Low-cost operations: Transavia is continuing its rapid development in France (+30%) and is consolidating its activity in the Netherlands. The company is launching 14 new routes, while strengthening its offer of flights to the most popular summer destinations.

New products and services: Air France-KLM is continuing its move upmarket. At the end of the summer season, 20 Air France Boeing 777 (above) will be equipped with the latest BEST cabins. After renovating its World Business Class cabin on all its Boeing 747-400, KLM is gradually equipping its fleet of Boeing 777 with its new World Business Class and Economy Class. From April 2015, Air France is also introducing a new leather seat on 24 Airbus A319 on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. It will then equip 25 Airbus A320 in the first half of 2016.

Partnerships: As well as strengthening its joint ventures (Delta, Alitalia, China Southern, China Eastern, Kenya Airways, Air Mauritius) and its strategic agreements (GOL), Air France-KLM is continuing the development of its partnerships all over the world. To offer more and more flight frequencies and destinations, the Group is extending its cooperation with the Canadian airline WestJet. The Group also has strong ambitions In Asia, illustrated by the signing of a cooperation agreement between KLM and Xiamen Airlines and the code-share agreement with Garuda on flights between Amsterdam and Jakarta.

LONG-HAUL: +1.8%

Air France-KLM’s long-haul activity is increasing by +1.8%.

North America

For the 2015 summer season, Air France-KLM is increasing services to Canada. As of March 25, 2015, Air France is launching a new route to Vancouver, with up to 5 weekly flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. KLM is also introducing a new service between Amsterdam-Schiphol and Edmonton on May 5, 2015, with 3 weekly flights, then 4 weekly flights as of  June 22, 2015.

Air France-KLM is developing its partnership with the Canadian airline WestJet, by offering new connecting opportunities in North America in addition to the new Paris-Vancouver and Amsterdam-Edmonton routes. Moreover, the Group is maintaining its close cooperation with Delta Air Lines as part of the trans-Atlantic joint venture.

Between May and September 2015, the seasonal service to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (USA) will be resumed from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. To meet market demand, Air France will be operating a second daily flight to San Francisco (USA) during the peak summer season (from mid-June to the end of August 2015). KLM is also further extending its second flight to Los Angeles to the full summer period, offering 12 weekly frequencies.

Central and South America and the Caribbean

As from March 31, 2015, KLM is launching a new service to Bogota and Cali (Colombia) from Amsterdam-Schiphol with 3 weekly frequencies. As a continuation of the winter season, Air France is increasing capacity to Panama City, with 5 weekly flights. Services to Brasilia (Brazil), launched in summer 2014, are maintained with 3 weekly frequencies.

In addition, Air France-KLM is maintaining its close cooperation with the Brazilian airline GOL, in order to offer numerous connecting opportunities to its customers on the Brazilian domestic network.In the Caribbean, as a continuation of the winter schedule, Air France-KLM is adjusting capacity during the peak summer season. The Company will offer up to 13 weekly flights to Pointe à Pitre and up to 11 weekly flights to Fort de France. Moreover, during the peak summer period, KLM will be operating a second nonstop flight twice a week to Curacao, in addition to the daily flight from Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Asia

Air France is continuing its daily service to Hong Kong (China) by Airbus A380 (5 weekly flights) and by Boeing 777-300 (2 weekly flights). The Company is also increasing capacity to Seoul (South Korea), serving this destination by Boeing 777-300 with 383 seats as well as to Singapore, with three additional flights operated during the peak summer period. Air France is continuing to serve Tokyo-Haneda Airport (Japan) up to 13 times a week in addition to the daily flight to Tokyo-Narita which provides connections to Noumea (New Caledonia).

The Group is also continuing to strengthen its cooperation with its Asian partners to offer an even wider choice of flights and destinations. In particular, KLM and Garuda Indonesia have set up a code-share agreement on both airlines’ flights between Amsterdam and Jakarta (Indonesia). KLM has also signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese airline Xiamen Airlines, illustrating their commitment to strengthening accessibility between the Netherlands and China.

Africa and the Indian Ocean

As a continuation of the winter season, Air France will serve Abidjan (Ivory Coast) daily, including 3 weekly flights by Airbus A380. The Company is also increasing capacity to Dakar (Senegal), by operating the route from Paris-Charles de Gaulle by Boeing 777-300 with 383 seats.

In East Africa, KLM is continuing to specifically adjust its network to market expectations by increasing capacity to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Entebbe (Uganda). Both destinations are served non-stop three times a week from Amsterdam-Schiphol, providing new connecting opportunities to Europe and North America in particular. On the other days these destinations are offered respectively as a continuation of the services to Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda). KLM is also strengthening its cooperation with its partner Kenya Airways by offering new connections to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean, as a continuation of the service to Nairobi airport which boasts new airport facilities.

In the Indian Ocean, Air France serves Reunion Island up to 11 times per week, including 5 night flights.

Middle East

Air France’s new BEST cabins have been flying to Dubai (UAE) since February 23, 2015. In September 2015, these cabins will also be available to Beirut (Lebanon). Furthermore, the Group maintains its code-share agreements with Middle East Airlines, Saudia and Etihad.

New long-haul products and services

Air France-KLM is continuing to roll out new products and services aiming to be among the best in the world.

By the end of the 2015 summer season, the new Air France BEST cabins will equip 20 aircraft and fly to 18 long-haul destinations:

North America: Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Washington;
South America: Sao Paulo;
Africa: Bangui, Douala, Libreville, Malabo, Yaoundé;
Middle East: Beirut, Dubai;
Asia: Beijing, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo-Haneda.

On its BEST fleet (Boeing 777-200 and 777-300), Air France is adapting to customer demand during the peak summer period (from mid-July to the end of August) by adjusting in just ten hours the seating configuration of its aircraft. This ‘quick change’ can replace certain Business class seats with additional Economy seats. These additional seats correspond to the operation of the 3 additional Boeing 777-200 during the entire season.

Above Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) now wears the updated 2014 livery.

Furthermore, having renovated its World Business Class cabin on all its Boeing 747-400 (above), KLM is gradually equipping its Boeing 777-200 and then its 777-300 with its new World Business Class and Economy Class. At the end of 2016, 80% of KLM’s fleet will be equipped with fully renovated cabins.

MEDIUM-HAUL: -1.9%

For the 2015 summer season, the Group’s medium-haul capacity is continuing to readjust and is down by -1.9%.

On departure from the hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol

For the 2015 summer season, KLM is expanding its European network on departure from its hub at Amsterdam-Schiphol by adding three new destinations: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Krakow (Poland) and Montpellier (France). These new services will be operated from 18 May 2015 with one daily flight. Furthermore, the number of daily KLM flights to Florence and Basel is increasing from 3 to 4.

On departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France is adding a daily flight to Bordeaux (France), Naples (Italy), Billund (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary). As of April 2015, the company will be introducing an upgraded product (greater flexibility for business trips, new gourmet attentions) as well as a new leather seat which will be progressively installed on board 24 Airbus A319s. This seat will subsequently equip 25 Airbus A320s during the first half of 2016.

On departure from Paris-Orly and the French regions

As from summer 2015, HOP! Air France is regrouping the entire short-haul network under a single commercial offer. This unified network includes all short-haul routes from Paris-Orly and the French regions. These routes are operated by Air France Airbus or HOP! regional aircraft.

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Hop! For Air France ATR 42-500 F-GPYL (msn 542) taxies at Nantes, France.

HOP! Air France is continuing to restructure its network during summer 2015 –

On departure from Paris-Orly, HOP! Air France is rationalizing its offer to Toulouse, Strasbourg and Mulhouse by decreasing the number of frequencies while increasing the capacity of its aircraft.

On departure from the French regions, as a continuation of the adjustments initiated in the winter, HOP! Air France is suspending its international flights. However, to meet customer demand, certain destinations will still be operated during the summer holiday period, notably routes to Beirut and North Africa on departure from Marseille; Spain, Italy and Greece on departure from Toulouse; Tel Aviv and Athens on departure from Nice.

Transavia: +7.8%

As a continuation of the winter season, Transavia is continuing its rapid development in France (+30%) and is consolidating its operations in the Netherlands (-0.8%).

With the ambition to be the leading low-cost airline in terms of destinations from Paris-Orly in 2015, Transavia France is launching 10 new routes this summer:

– On departure from Paris-Orly: Valencia, Dublin, Munich, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Warsaw, Casablanca, Fez and Amsterdam.

– On departure from Nantes: Madrid.

Furthermore, the company is increasing frequencies on many routes including Barcelona, Madrid, Oporto and Lisbon.

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Now painted in the old 2005 livery, Transavia’s (Netherlands) Boeing 737-7K2 PH-XRE (msn 30668) arrives in Las Palmas.

In the same way, Transavia Netherlands is concentrating its activity on the hub at Amsterdam-Schiphol, where it will offer new frequencies to Tel Aviv, Larnaca, Malta and Paris-Orly. The Company is also increasing its offer of flights to Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Pisa, Naples and Thessaloniki.

Transavia Netherlands will also operate a new route from Rotterdam-The Hague to Berlin. On departure from Eindhoven, the service launched to Athens in February 2015 will continue this summer.

To accompany this rapid growth, Transavia has ordered 20 Boeing 737-800, with 17 firm orders and another three options. These aircraft will support the rapid growth of Transavia France and the development of Transavia Netherlands. The delivery of these aircraft will begin in January 2016 and will continue until 2018.

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNE (msn 37432) in the SkyTeam alliance livery taxies to the runway at the Paris (CDG) hub.

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QANTAS Airways delivers its first Boeing 747-400 to its final resting spot

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) yesterday (March 7) flew the pictured Boeing 747-438 VH-OJA (msn 24354) to its final resting spot in Australia. VH-OJA was delivered on August 11, 1989. The airline issued this statement:

QANTAS’ first Boeing 747-400, celebrated for having flown the longest commercial flight in history, made its shortest and final journey today when it landed at Illawarra Regional Airport, where it is set to become Shellharbour’s first jumbo tourist attraction.

After less than 15 minutes in flight, the specially numbered QANTAS Flight ‘7474’, scheduled to touch down at 7:47am, was delivered to its new home with the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) where it will become the only Boeing 747-400 in the world to be put on public display.

QANTAS Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said donating the aircraft to the HARS museum will provide not only a great tourist attraction for the Illawarra region, but also an opportunity to preserve an important piece of Qantas’ and aviation history.

“Having graced the pages of the record books, revolutionised air travel for Australians, marked a huge technical feat for Qantas and carried millions of passengers on their global adventures and home again, our Boeing 747-400 “City of Canberra” is very deserving of a graceful retirement as the star attraction at one of Australia’s most prestigious aviation museums,” said Mr Joyce.

The delivery flight from Sydney International Airport to Illawarra Regional Airport was the first time a Boeing 747 has landed at the regional port. The QANTAS pilots operating the final flight worked with industry stakeholders on a number of approvals and training procedures given the flight was outside normal QANTAS operations to a non-QANTAS port. A number of considerations were factored in to the preparations including ensuring the appropriate ground handling equipment were positioned at Illawarra Regional Airport for the arrival and giving the aircraft livery a “Permaguard” coating to protect the paintwork for many years to come.

The aircraft interior was also given a full “spruce up” with the only items removed from the aircraft being the Qantas Flight Operations manuals in the cockpit, the galley carts that store in-flight meals and the fresh flowers in the lavatory. Three of OJA’s Rolls Royce engines still have significant life left in them and will be used on other QANTAS Boeing 747s. One engine will be left on OJA, with QANTAS and HARS working on sourcing suitable replacements over time.

Over the past few years, Qantas has been gradually retiring its older Boeing 747s. Nine of its newest jumbos, the last of which was delivered in 2003, have been refurbished and will continue flying into the future. Since 2008, the QANTAS Group has taken delivery of almost 150 new aircraft, lowering its fleet age to an average of just over seven years.

The aircraft will join an impressive lineup of famed aircraft located at HARS including a Lockheed Super Constellation, Catalina, Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 and a Desert Storm US Army Cobra.

The official handover will take place on March 15, 2015 to coincide with HARS monthly open day weekend.

QANTAS Boeing 747-400 “VH-OJA” facts

Years in service

13,833 flights (excluding the final delivery flight)

106,154 flight hours

4,094,568 passengers carried

This aircraft has flown nearly 85 million kilometres, which is equivalent to 110.2 return trips to the moon

“VH-OJA” was QANTAS’ first Boeing 747-400 aircraft and was named the City of Canberra

It was delivered to QANTAS on August 11, 1989 and made its debut flight on August 16, 1989 from London to Sydney

On Thursday August 17, 1989, it set the record for having flown for the longest distance (non-stop London to Sydney) and time over distance by a commercial aircraft. The time over distance record still stands.

All of QANTAS’ Boeing 747-400 aircraft were named ‘Longreach’ as a tribute to our place of origin and to demonstrate the long-range of the aircraft.
QANTAS fleet facts:

Our first 747 was delivered in 1971; last in 2003.

A total of 65 Boeing 747s have been operated by QANTAS.

Between 1979 and 1985 QANTAS was an all-747 airline.

There are 297 aircraft across the QANTAS Group.

Average fleet age 7.2 years.

QANTAS currently has 12 Boeing 747s; 9 of which have been reconfigured and will be kept beyond FY16.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com.

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The final flight of QANTAS’ historic Boeing 747-438 VH-OJA will be on March 8

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has confirmed its plans to ferry its first Boeing 747-400, the pictured 747-438 VH-OJA (msn 24354), on Sunday, March 8 to the Historical Aviation Restoration Society (HARS) facility for on-going display. VH-OJA will be ferried to Albion Park (near Wollongong) at the Illawarra Regional Airport as flight 6121 from Sydney. The last flight is expected to take around 20 minutes.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-OJA is pictured at Los Angeles.

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